Zhuangzi Speaks: The Music of Nature

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During a period of political and social upheaval in China, the unconventional insights of the great Daoist Zhuangzi (369?-286? B.C.) pointed to a way of living naturally. Inspired by his fascination with the wisdom of this sage, the immensely popular Taiwanese cartoonist Tsai Chih Chung created a bestselling Chinese comic book. Tsai had his cartoon characters enact the key parables of Zhuangzi (pronounced jwawngdz), and he rendered Zhuangzi's most enlightening sayings into modern Chinese. Through Tsai's enthusiasm and skill, the earliest and core parts of the Zhuangzi were thus made accessible to millions of Chinese-speaking people with no other real chance of appreciating this major Daoist text. Translated into English by Brian Bruya, the comic book is now available to a Western audience. The classical Chinese text of the selections of the Zhuangzi is reproduced in the margins throughout. Evoked by the translation and the playful cartoons is the spontaneity that Zhuangzi favors as an attitude toward life: abandon presuppositions, intellectual debates, and ambitions, he suggests, and listen to the "music of nature." With the writings attributed to Laozi, the Zhuangzi contributed to an alternative philosophical ideal that matched Confucianism in its impact on Chinese culture. Over the centuries this classical Daoism influenced many aspects of Chinese life, including painting, literature, and the martial arts. It had a particularly strong effect on Chan Buddhism (Japanese Zen). For this book, Donald Munro has written an afterword that places Daoism and the Zhuangzi in historical and cultural context.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691008820
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 7/13/1992
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 1,387,284
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Table of Contents

Guide to Pronunciation
The Summer Cicada and the Wonder Tortoise 5
The Little Sparrow's Small Happiness 7
Hui Shi's Giant Gourd 8
The Song Family's Secret Formula 10
The Useless Shu Tree 12
The Tattooed Yue People 15
The Music of the Earth 16
Zhao Wen Quits the Zither 19
Does Wang Ni Know? 20
Is Xi Shi Really Beautiful? 22
Li Ji's Tears 23
Zhang Wuzi's Dream 24
Shadows Talking 25
The Dream of the Butterfly 26
Three at Dawn and Four at Dusk 27
Hui Shi Leans against a Tree 28
The Cook Carves Up a Cow 29
Passing on the Flame 31
The Caged Pheasant 32
Like A Mantis Stopping a Cart 33
The Horse Lover 35
The Earth Spirit's Tree 36
A Tree's Natural Life Span 38
The Freak 40
Oil Burns Itself Out 41
The Tiger Trainer 42
Toeless Shu 43
Nature the Superhero 44
Forgetting the Dao 45
Zi Sang Questions His Fate 46
Digging a Canal in the Ocean Floor 47
Are a Duck's Legs Too Short? 48
The Lost Goat 49
Bandits Have Principles, Too 50
Good Wine, Bad Wine 52
The Yellow Emperor Questions Guangcheng 53
Nature's Friend 54
The Old Wheelwright 55
The Earth and the Sky 57
Crows and Seagulls 58
Confucius Sees a Dragon 59
Don't Ring the Bull's Nose 60
The Wind and the Snake 61
Courage of the Sage 63
The Frog in the Well 65
Learning How to Walk in Handan 68
A Crow Eating a Dead Rat 69
You're Not a Fish 71
Zhuangzi Dreams of a Skeleton 72
Sea Birds Don't Like Music 74
The Drunk Passenger 76
Riding with the Dao 77
The Sweet Water is Gone First 79
Lin Hui Forsakes a Fortune 81
Swallows Nest in the Eaves 82
The Mantis Getting the Cicada 83
Fan Was Never Destroyed 85
Knowledge and the Dao 86
Gengsang Forsakes Fame 88
The Yellow Emperor and the Pasture Boy 89
The Stone Mason and the Ying Man 91
Two Nations on a Snail's Antennae 93
Zhuangzi Borrows Grain 94
The Turtle That Could Predict the Future 95
Natural Use 97
Catch the Fish, Discard the Trap 98
Yang Zhu Studies the Dao 99
Zi Gong's Snow-White Clothes 100
The Bandit Speaks 102
Zhuangzi's Three Swords 107
Confucius in the Black Forest 114
The Man Who Hated His Footprints 117
The Man Who Hated His Shadow 118
Like a Drifting Boat 119
The Dragonslayer 120
Shattering the Dragonpearl 122
Don't Make Sacrifices 124
Zhuangzi on His Deathbed 125
Afterword 127
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