31 Dec to 3 Jan
using standard courier delivery
Unlikely to arrive before Christmas
The Tao Te Ching is one of the most widely read Asian classics. And it is also one of the most frequently translated books in all of history, in part because it is impossible to translate it into English in a strictly literal way; the text just has too many Chinese characters that convey multiple meanings. This often leads translators to burden the text with verbose language or loose interpretations. And when this happens the terse enigmatic beauty of the original work is lost. Here, in what may be the most faithful translation of the Tao Te Ching, the translators have stepped out of the way to let the original text speak for itself. The result is a lucid, economical rendering of the classic that allows readers to get as close to the original text as possible without knowing Chinese.Accompanying this translation are twenty-one stunning ink paintings by Stephen Addiss, as well as an introduction by the PEN Translation Prize winner and esteemed Asian scholar Burton Watson. In his introduction, Watson offers some background on the Tao Te Ching and explains the historical context in which it was written.
This remarkable translation also allows readers to interact with the text and experience for themselves the nuanced art of translating. In each of the eighty-one chapters, one significant line is highlighted and alongside it are the original Chinese characters with their transliteration. Readers can then turn to the glossary and translate this line on their own, thereby deepening their understanding of the original text and of the myriad ways it can be translated into English.
Stephen Addiss, PhD, is Professor of Humanities and Art at the University of Richmond. He is a leading authority on Japanese art and the author of 36 books including The Art of Zen. Stanley Lombardo, PhD, is Professor of Classics at the University of Kansas and a translator of several classics of Greek Literature including a celebrated translation of Homer's Odyssey.