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Book Of Chuang Tzu [Paperback]

Martin Palmer
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Paperback, March 7 1996 --  
There is a newer edition of this item:
Penguin Classics Book Of Chuang Tzu Penguin Classics Book Of Chuang Tzu 4.6 out of 5 stars (10)
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Book Description

March 7 1996 Arkana
A Chinese classic, the "Chuang Tzu" was written sometime in the 14th century BC, and consists of original teachings, stories, tales and jokes told by Master Chuang, as well as others which have coalesced round his name. It is considered second only to the "Tao Te Ching", but the two books coundn't be more different. Where the "Tao Te Ching" is distant and proverbial in style, the "Chuang Tze" buzzes with life and with insights, often with considerable humour behind them. "Chuang Tzu"'s development of what later became known as Taoism lies in his advocacy of change as fundamental to life, and of the desire to cling on to things as being the basic problem of suffering and fustration. His writing combines wisdom and wit, and does not present a case so much as engage in argument and debate with the reader.

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About the Author

The Taoist author named Chuang-tzu is estimated to have lived in the fourth century BCE, between 399 and 255 BCE. Martin Palmer is Director of the International Consultancy on Religion, Education and Culture. Currently he is working with the China Taoist Association on a project to protect the main Taoist sacred Mountains of China. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars great book Feb. 25 2012
Format:Paperback
considering the age of this text id have to say that it is probably one of the best books that exists, at least that i have read. we really havent come very far since then. unfortunately most other books might seem shallow in comparison. but then, there are probably too many books anyway. also, im only speaking about western literature, and not dostoyevski.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five stars aint enough! Jan. 8 2004
By Frikle
Format:Paperback
Fantastic!
Chuang Tzu is considered to have been a follower of the Taoist school of thought, influenced by Lao Tzu. However, we know much more about Chuang Tzu. He can be said to fit the classic ideal of a Taoist as a carefree ascetic with a sense of humour living in the forest in harmony with nature. This is certainly the portrayal of him in the book.
It is unclear who wrote the work and many authorities consider only the first few chapters as authentic. That's why it's good to get a translation that covers all the chapters as from reading them it's possible to get the feeling that even if are were a forgery, they are a worthwhile, beautiful forgery.
There are some footnotes but the book itself is large sections of narrative/prose/poetry that requires little external explanation. The translation probably leans towards poetic paraphrase over precise equality which I think is good for classic texts. The illustrations are great and really enhance the value of the book as a coherent whole.
A book of moving, funny, sad, chaotic, intuitive parables, stories, allegories and anecdotes that feel like they're speaking to you directly from over 2000 years ago.
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4.0 out of 5 stars not the best - but still good April 30 2003
By Bao Pu
Format:Paperback
I prefer Burton Watson's translation to Palmer and Breuilly's, especially after reading parts in the Chinese text. But Palmer and Breuilly won't steer U wrong though. No, this is a decent translation of the entire text, which is not a common sight! Only Burton Watson, James Legge, and Victor Mair have put out complete Zhuangzi translations. AC Graham's translation is also quite good.
BAO PU-
embrace simplicity
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5.0 out of 5 stars Marvelous! June 3 2001
Format:Paperback
As a long-time Chuang-Tzu enthusiast, I thoroughly enjoyed this translation. I imagine this would be very enjoyable to the general reader; I have read many commentaries on the meaning of Chuang-Tzu's philosophy (Victor Mair's, Allinson's, Wing-Tsit Chan's, A.C. Graham's, etc.) so my perspective is "biased" in particular way- I like the absurdity and relativistic notions, sort of a Lewis Carroll point of view. This translation fits in with my predilictions nicely. Chuang-tzu takes some pondering, and any translation that makes it too simple is doing the reader an injustice. This one captures all the irony and absurdity, yet leaves plenty of room for befuddlement. It contains ALL the chapters, not just the inner ones. Highly recommended!! I keep this by the bed along with The People's Guide to Mexico, another perennial favorite!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Practical Nov. 14 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is a good book. How do I know? Because it is practical that is to say the concepts WORK. For another practical spiritual book I would recommend the book An Encounter With A Prophet
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