Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Zhuangzi for Everyone

The Zhaungzi is one of the two most important Daoist texts in the Chinese tradition, but it gets short shrift next to its cousin, the Tao Te Ching (Dao De Jing). One of the reasons is the length of the Zhaungzi. It has none of the brevity and conciseness of the Tao Te Ching. It is a collection of many materials, of varying quality and authenticity, often in the same passage.

That is why Burton Watson's translation of the Zhuangzi is so useful. He has culled through the text, and presented us with only the very best material. This, coupled with his fine introduction and notes on the translation, give us a Zhuangzi that is both easy to read, interesting and smooth flowing.

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