Chuang Tzu: Basic Writings / Edition 1

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Overview

The basic writings of Chuang Tzu have been savored by Chinese readers for over two thousand years. And Burton Watson's lucid and beautiful translation has been loved by generations of readers.

Chuang Tzu (369?-286? B.C.) was a leading philosopher representing the Taoist strain in Chinese thought. Using parable and anecdote, allegory and paradox, he set forth, in the book that bears his name, the early ideas of what was to become the Taoist school. Central to these is the belief that only by understanding Tao (the Way of Nature) and dwelling in its unity can man achieve true happiness and freedom, in both life and death.

Chuang Tzu: Basic Writings includes the seven "inner chapters," which form the heart of the book, three of the "outer chapters," and one of the "miscellaneous chapters." Watson also provides an introduction, placing the philosopher in relation to Chinese history and thought.

Witty and imaginative, enriched by brilliant imagery, and making sportive use of both mythological and historical personages (including even Confucius), this timeless classic is sure to appeal to anyone interested in Chinese religion and culture.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Burton Watson... possesses all the qualities which distinguish a master translator.

From The Critics
Burton Watson... possesses all the qualities which distinguish a master translator.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231105958
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 5/2/1996
  • Series: Translations from the Asian Classics Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 273,157
  • Product dimensions: 5.15 (w) x 7.95 (h) x 0.49 (d)

Meet the Author

Burton Watson is one of the world's best-known translators from the Chinese and Japanese. His translations include The Lotus Sutra, The Vimalakirti Sutra, Ryokan: Zen Monk-Poet of Japan, Saigyo: Poems of a Mountain Home, and The Columbia Book of Chinese Poetry: From Early Times to the Thirteenth Century, all published by Columbia.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. Free and Easy Wandering3. Discussion on Making All Things Equal4. The Secret of Caring for Life5. In the World of Men6. The Sign of Virtue Complete7. The Great and Venerable Teacher8. Fit for Emperors and Kings9. Autumn Floods10. Supreme Happiness11. Mastering Life12. External Things

Columbia University Press

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2001

    A Classic of World Philosophy and Literature

    Chuang Tzu is one of the greatest world thinkers, and a founder of one of the three great Chinese philosophical-religious traditions (Taoism). The book, though very profound, is written in a very readable style, studded with parables and humour. A must-read for anyone interested in Chinese or East-Asian thought, as this book has influenced Asian thought to an enourmous degree. One of the finest pieces of philosophy ever written, though Chuang-Tzu himself would never agree to this definition of the book.

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