Rich distillation of the timeless precepts of extremely influential Chinese philosopher and social theorist. Footnotes.
Confucius taught that 'virtue is never solitary; it always has neighbors.' (4.25). Based on the best modern and traditional Chinese and Western scholarship, Edward Slingerland's exemplary new translation of the Analectsincluding selections from the traditional commentaries on each passage of the textis a welcome edition. Contemporary readers will be enlightened as to what Confucius taught his disciples and will share the experience of being a neighbor to all the generations of students who have pondered the sometimes cryptic and enigmatic words of Confucius. Slingerland's use of commentary gives readers a fighting chance at understanding and appreciating this foundational Confucian classic. --John Berthrong, Boston University
This work not only exemplifies meticulous research and scrupulous craft of translation, it also offers a new perspective for Analects scholarship and a new model for Analects translation. Edward Slingerland should be congratulated for providing such an invaluable service to American college students as well as the scholarly community at large. There is much for us to learn from this new translation, and we are all indebted to its author. --Yuet Keung Lo, China Review International
Edward Slingerland's new translation of the Confucian Analects is something that we have long needed: an accurate, lucid rendition paired with helpful explanations and reference material, including selections from the most important traditional commentaries. General readers and students will find no more accessible, reliable entree to this difficult and seminal text. This new Analects is an extraordinary contribution and should by rights become the preferred starting-point for English-language readers. --David Schaberg, University of California, Los Angeles
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Read an Excerpt
from Book IV
1 The Master said, It is Goodness that gives to a neighborhood its beauty. One who is free to choose, yet does not prefer to dwell among the Good–how can he be accorded the name of wise?
2 The Master said, Without Goodness a man
Cannot for long endure adversity,
Cannot for long enjoy prosperity.
The Good Man rests content with Goodness; he that is merely wise pursues Goodness in the belief that it pays to do so.
3,4 Of the adage “Only a Good Man knows how to like people, knows how to dislike them,” the Master said, He whose heart is in the smallest degree set upon Goodness will dislike no one.
5 Wealth and rank are what every man desires; but if they can only be retained to the detriment of the Way he professes, he must relinquish them. Poverty and obscurity are what every man detests; but if they can only be avoided to the detriment of the Way he professes, he must accept them. The gentleman who ever parts company with Goodness does not fulfill that name. Never for a moment does a gentleman quit the way of Goodness. He is never so harried but that he cleaves to this; never so tottering but that he cleaves to this.
Meet the Author
Edward Slingerland is Associate Professor of Asian Studies, Canada Research Chair, University of British Columbia.
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