Thus Spoke Laozi: A New Translation with Commentaries of Daodejing
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192pp. April 2016
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Thus Spoke Laozi: A New Translation with Commentaries of Daodejing
Editor: Wu, Charles Q.;
Daodejing (Tao Te Ching) by Chinese philosopher Laozi (Lao Tzu) is one of the most popular Chinese texts, with more than 100 translations available. Why yet another? Author Charles Q. Wu believes that his explorations of the infinite nature of the Daodejing can "bring the readers yet another step closer to what Laozi actually says and how he says it through still another translation." The strength of Wu's version comes from his superior bilingual talents and unique cross-cultural perspective, allowing him to draw widely from both Chinese and Western sources. He provides his target audience of nonacademics and non-Chinese readers with line-by-line bilingual text and commentaries, and tries to retain the original beauty of the poetry and paradoxes of Laozi's writings. His ambition here is for English-speaking readers to experience what Laozi "sounds" like, as if they were reading the work in Chinese.

Taking a fresh look at what is known as the Wang Bi edition of Laozi's immortal work, Wu makes use of new findings from recent archaeological discoveries, and invites readers to "participate in the translation and interpretation as an open-door, open-ended process." Rather than claiming finality in his translation, Wu sees himself as a tour guide—leading readers toward unexpected aha! moments as they encounter a more thorough understanding of the Daodejing.

Not for sale in mainland China

Published in association with Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press
"[Wu] has a strong philological orientation, and explains the implications of key philosophical terms with real insight. . . . His interpretation of this text is nuanced and philosophically sophisticated; the quality of the language is impeccable." —Roger T. Ames, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa
Editor: Wu, Charles Q.;
Charles Q. Wu is professor emeritus of Chinese and humanities at Reed College.