Author: Orville Schell
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Release Date: 2014-09-09
Two leading experts on China evaluate its rise throughout the past one hundred fifty years, sharing portraits of key intellectual and political leaders to explain how China transformed from a country under foreign assault to a world giant.
Mencius was one of the great philosophers of ancient China, second only in influence to Confucius, whose teachings he defended and expanded. The Mencius, in which he recounts his dialogues with kings, dukes and military men, as well as other philosophers, is one of the Four Books that make up the essential Confucian corpus. It takes up Confucius's theories of jen, or goodness and yi, righteousness, explaining that the individual can achieve harmony with mankind and the universe by perfecting his innate moral nature and acting with benevolence and justice. Mencius' strikingly modern views on the duties of subjects and their rulers or the evils of war, created a Confucian orthodoxy that has remained intact since the third century BCE.
Epictetus, a Greek stoic and freed slave, ran a thriving philosophy school in Nicropolis in the early second century AD. His animated discussions were celebrated for their rhetorical wizardry and were written down by Arrian, his most famous pupil. Together with the Enchiridion, a manual of his main ideas, and the fragments collected here, The Discourses argue that happiness lies in learning to perceive exactly what is in our power to change and what is not, and in embracing our fate to live in harmony with god and nature. In this personal, practical guide to the ethics of stoicism and moral self-improvement, Epictetus tackles questions of freedom and imprisonment, illness and fear, family, friendship and love, and leaves an intriguing document of daily life in the classical world.
Author: Mo Zi
Publisher: Penguin UK
Release Date: 2013-11-07
A key work of ancient Chinese philosophy is brought back to life in Ian Johnston's compelling and definitive translation, new to Penguin Classics. Very little is known about Master Mo, or the school he founded. However, the book containing his philosphical ideas has survived centuries of neglect and is today recognised as a fundamental work of ancient Chinese philosophy. The book contains sections explaining the ten key doctrines of Mohism; lively dialogues between Master Mo and his followers; discussion of ancient warfare; and an extraordinary series of chapters that include the first examples of logic, dialectics and epistemology in Chinese philosophy. The ideas discussed in The Book of Master Mo - ethics, anti-imperalism, and a political hierarchy based on merit - remain as relevant as ever, and the work is vital to understanding ancient Chinese philosophy. Translator Ian Johnston has an MA in Latin, a PhD in Greek and a PhD in Chinese, and was Associate Professor of Neurosurgery at Sydney University until his retirement. He has published translations of Galen's medical writings, early Chinese poetry (Singing of Scented Grass and Waiting for the Owl), and early Chinese philosophical works (the Mozi and - with Wang Ping - the Daxue and Zhongyong). In 2011 he was awarded the NSW Premier's Prize and the PEN medallion for translation. Unlike previous translations, this version includes the complete text. It also includes an introduction and explanatory end notes. 'A landmark endeavour' Asia Times 'A magnificent and valuable achievement' Journal of Chinese Studies 'Eminently readable and at the same time remarkably accurate...Johnston's work will be the standard for a long time' China Review International 'Compelling and engaging reading...while at the same time preserving the diction and rhetorical style of the original Chinese' New Zealand Journal of Asian Studies
Author: Roger T. Ames
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: 2010-11-24
Genre: Literary Criticism
"To quietly persevere in storing up what is learned, to continue studying without respite, to instruct others without growing weary--is this not me?" --Confucius Confucius is recognized as China's first and greatest teacher, and his ideas have been the fertile soil in which the Chinese cultural tradition has flourished. Now, here is a translation of the recorded thoughts and deeds that best remember Confucius--informed for the first time by the manuscript version found at Dingzhou in 1973, a partial text dating to 55 BCE and only made available to the scholarly world in 1997. The earliest Analects yet discovered, this work provides us with a new perspective on the central canonical text that has defined Chinese culture--and clearly illuminates the spirit and values of Confucius. Confucius (551-479 BCE) was born in the ancient state of Lu into an era of unrelenting, escalating violence as seven of the strongest states in the proto-Chinese world warred for supremacy. The landscape was not only fierce politically but also intellectually. Although Confucius enjoyed great popularity as a teacher, and many of his students found their way into political office, he personally had little influence in Lu. And so he began to travel from state to state as an itinerant philosopher to persuade political leaders that his teachings were a formula for social and political success. Eventually, his philosophies came to dictate the standard of behavior for all of society--including the emperor himself. Based on the latest research and complete with both Chinese and English texts, this revealing translation serves both as an excellent introduction to Confucian thought and as an authoritative addition to sophisticated debate. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Traditionally ascribed to the mythical figure Yu the Great, The Classic of Mountains and Seas (third century B.C. to second century A.D.) brings together a treasure trove of rare data and colorful fiction about the mythical figures, rituals, medicine, natural history, and ethnic peoples of the ancient world. The Classic narrates episodes of 204 mythical figures, notably the gods Foremost, Fond Care, and Yellow, and goddesses like the fearsome Queen Mother of the West and the doomed Girl Lovely, the nurturing solar and lunar goddesses, and many others unknown outside this text. This eclectic work also contains crucial information on early medicine (with cures for impotence and infertility), omens to avert catastrophe, rites of sacrifice, and familiar and unidentified plants and animals. In sum, the Classic is a spectacular guided tour of the known world in antiquity, moving outward from the famous mountains of central China to the lands "beyond the seas."
Author: Annping Chin
Publisher: Yale University Press
Release Date: 2009
"For more than two thousand years, Confucius (551- 479 B.C.) has been a fundamental part of China's history. His influence as a moral thinker remains powerful to this day. Yet despite his fame and the perennial interest in his life and teachings, Confucius the man has been elusive, and no definitive biography has emerged. In this book, the scholar and writer Annping Chin negotiates centuries of reconstructions, guess-work, and numerous Chinese texts in order to establish an absorbing and original account of the thinker's life and legacy. [In this book] Chin brings the historical Confucius within reach so that he can lead us into his idea of the moral and explain his timeless teachings on family and politics, culture and learning. Confucius is the culmination of years of research, a book that makes an important and fascinating contribution to biography and Chinese history."--Book cover.
Author: Andrew H. Plaks
Publisher: Penguin UK
Release Date: 2003-12-04
Genre: Literary Criticism
Ta Hsüeh (Daxue) and Chung Yung (Zhongyong) are two of the central texts of early Chinese thought, encapsulating the Confucian philosophy of the Way of moral cultivation and spiritual attainment. Traditionally held to be the work of two of Confucius's closest disciples, the books were compiled in their present form late in the second or first century bce and have occupied a central position in educational, political, and cultural life throughout East Asia for almost a thousand years. The texts focus on the connection between internal self-cultivation and the external realization of one's moral core in the fulfillment of the practical aims of Confucian life: the observance of ritual, the proper conduct of personal relationships, and the grand enterprise of maintaining order in the state and the world. Includes introduction, chronological table, suggestions for further reading, notes, and appendices on basic concepts and method of argument These two texts complete the set of the four Confucian classics in Penguin Classics
On the shrouded corpse hung a tablet of green topaz with the inscription: 'I am Shaddad the Great. I conquered a thousand cities; a thousand white elephants were collected for me; I lived for a thousand years and my kingdom covered both east and west, but when death came to me nothing of all that I had gathered was of any avail. You who see me take heed: for Time is not to be trusted.' Dating from at least a millennium ago, these are the earliest known Arabic short stories, surviving in a single, ragged manuscript in a library in Istanbul. Some found their way into The Arabian Nights but most have never been read in English before. Tales of the Marvellous and News of the Strange has monsters, lost princes, jewels beyond price, a princess turned into a gazelle, sword-wielding statues and shocking reversals of fortune.
More or less 150 years after Homer's Iliad, Sappho lived on the island of Lesbos, west off the coast of what is present Turkey. Little remains today of her writings, which are said to have filled nine papyrus rolls in the great library at Alexandria some 500 years after her death. The surviving texts consist of a lamentably small and fragmented body of lyric poetry - among them poems of invocation, desire, spite, celebration, resignation and remembrance - that nevertheless enables us to hear the living voice of the poet Plato called the tenth Muse. This is a new translation of her surviving poetry.
Author: David Grossman
Release Date: 2016-03-22
Genre: Political Science
What went wrong after Oslo? How can Israelis and Palestinians make peace? How has the violence changed their lives, and their souls? In Death as a Way of Life, David Grossman, one of Israel's great fiction writers, has addressed these questions in a series of passionate essays and articles, writing not only as one of his country's most respected novelists and commentators, but as a husband and father and peace activist bitterly disappointed in the leaders of both sides.
Probably the most popular book in the history of the Far East, this classic sixteenth century novel is a combination of picaresque novel and folk epic that mixes satire, allegory, and history into a rollicking adventure. It is the story of the roguish Monkey and his encounters with major and minor spirits, gods, demigods, demons, ogres, monsters, and fairies. This translation, by the distinguished scholar Arthur Waley, is the first accurate English version; it makes available to the Western reader a faithful reproduction of the spirit and meaning of the original.