FEEDBACK

Classical Chinese Poetry and Prose: Laws Divine and Human

Price: $25.53 $17.94 (Save $7.59)
Quantity:
Add to Wishlist

Author: Xu Yuanchong;
Language: Chinese, English
Format: 22.2 x 15.6 x 4 cm
Page: 310
Publication Date: 01/2018
ISBN: 9787508538945
Details
Ancient Chinese classic poems are exquisite works of art. As far as 2,000 years ago, Chinese poets composed the beautiful work Book of Poetry and Elegies of the South, Later, they created more splendid Tang poetry and Song lyrics. Such classic works as Thus Spoke the Master and Laws: Divine and Human were extremely significant in building and shaping the culture of the Chinese nation. These works are both a cultural bond linking the thoughts and affections of Chinese people and an important bridge for Chinese culture and the world. Mr. Xu Yuanchong has been engaged in translation for 70 years. In December 2010, he won the Lifetime Achievement Award in Translation conferred by the Translators Association of China (TAC). He is honored as the only expert who translates Chinese poems into both English and French. After his excellent interpretation, many Chinese classic poems have been further refined into perfect English and French rhymes. This collection of Classical Chinese Poetry and Prose gathers his most representative English translations. It includes the classic works Thus Spoke the Master, Laws: Divine and Human and dramas such as Romance of the Western Bower, Dream in Peony Pavilion, Love in Long-life Hall and Peach Blossom Painted with Blood. The largest part of the collection includes the translation of selected poems from different dynasties. The selection includes various types of poems, lyrics and Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasty songs. The selected works start from the pre-Qin era to the Qing Dynasty, covering almost the entire history of classic poems in China. Reading these works is like tasting 'living water from the source' of Chinese culture. We hope this collection will help English readers 'know, love and appreciate' Chinese classic poems, share the intelligence of Confucius and Lao Tzu, share the gracefulness of Tang Dynasty poems, Song lyrics and classic operas and songs and promote exchanges between Eastern and Western culture. This book is one of the 14 books of Classical Chinese Poetry and Prose, a translation of Confucian classics Thus Spoke the Master.
 
Sample Pages Preview

Chapter XXI
The content of great virtue
conforms to the divine law.
The divine law is something
which seems to be and not to be.
What seems to exist and does not exist?
It is the image.
What seems not to exist but exists?
It is the image of something.
What seems deep and dark?
It is the essence.
The essence is very true,
for we believe in it.
From ancient times to present day
its name cannot be erased
so that we know the fathers of all things.
How can I know
what these fathers look like?
By means of this.
Chapter XXII
Stooping, you will be preserved.
Wronged, you will be righted.
Hollow, you will be filled.
Worn out, you will be renewed.
Having little, you may gain;
having much, you may be at a loss.
So the sage holds on to one to be the model for the world.
He does not show himself,
so he is seen everywhere.
He does not assert himself,
so he is well-known.
He does not boast,
so he wins success.
He is not proud,
so he can lead.
As he contends for nothing,
none in the world could contend with him.
Is it not true for the ancients to say,
“Stooping, you will be preserved”?
It is indeed the whole truth to which lead all the ways.
二十一章
孔德之容,惟道是从①。道之为物②,惟恍惟惚③。惚兮恍兮,其中有象④。恍兮惚兮,其中有物⑤。窈兮冥兮,其中有精⑥。其精甚真,其中有信⑦。自今及古,其名不去⑧,以顺众父⑨。吾何以知众父之然也⑩?以此。
【章旨】
此章仍是老子对“道”的描述说明:大道虽然窈冥恍惚,不可闻见,不可触摸,但其中确实有着真切具体的物象,而且这物象是可以验证而真实不虚的。从古到今,它都顺适着万事万物的生长变化而不曾脱离。因此,有德的君王必须“惟道是从”。
【注释】
①孔德之容,惟道是从——谓存有大德的君王,其行政施教,治国化民,只是顺从于大“道”。孔德,大德,此指能体道行德的君王。容,动作,行动。指君王的行政施教。
②道之为物——谓“道”之成为“道”这个东西。为物,成为其物。此谓由材质、形状、声音、动作、性情等各方面组成为一个具体之物。按:“道”本非具体“物”,今称其为“物”,乃为便于申言其义。
③惟恍惟惚——即恍恍惚惚,义同仿仿佛佛,模模糊糊。形容“道”的幽微玄妙,似有似无,可知而不可见,能说又说不清楚的样子。
④其中有象——意谓于惚恍不明之中又确实存在着可以感觉到的物象。
⑤其中有物——谓大道虽然惚恍不明,而其中确实有着内在的、可以察知到的、具体实在的物状。
⑥窈兮冥兮,其中有精——谓大道虽然幽隐不明,若有若无,而其中则有真实确切的东西存在着。窈,通“幽”。窈冥,即幽冥,形容道之深邃幽远、隐微玄妙。有精,帛书本作“有请”,并当读作“有情”,谓的确有着真实的物状存在,而并非是虚妄的。情,实情,真情。指事物的真实情况。
⑦其精甚真,其中有信——指“道”的存在是确信不疑的,确实不虚的,而且是有事实验证的。精,假为“情”。真,真实不虚,真切确实。有信,有征信,有验证。大道之运行变化有其客观规律可循,大道之化生万物有其确切效用可察,故言“有信”。
⑧其名不去——指“道”的名称从未脱离其实体。古人认为“名者,明其实也”,名、实总是相副相应的。道之为物,自古至今都确实存在,一直都在发挥着其功用而未曾停止,因此“道”的称名确是名副其实而未曾脱离的。
⑨顺众父——即顺众始,谓依循于万物的产生、出现而不曾脱离。顺,顺从,依循。众父,指天地万物;亦作“甫”。众物之始,指天地万物之由道而生。
⑩何以知众父之然——意谓根据什么知道天地万物皆自“道”而出的这个情状呢?然,指物之如此之状态,事之如此之情形。
【译文】
身有大德而为天下所拥戴的君王,其行政施教只是依循顺从于大道而已。“道”这个东西的形象特征,实在是惚恍不明而难以言状。然而,其惚恍之中却有可以感觉到的物象出现,其仿佛之间则有确确实实的具体物状存在。于窈冥幽隐之中,又处处体现出“道”的功用。并且它的功用都非常真切,确实可信而毫无虚妄。从今至古,“道”一直都确定无疑地存在着,并且经历了世间万物自始至终的发展变化。天地万物莫不由之而始,亦莫不由之而成。我何以认识和了解这个“道”呢?就是根据这些(天地万物生长变化的情况及其所反映出的客观规律)。
二十二章
曲则全①,枉则直②;洼则盈,敝则新③;少则得,多则惑。是以圣人抱一为天下式④。不自见,故明⑤;不自是,故彰⑥;不自伐,故有功⑦;不自矜,故能长⑧。夫唯不争,故天下莫能与之争。古之所谓“曲则全”者,岂虚言哉⑨?诚全而归之⑩。
【章旨】
此章引用古语并引申其义以论说事物相反相成之理,进而阐明君王当循守大道而清静无为以治理天下的道理,并以此告诫君王须谦卑处下,无欲不争。
【注释】
①曲则全——此以事物之能曲者则成其全体而得其全安,比喻君王委屈其身而守辱处下,则能全其大德。曲,弯曲,委屈。全,完全,保全。若柔弱其身,委曲其行,使顺从于外物而适应于环境,自然就能保全自己而不受伤害。如若刚强直行,必然会碰得头破血流,伤痕累累。
②枉则直——此以弯曲其物使之正直的现象,比喻君王虽屈身处下而其德行则能正直而立。枉,邪曲,弯曲。此用作动词,谓用力使物弯曲。“矫枉必须过正,不过正不能矫枉。”枉曲其物而使之超过本然之正,松手后才能依其弹性恢复其正直之态,故“枉则直”。



Preface

Preface
Li Er, the Old Master (571–500 BC), twenty years older than Confucius(551–479 BC), was a great philosopher of ancient China. His Laws Divine and Human of 5,000 words in 81 chapters is an influential philosophical work in the world. This book has many English translations. So far I have read four different versions, namely, The Way and Its Power by Arthur Waley Published in 1934, Lao Zi the Book of Tao and Teh published by Peking University Press in 1995, Tao Te Ching published by Liaoning University Press in 1996, and the Classic of the Dao, A New Investigation published by Foreign Languages Press in 1998. All these versions are literal translations, and the key word is phonetically transcribed as “tao” or “dao”, except for Waley who translates it as “the way”. This cannot be easily understood by the modern reader. In reality, the key word means law, divine law, natural law or truth. In the very beginning of the first chapter of his book, Lao Zi says: “The divine law may be spoken of, but it is not the common law.” By common law Lao Zi means those enforced by human beings. So we may see the difference between divine and human laws. The divine law is objective truth which does not depend on human will for its existence, while human laws do. The former may be called natural philosophy, while the latter social philosophy. The former will not change when the latter does. That is the reason why the Old Master says that the divine law is not the common law. Based on such interpretation, I have translated the Old Master’s Laws Divine and Human as I understand it, so that it may be easily understood by the modern reader.
What is the divine law? The Od Master says in Chapter 4 that the divine law is formless, its use is inexhaustible; it is endless, whence come all things. That is to say, the divine law is abstract, empty and formless, but it can be embodied in concrete things, so its use is inexhaustible like an unfulfillable abyss, for it is deep, bottomless, endless, boundless, whence come all concrete things. Thus we see the divine law inwardly and outwardly.
In Chapter 37 the Old Master says that the divine law will not interfere, so there is nothing it cannot do. Non-interference is an important principle of the Old Master’s philosophy. Only when the law does not interfere can all things develop freely. So the law should always be inactive so as to let all things be active. The activity of all things is the result of the law’s inaction or non-interference. The law’s inaction provides the condition for the activity of all things. When we say there is nothing the law cannot do, we mean that the activity of all things are the embodiment of the divine law. In Chapter 2 the Old Master says more concretely, “Therefore the sage does everything without interference, teaches everyone without persuasion, and lets everything begin uninitiated and grow unpossessed. Everything is done without being his deed, and succeeds without being his success.” And the Old Master sums up in Chapter 57: “Therefore the sage says, ‘If I do nothing wrong, the people will go the right way.’” Thus we see “to rule by inaction or non-interference” is an important principle of the Old Master’s political philosophy.
As a result of inaction, the Old Master advocates non-contention. In Chapter 8 he says, “The highest good (virtue) is like water. Water benefits everything by giving without taking or contending. It likes the low place others dislike, so it follows closely the divine law.” Here virtue is compared to water which flows to a low place without contending for a high position. Thus the virtue of non-contention conforms to the divine law. In Chapter 22 the Old Master says, “He who does not show himself is seen everywhere. He who does not assert himself is well-known. He who does not boast wins success. He who is not proud can lead. As he contends for nothing, none in the world could contend with him.” This further illustrates his principle of non-contention or his economis philosophy. If nobody should contend for personal gain or selfish profit, then there would be a lasting peace in the world.
How can the principle of non-contention be carried out? The Old Master puts forward the rules to be observed in Chapter 19: “Be simple and plain, selfless and desireless.” If you can control or subdue your desire, of course you will not contend for personal profit. That is the reason why the Old Master says in Chapter 1, “So we should be free from desires in order to understand the internal mystery of the divine law, and we should have desires in order to observe the external manifestaions.” Only when you understand

老子姓李名耳,公元前6世纪人(571—500BC),大约比孔子(551—479BC)早生二十年,是古代中国伟大的哲学家。他的《道德经》五千言,八十一章,是世界上影响巨大的哲学经典。这部书中外译文很多,我只见到英国韦理的译本,国内则有北京大学出版社1995年的《老子道德经》,辽宁大学出版社1996年的《英译老子》,外文出版社1998年的《老子思想新释》等。这些译本多是逐字直译,各有独到之处;但除韦理把“道”解释为“道路”外,其他译本的“道”都是音译。在我看来,“道”字是本书的关键词,如果音译,则本书的精义损失太大,应该用现代人理解的词语来翻译,才能使老子的思想在全世界流传。其实,“道”是天道、道理、真理、自然规律的意思。《老子》第一章开宗明义就说:“道可道,非常道。”第一个“道”字指天道或自然规律,第三个“道”字却指人间正道或社会规律。自然规律不依人的主观意志为转移,而社会规律、伦理道德却是根据人的需要来确定的。因此老子说:道非常道。意思就是:天道有常,不为尧存,不为桀亡;自然规律不会因为人的好坏而改变。根据这种解释,我把老子《道德经》重新译成现代读者更容易理解的英文。
如何理解“道”呢?《老子》第四章说:“道冲,而用之又不盈也;渊兮似万物之宗。”这四句话包括了“渊冲”两个字在内。“冲”者虚也,就是空虚无物,无形无影,却又用之不尽,取之不竭。“渊”者深也,就是广博深奥,包罗万象,所以像是万物的根源。这两个字说明了“道”的内涵和外表。
《老子》第三十七章说: “ 道常无为, 而无不为。”“无为”不是无所作为,而是不干涉万物的作为,让万物自由发展的意思。所以“道”常无为而万物有为。万物有为是道无为的结果,道无为是万物有为的条件。说“道”无不为,是说万物的作为都是“道”的体现:“道”是抽象的,万物是具体的,万物的所作所为都是“道”的具体化。这是老子重要的哲学思想。第二章中说得更加具体:“是以圣人处无为之事,行不言之教。万物作而弗始也,为而弗恃也,成功而弗居也。”这就是说,圣人做事,从不干涉别人;他不说话,却能教育别人。万物不用圣人启动,自然会有所作为;万物生长发展,并不属于圣人所有;万物有所作为,圣人并不居功。所以第五十七章总结说:“是以圣人之言曰:我无为而民自化。”这就是说:只要圣人不犯错误,不横加干涉,人民自然会走上正确的道路。无为而治,是老子重要的政治思想。
因为无为,所以不争。《老子》第八章说:“上善若水。水善利万物而不争,处众人之所恶,故几于‘道’矣。”这里把最高的善德比作水,水对万物有利,而不和万物争利;水往低处流,处在众人不喜欢的地位,而不和万物争夺上方。这种不争的善德,就接近于无为的天道了。第二十二章又说:“不自见,故明;不自是,故彰;不自伐,故有功;不自矜,故能长。夫唯不争,故天下莫能与之争。”这就更进一步,说不表现自己,所以看得清楚,别人也能看得明白;不自以为是,反能为人理解;不吹嘘自己,反而能够成功;不居功自傲,反而能够领导别人。如果你不争名夺利,争功夺位,天下还有谁能和你争呢?不争利是老子重要的经济思想。如果国家都像水一样,不和别国争高低;如果人不争夺私利,只利万物,那天下就可以太平了。
如何才能做到不争呢?老子又提出了寡欲的思想。第十九章说:“少私寡欲。”可见老子所说的欲,指的是自私自利的欲望,不是利人利己的思想。所以第一章才说:“故恒无欲也,以观其妙;恒有欲也,以观其所噭。”因为没有私心和偏见,才能理解“道”内在的奥妙;只有无私的欲望,才能观察“道”外在的表现。
如何才能做到寡欲呢?老子又提出了知足的理论。第三十三章说:“知人者智也,自知者明也;胜人者有力也,自胜者强也。知足者富也。”为什么要知足呢?因为知道自己比知道别人更难,战胜自己也比战胜别人更难,在心理上了解自己,战胜自己的欲望,那所得到的满足,可以算是精神上的智者、强者、富者了。第四十六章又说:“祸莫大于不知足,咎莫憯于欲得。故知足之足,恒足矣。”这是从反面来说,若不知足,贪得无厌,反而会引起祸事。所以知道应该满足,不该贪得,那反而是富足的。
无为,不争,寡欲,知足,是老子的人生观。客观上说来,老子却具有辩证统一的世界观。如第二章说:“有、无之相生也,难、易之相成也,长、短之相形也,高、下之相盈也。”说的就是:有无,难易,长短,高下,都是相对的,没有难就无所谓易,没有长就无所谓短,没有高就无所谓下。所以第二十二章又说:“曲则全,枉则直;洼则盈,敝则新;少则得,多则惑。”这就是说:委屈才能求全,矫枉才能得正,空洼才能盈满,破旧才能革新,太少才会增加,太多反会损失。这种相反相成的观点,使老子得出了刚柔相济的结论。

Classical Chinese Poetry and Prose: Laws Divine and Human
$17.94