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The Essential Chuang Tzu

4.12  ·  Rating Details  ·  96 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
The Chuang Tzu has been translated into English numerous times, but never with the freshness, accessibility, and accuracy of this remarkable rendering. Here the immediacy of Chuang Tzu's language is restored in a idiom that is both completely fresh and true to the original text. This unique collaboration between one of America's premier poet-translators and a leading Chin ...more
Paperback, 1st edition, 192 pages
Published October 19th 1999 by Shambhala (first published September 22nd 1998)
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Ashanti Miller
Nov 17, 2011 Ashanti Miller rated it it was amazing
Wonderful! I have stolen so many passage for my novel from this collection.

My favorite describes Sakura to a tee:

Chuang Tzu was fishing from the banks of the Slave Creek when two ambassadors from the King of Ch'u approached. "Our master wishes to encumber you with the governance of his realm, " they said.
Chuang Tzu held his pole and without looking back replied, "I've heard that Ch'u has a spirit turtle that's been dead three thousand years; that the king has it wrapped and boxed and stored in t
...more
Martin Cohen
Feb 23, 2013 Martin Cohen rated it it was amazing
"How should I know? Although that's how it is, I shall nevertheless try to explain. If I say I understand, how can I know whether I don't know what I say I understand? If I say I don't understand, by what measure may I know that what I say I don't know I actually know?"

Chinese philosophy, like the people themselves, has a reputation for being inscrutable. There have been many attempts to covey its rich wealth of meanings to the West, and many of the ideas in 'Greek' philosophy seem to have orig
...more
Joseph
Jun 19, 2014 Joseph rated it really liked it
The philosophy of Chuang Tzu is the story of Crippled No-lips, of the Emperors Hurry Up, Suddenly and Muddle, of Do Nothing Say Nothing and Mad Mouther. This is a story where Confucius plays the fool half the time and the exemplars of The Way are the simple and 'useless.' This is historical fantasy crafted serene and madcap.

The conundrum faced by Master Chuang is that his brand of Taoism defies articulation. The wisest men are those that inspire without speaking and the wisest speakers are thos
...more
Kayte Korwitts
Jun 21, 2012 Kayte Korwitts rated it it was amazing
It seems ridiculous that I rated this and it is. Like book-reviewing The Bible or the Koran. One of soon to be many re-readings ahead of me.
Darreng
Jun 02, 2007 Darreng is currently reading it
Recommends it for: non-thinkers
dont rush me, i'm in the process of reading it.
Rein Crystal
Feb 20, 2014 Rein Crystal rated it it was amazing
Ancient wisdom for a modern time. One of the more influential authors of the taoist religion, Chuang tzu teaches us to live within the tao, through a series of simple to understand stories.
Yunis Esa
Nov 04, 2015 Yunis Esa rated it liked it
I am more of Confucius fan than Chuang Tzu. The ideas that he makes could be contradicted to themselves.
Dan Mozgai
Mar 23, 2015 Dan Mozgai rated it it was amazing
Great book. My favorite story was Robber Chih. I underlined over 100 passages.
Glen
May 06, 2012 Glen rated it liked it
I'm sure this is a fine translation, but I confess that many of the jokes and puns were lost on me. I like the skewering of pretentiousness, the emphasis on naturalness and skepticism regarding calls for a demands for virtue (if you have to make a big deal of it, then you haven't got it, seems to be the message), but I felt I was missing a lot behind a veil of culture. I love the Tao Te Ching, but I was a little disappointed by this volume.
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