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Lao Tzu: Tao Te Ching
     

Lao Tzu: Tao Te Ching

4.8 4
by Ursula K. Le Guin
 

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No other English translation of this greatest of the Chinese classics can match Ursula Le Guin's striking new version. Le Guin, best known for thought-provoking science fiction novels that have helped to transform the genre, has studied the Tao Te Ching for more than forty years. She has consulted the literal translations and worked with Chinese scholars to

Overview

No other English translation of this greatest of the Chinese classics can match Ursula Le Guin's striking new version. Le Guin, best known for thought-provoking science fiction novels that have helped to transform the genre, has studied the Tao Te Ching for more than forty years. She has consulted the literal translations and worked with Chinese scholars to develop a version that lets the ancient text speak in a fresh way to modern people, while remaining faithful to the poetic beauty of the work. Avoiding scholarly interpretations and esoteric Taoist insights, she has revealed the Tao Te Ching's immediate relevance and power, its depth and refreshing humor, in a way that shows better than ever before why it has been so much loved for more than 2,500 years. Included are Le Guin's own personal commentary and notes on the text. This new version is sure to be welcomed by the many readers of the Tao Te Ching as well as those coming to the text for the first time.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780834824638
Publisher:
Shambhala
Publication date:
10/20/1998
Sold by:
Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
144
Sales rank:
189,463
File size:
765 KB

Read an Excerpt

Chapter
25:
Imagining
mystery

There
is something

that
contains everything.

Before
heaven and earth


it is.

Oh,
it is still, unbodied,

all
on its own, unchanging,

all-pervading,

ever-moving.
So
it can act as the mother


of all things.

Not
knowing its real name,

we
only call it the Way.

If
it must be named,

let
its name be Great.

Greatness
means going on,

going
on means going far,

and
going far means turning back.

So
they say: "The Way is great,

heaven
is great,

earth
is great,

and
humankind is great;

four
greatnesses in the world,

and
humanity is one of them."

People
follow earth,

earth
follows heaven,


heaven follows the Way,

the
Way follows what is.



Chapter
34: Perfect trust

The
Great Way runs


to left, to right,

the
ten thousand things

depending
on it,


living on it,

accepted
by it.

Doing
its work,

it
goes unnamed.


Clothing and feeding


the ten thousand things,

it
lays no claim on them

and
asks nothing of them.

Call
it a small matter.

The
ten thousand things


return to it,

though
it lays no claim on them.

Call
it great.

So
the wise soul

without
great doings

achieves
greatness.



Meet the Author

Not much is known about the legendary Lao Tzu, to whom authorship of the Tao Te Ching is popularly attributed. Some scholars believe the author was an elder contemporary of Confucius. Ursula K. Le Guin is the winner of the Hugo, Nebula, Gandalf, Kafka, and National Book Awards. She is the author of many short stories and more than fifteen novels, including The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed. She is also an honored author of children's books, poetry, and criticism.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Portland, Oregon
Date of Birth:
October 21, 1929
Place of Birth:
Berkeley, California
Education:
B.A., Radcliffe College; M.A., Columbia University, 1952
Website:
http://www.ursulakleguin.com

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Tao Te Ching: A Book About the Way and the Power of the Way 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm trying to read every... as many translations as I can. This is a good translation except that she bashes the scholars and their translations but its only in the notes in the back of the book that Ursula says she leaves sentences out because they hinder her idea of the flow. Seems a little high-handed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Excellent literal translation with brief commentaries and linguistic / cultural notes from famed science fiction novelist with anthropology background. Facile phrasing and word choice often provide a fluid translation embracing the ambiguity of ancient Chinese.
RBeck More than 1 year ago
I liked her additional comments
Anonymous More than 1 year ago