The Book of Change
“The I Ching is nothing less than a dance with mystery,” writes David Hinton in the introduction to his beautiful and accessible rendering of this seminal Chinese text. “It is an experience of consciousness woven into the Cosmos.”
For centuries, the deceptively simple hexagrams of the I Ching have been used as divination texts. Yet this was not its most important function. Composed approximately 1150 B.C.E., the I Ching was seen by Chinese intellectuals—artists, writers, thinkers, monks—principally as a repository of ancient wisdom, one that came to profoundly shape Chinese culture.
Now, in this radical new translation, Hinton strips this masterwork of the usual thicket of scholarship and instruction and restores its lyrical form. Teasing out an elegant vision of the universe as ever-changing yet harmonious, Hinton conjures a fully-realized work of poetic philosophy, and reveals the seed from which Chinese philosophy, poetry, and painting grew. The result is brimming with wild imagery, fables, aphorisms, and stories.
With elegant renderings of the hexagrams, a brief orientation on how to consult the work, and an introduction that places it in historical and philosophical context, David Hinton’s I Ching is a landmark work of Chinese literature and an astonishing meditation on the mystery of change. Acclaimed for the eloquence of his many translations of ancient Chinese poetry and philosophy, Hinton has reinvented the I Ching as an exciting text of boundless contemporary resonance.
— from the book jacket
Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Praise for I Ching
“[Hinton is a] rare example of a literary Sinologist—that is, a classical scholar thoroughly conversant with, and connected to, contemporary literature in English.”
—Eliot Weinberger (New York Review of Books)