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Yuan Dao: Tracing Dao to Its Source

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Yuan Dao is a subversive document that challenged the autocratic aspirations of one of China's most powerful emperors. Its presentation set in motion a family tragedy in which the compiler, the most celebrated patron of literature of his age, fell victim to the expansionist politics of his uncle, the "Martial" emperor. Yuan Dao, complete here with English translation and critical Chinese text, is a remarkable distillation of earlier Daoist ideas found in the popular Daodejing (Tao Te Ching) and Shuangzi ...
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Overview

Yuan Dao is a subversive document that challenged the autocratic aspirations of one of China's most powerful emperors. Its presentation set in motion a family tragedy in which the compiler, the most celebrated patron of literature of his age, fell victim to the expansionist politics of his uncle, the "Martial" emperor. Yuan Dao, complete here with English translation and critical Chinese text, is a remarkable distillation of earlier Daoist ideas found in the popular Daodejing (Tao Te Ching) and Shuangzi (Chuang-tzu) texts.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In this masterly and first-ever translation of the Taoist text from the Han dynasty (206 B.C.E.-220 C.E.) known as Yuan Dao, we find a most welcome addition to the corpus in English of Taoist texts. As translated by Lau, noted interpreter of Chinese philosophy, and Ames (Chinese philosophy, Univ. of Hawaii), also a prolific and respected translator and author on Chinese thought, the language is straightforward yet elegant, the rendition true to all the subtlety of the original. Written around 140 B.C.E., Yuan Dao is a direct descendent of the better-known earlier Taoist texts, the Tao Te Ching and the Chuang-Tzu. Its main tenet is the efficacy of accommodation, as described in the translators' erudite introduction, and which is worthy of study in its own right and manages to interweave the essentials of the text with a succinct explanation of Han linguistic and political principles. The translation is printed on facing pages with the Chinese original, further enhancing the utility of the text. An important document, this work will be of interest especially to Sinologists and devotees of Taoism.--D.E. Perushek, Northwestern Univ. Lib., Evanston, IL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345425683
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 7/13/1998
  • Series: Classics of Ancient China Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 149
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.24 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction 3
The Huainanzi and the Court of Emperor Wu 3
Tracing Dao to Its Source: A Practicable Daoism 7
"Han Thinking" and Radial Order 9
The "Source" in Tracing Dao to Its Source 13
A "Watery" Source 17
"Dao" in Tracing Dao to Its Source 19
The Priority of Situation over Agency 20
Dao as "The Oneness of Things" 22
"Knowing" Dao 26
The Gerundical Dao 27
The Continuity of Dao and the Human World 28
The Relationship between "Heaven" and "Humanity" 29
Confucianism and the Continuity between Heaven and Humanity 30
Daoism and the Continuity between Heaven and Humanity 32
Tracing Dao to Its Source and the Continuity between Heaven and Humanity 36
Seizing the Moment 38
Riding the Dragon 41
Stilling the Heart-and-Mind 44
The Efficacy of Accommodation 53
On the Translation 54
Notes to the Introduction 55
Tracing Dao to Its Source 60
Notes 139
Bibliography 147
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