Synopses & Reviews
This translation presents the "Analects" in a revolutionary new format that, for the first time in any language, distinguishes the original words of the Master from the later sayings of his disciples and their followers, enabling readers to experience China's most influential philosophical work in its true historical, social, and political context.
The Analects, the 497 sayings of Confucius's conversations and activities, compiled by disciples and their disciples, are examined in this text in the context of their historical, cultural and intellectual setting.
No one has influenced Chinese life as profoundly as Confucius. Among the most important embodiments of that influence is the Analects, a seeming record of Confucius's conversations with his disciples and with the rulers and ministers of his own time. These sayings, many of them laconic, aphoristic, and difficult to interpret, have done much to shape the culture and history of East Asia. Bruce and Taeko Brooks have returned this wide-ranging text to its full historical and intellectual setting, organizing the sayings in their original chronological sequence, and permitting the Analects to be read for maximum understanding, not as a closed system of thought but as a richly revealing record of the interaction of life and thought as it evolved over almost the entire Warring States period. The Original Analects has clarified contradictions in the text by showing how they reflect changing social conditions and philosophical emphases over the two centuries during which it was compiled. The book includes a fresh and fluid translation, a detailed commentary and interpretation for each saying, illustrations of objects from the Warring States period, and an extensive critical apparatus setting forth the textual argument on which the translation is based, and indicating how the later view of the work as the consistent maxims of a universal sage gradually replaced the historical reality.