: Zhuangzi: Basic Writings (): Zhuangzi, Burton Watson: Books. The Complete Works of Zhuangzi (Translations from the Asian Classics) [Burton Watson] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Only by. Zhuangzi elucidates this mystical philosophy through humor, parable, and Burton Watson’s conversion to pinyin in this book brings the text in line with how.

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As a craftsman and as a poet, he has inspired and challenged two generations. Burton Watson has taught at Columbia, Stanford, and Kyoto Universities and is one of the world’s best-known translators of Chinese and Japanese works. Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?

Only by inhabiting Dao the Way of Nature and dwelling in its unity can humankind achieve true happiness and freedom, in both life and death. To be free, individuals must discard rigid distinctions between good and bad, right and wrong, and follow a course of action not motivated by gain or striving. When one ceases to judge events as good or bad, man-made suffering disappears and natural suffering is embraced as part of life.

Zhuangzi elucidates this mystical philosophy through humor, parable, and anecdote, deploying non sequitur and even nonsense to illuminate a truth beyond the boundaries of ordinary logic. Boldly imaginative and inventively worded, the Zhuangzi floats free of its historical period and society, addressing the spiritual nourishment of all people across time.

One of the most justly celebrated texts of the Chinese tradition, the Zhuangzi is read by thousands of English-language scholars each year, yet only in the Wade-Giles romanization. Burton Watson’s pinyin romanization brings the text in line with how Chinese scholars, and an increasing number of other scholars, read it. Read more Read less. Add both to Cart Add both to List. One of these items ships sooner than the other.

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Burton Watson, Zhuangzi: Basic Writings – PhilPapers

Customers who bought this item also bought. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. Wandering on the Way. Translations from the Asian Classics Hardcover: Columbia University Press December 3, Language: Don’t have a Kindle? Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features: Share your thoughts with other customers.

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Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. Chuang-tzu’s butterfly dream anticipated by years the argument that Descartes reasoned through in reaching his Dictum, “Cogito ergo sum”. Along with the Baghavad-Gita as well as the Brihadaranyaka and Chandogya Upanishads Paul Deussen’s magisterial German translationsand together with Dostoevsky’s entire work, the Chuang-tzu corpus forms the very philosophic framework for a spiritual, intellectual Way.

Unless one can read the original, ancient bamboo manuscripts as can one of my own dear friends — who has a classical education from a major Taiwanese universityone should rely on both the translation of Columbia University’s Burton Watson and that of the magisterial Victor H. Mair University of Pennsylvaniaentitled, “Wandering the Way: Both Burton Watson and Victor H.


Chuang Tzu

Mair do a masterful job of rendering the entire remaining corpus of Chuang-zu. One gains the better insight by reading the entire corpus fully through with Watson or Mair, followed in tandem by reading the other clear through.

If one has mastery of German, I would highly recommend adding a third reading to the tandem, namely, the classical translation from the early Sinologist, Richard Wilhelm, “Dschuang Dsi: There is no newer good German translation. In Germany, one relies upon the translation of Wilhelm accompanied by a German translation of the edition of Victor H. Mair, which underscores Mair’s international reputation.

Zhuangzi: Basic Writings

Chuang-tzu is an inexhaustable resource. One should advert to the entire work of Chuang-tzu repeatedly and often to clarify one’s own reasoning process. Often one sticks to the “Inner Chapters”. The more so that there is much dispute about additions and insertions, or even authenticity, in the Middle and Outer Chapters.

If one skips the Middle and Outer Chapters, one misses some of the classic tales, parables and insights of the Chuang-tzu corpus. But there is no denying the uniqueness zhuangai the Inner Chapters, and they deserve their special status. The Inner Chapters begin with the mystery of the K’un and the P’eng and humorosly compares the Great bird’s majestic flight with the self-satisfied hops of the cicada and the dovelet.

That parable– well to be pondered– sets the tone for what comes. But one is well advised to persevere qatson the entire work and to read the full translations in tandem all three, if one has mastery of English and German — but at least read together warson Watson and Mair translations.

Watson and Mair translate with clarity, simplicity and project the dear humanity, cheer and humor of Chuang-tzu. The closest Western analogues that occur to me are the works of Epictetus and the Parmenides Dialogue of Plato. The sum of it is that Chuang-tzu is truly in the world’s classical, philosophical canon, and the reader is very well served by Watson and Mair. Nice burtonn readable translation.

An excellent reading for mind and brain. One person found this helpful. Bought this for a zhangzi. Zhuangzi is one of the deepest, most relevant, most playful, and all around best philosophers who ever lived.

He deserves a place in everyone’s library, and this is the translation of Zhuangzi that conveys his watosn with the least interpolation technically, these are unattributed words circulated by an unknown Taoist community he founded, but why nitpick? There are a few errors here and there but there is no attempt to shove the wonderful stories of the original into European philosophical categories.

Best of all, Watson conveys Zhuangzi the way the Chinese understand him, and lets us know when he has used Chinese commentary to figure out confusing parts of the text. It is worth noting that this was originally published inand most of the translations published after then are based in part on this one. This would’ve been such a slamdunk 5 stars.


But unfortunately, this was written by more than one guy under the name “Zhuangzi. The other is a dull partypooper. I really like Zhuangzi –he’s a thoughtful, funny, frustrating, and anarchic old guy who’s just tired of everyday BS. He tells confusing, entertaining nonsense stories and leaves it to the reader to figure out what the hell he’s talking about.

Some of my favorite stories: He talks to the skull in his dreams and asks the skull if it wants to come back to life and see his family and friends again. The skulls says to buzz off. Zhuangzi says of course the king gave the doctor hundreds of carriages — zhiangzi must have been licking the king’s hemorrhoids. Who knows what new shapes his body will take? Maybe his hand will become a crossbow. Maybe his butt will become cartwheels and he can hook himself up to a horse!

They notice he doesn’t have eyes, ears, nostrils, or a mouth. So they drill a new hole into him each day. On the budton day, the blob dies. But the other “Zhuangzi” is a boring, dry fart of a commentator. It’s like if right after Jesus told the parable of the Prodigal Son, St. Peter bellies up to the zhuagzi and explains God will love you even if you’re a dick.

Like frogs, parables are a lot less fun when they’re dissected. So honestly, if you want to read Zhuangzi, read Watson’s Basic Writings of Zhuangzi, which snips out the weaker parts. Either way, for something over two thousand years old, it sure feels evergreen. The subversive power of Zhuangzi’s stories is they’re so innocuously silly that they’ll slip right underneath some people’s noses, but even a kid can understand the importance of a dude’s buttcheeks becoming cartwheels.

Burton Watson (ed.), Chuang Tzu – PhilPapers

This book, the Zhuangzi, is the most profound book I have ever read in my life. If you like philosophy, then you should read this book as a capstone after reading a bunch watxon other philosophers.

It addresses the deepest questions in philosophy, for both theoretical reason and practical reason. It’s the kind of book that will burtno you seeing things in a tangibly different way after you set it down and walk around outside. See all 10 reviews.

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