Synopses & Reviews
"Moss Roberts provides a scholarly reading of the Dao De Jing so generous, so vivid, you can feel valley mist on your face and smell the straw dogs. Here are the furious warlords, craggy landscapes teeming with the ten thousand creatures of Taoist philosophy; China's careful arts of government and war; science, yoga, alchemy, erotics; old bamboo texts hidden in caves for millennia. This book is for anyone who has met Laozi's 'dark' mind and wants a closer look."Andrew Schelling, author of The Cane Groves of Narmada River: Erotic Poems from Old India
and Tea Shack Interior: New and Selected Poetry
"This is a work of great creativity and impressive scholarship. He has achieved a translation that replicates, as closely as possible, the literary merit of the original, its rhythms and its rhymes. He repeatedly brings to our attention fresh insights and interpretations that deserve careful consideration. Roberts not only makes use of the Mawangdui manuscripts but, even more importantly, the recent Guodian finds, the latter opening a whole new page in Laozi Studies."Stephen Durrant, Professor of Asian Studies at the University of Oregon and author of The Cloudy Mirror: Tension and Conflict in the Writing of Sima Qian
"Moss Roberts' commentary is provocative and compelling. The scholarship informing the work is solid, but like the Dao De Jing itself, the scholarship is not flaunted, but rather subservient to the messages of the text itself." Hoyt Tillman, Professor of History, Arizona State University.
"This new translation of the Dao De Jing is an exceptional literary effort, capable of reinvigorating the English version of the text both as literature and as philosophy, while also bringing new scholarly insight to the meaning of the work. Professor Roberts' combination of linguistic expertise and poetic sensitivity and skill is rare and special, and should win this translation a large and appreciative audience."John Major, author of Heaven and Earth in Early Han Thought, China Chic: East Meets West , and co-editor of World Poetry
"Reading Professor Moss Roberts's new translation of Dao De Jing gives one a sense of pleasure and surprise. He is a diligent and rigorous scholar, while at the same time possessing a poetic acuity to deeply penetrate the words and read between the lines
. His superior translation has deepened my own comprehension of this famous Chinese classic."Fang Ping, former editor-in-chief, Shanghai Literary Translations Press
Dao De Jing
is one of the richest, most suggestive, and most popular works of philosophy and literature. Composed in China between the late sixth and the late fourth centuries b.c., its enigmatic verses have inspired artists, philosophers, poets, religious thinkers, and general readers down to our own times. This new translation, both revelatory and authentic, captures much of the beauty and nuance of the original work. In an extensive and accessible commentary to his translation, Moss Roberts reveals new depths of Dao De Jing.
This edition is distinguished by the literary quality of the translation, its new renderings for a number of the stanzas, and by Roberts's knowledgeable contextualizations. Utilizing recently discovered manuscripts and Chinese scholarship based on them, he is able to shed new light on the work's historical and philosophical contexts. This translation shows that Dao De Jing is far more than a work of personal inspiration; it is also a work of universal scope that makes penetrating comments on politics, statecraft, cosmology, aesthetics, and ethics. Roberts brings these themes to our attention, shows how they are integrated into the work as a whole, and demonstrates the relevance of these topics for our own times.
About the Author
Moss Roberts is Professor of Chinese at New York University. He has translated the classic novel Three Kingdoms, published by University of California Press in both unabridged (California, 1991, 2000, copublished with Foreign Languages Press) and abridged (California, 1999) editions. He is also the editor and translator of Chinese Fairy Tales and Fantasies (1979).
Table of Contents
Dao De Jing