Tao Te Ching

 

Having masterfully translated a wide range of ancient Chinese poets and philosophers, David Hinton is uniquely qualified to offer the definitive contemporary English version of Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching. Like all of his translations, Hinton's translation of the Tao Te Ching is mind-opening, presenting startling new dimensions in this widely-influential text. He shows how Lao Tzu's spirituality is structured around the generative life-force, for example, and that this system of thought weaves the human into natural process at the deepest levels of being, thereby revealing the Tao Te Ching as an originary text in deep feminist and ecological thought.

 

Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching is not only the single most important text ever composed in China, it is probably the most influential spiritual text in human history. In the past, virtually all translations of this text have been produced either by sinologists having little poetic facility in English, or writers having no ability to read the original Chinese. Hinton's fluency in ancient Chinese and his acclaimed poetic ability provide him the essential qualifications. Together, they allow a breathtaking new translation that reveals how remarkably current and even innovative this text is after 2500 years.

 

This is one in a series of translations presenting the four central masterworks of ancient Chinese thought. Highly regarded for the poetic fluency he brings to his work, David Hinton is the only twentieth-century translator to render these four masterworks: Tao Te Ching, Chuang Tzu, Analects, Mencius. These new versions are not only inviting and immensely readable, they also apply much-needed consistency to key terms in these texts, lending structural links and philosophical rigor heretofore unavailable in English. Breathing fresh life into these classics, Hinton's new translations will stand as the definitive series for our era.

 

                       — from the book jacket

 

Counterpoint