XUNZI BASIC WRITINGS TRANSLATIONS FROM THE ASIAN CLASSICS
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Xunzi asserted that the original nature of man is evil, differing on this point from Mencius, his famous predecessor in the Confucian school. In the most complete, well-ordered philosophical system of his day, Xunzi advocated the counteraction of man's evil through self-improvement, the pursuit of learning, the avoidance of obsession, and observance of ritual in life. Readers familiar with Xunzi's work will find that Burton Watson's lucid translation breathes new life into this classic. Those new to Xunzi will find his ideas on government, language, and order and safety in society surprisingly close to concerns of our own age.
Hsün Tzu (born ca. 312 B.C.) provided the dominant philosophical system of his day. Although basically Confucian, he differed with Mencius by asserting that the original nature of man is evil, and also expounded on such subjects as good government, military affairs, Heaven, and music.
Zeami (1363-1443), Japan's most celebrated actor and playwright, composed more than thirty of the finest plays of no drama. He also wrote a variety of texts on theater and performance that have, until now, been only partially available in English. Zeami: Performance Notes presents the full range of Zeami's critical thought on this subject, which focused on the aesthetic values of no and its antecedents, the techniques of playwriting, the place of allusion, the training of actors, the importance of patronage, and the relationship between performance and broader intellectual and critical concerns. Spanning over four decades, the texts reflect the essence of Zeami's instruction under his famous father, the actor Kannami, and the value of his long and challenging career in medieval Japanese theater. Tom Hare, who has conducted extensive studies of no academically and on stage, begins with a comprehensive introduction that discusses Zeami's critical importance in Japanese culture. He then incorporates essays on the performance of no in medieval Japan and the remarkable story of the transmission and reproduction of Zeami's manuscripts over the past six centuries. His eloquent translation is fully annotated and includes Zeami's diverse and exquisite anthology of dramatic songs, Five Sorts of Singing, presented both in English and in the original Japanese.
Author : Mark W. Muesse
ISBN : 9781498232234
Genre : Religion
File Size : 90.37 MB
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Confucius, the Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad are among the most thoughtful and influential people in history. By their words and examples, they have inspired countless individuals to live better and more meaningful lives and have shaped the institutions and worldviews we live in today. Four Wise Men is an accessible introduction to each of these sages in his historical context and a provocative comparison of their lives and teachings. Through careful study, this book examines the ways these fascinating figures speak as one and the ways they differ. Although their voices come from the distant past, they still have wise words to say to us today.
Author : Wm. Theodore de Bary
ISBN : 9780231527194
Genre : History
File Size : 58.13 MB
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Finding Wisdom in East Asian Classics is an essential, all-access guide to the core texts of East Asian civilization and culture. Essays address frequently read, foundational texts in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese, as well as early modern fictional classics and nonfiction works of the seventeenth century. Building strong links between these writings and the critical traditions of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Daoism, this volume shows the vital role of the classics in the shaping of Asian history and in the development of the humanities at large. Wm. Theodore de Bary focuses on texts that have survived for centuries, if not millennia, through avid questioning and contestation. Recognized as perennial reflections on life and society, these works represent diverse historical periods and cultures and include the Analects of Confucius, Mencius, Laozi, Xunxi, the Lotus Sutra, Tang poetry, the Pillow Book, The Tale of Genji, and the writings of Chikamatsu and Kaibara Ekken. Contributors explain the core and most commonly understood aspects of these works and how they operate within their traditions. They trace their reach and reinvention throughout history and their ongoing relevance in modern life. With fresh interpretations of familiar readings, these essays inspire renewed appreciation and examination. In the case of some classics open to multiple interpretations, de Bary chooses two complementary essays from different contributors. Expanding on debates concerning the challenges of teaching classics in the twenty-first century, several pieces speak to the value of Asia in the core curriculum. Indispensable for early scholarship on Asia and the evolution of global civilization, Finding Wisdom in East Asian Classics helps one master the major texts of human thought.
Trenchant, sophisticated, and cynical, Han Feizi has been read in every age and is still of interest today when people are more than ever concerned with the nature and use of power. Han Feizi (280?-233 B.C.), a prince of Han, was a representative of the Fa-chia, or Legalist, school of philosophy and produced the final and most readable exposition of its theories. His handbook for the ruler deals with the problems of strengthening and preserving the state, the way of the ruler, the use of power, and punishment and favor. Ironically, the ruler most influenced by Han Feizi, the king of Qin, eventually sent Han Feizi to prison, where he later committed suicide.
Known throughout East Asia as Mengzi, or "Master Meng," Mencius (391-308 B.C.E.) was a Chinese philosopher of the late Zhou dynasty, an instrumental figure in the spread of the Confucian tradition, and a brilliant illuminator of its ideas. Mencius was active during the Warring States Period (403-221 B.C.E.), in which competing powers sought to control the declining Zhou empire. Like Confucius, Mencius journeyed to one feudal court after another, searching for a proper lord who could put his teachings into practice. Only a leader who possessed the moral qualities of a true king could unify China, Mencius believed, and in his defense of Zhou rule and Confucian philosophy, he developed an innovative and highly nuanced approach to understanding politics, self-cultivation, and human nature, profoundly influencing the course of Confucian thought and East Asian culture. Mencius is a record of the philosopher's conversations with warring lords, disciples, and adversaries of the Way, as well as a collection of pronouncements on government, human nature, and a variety of other philosophical and political subjects. Mencius is largely concerned with the motivations of human actors and their capacity for mutual respect. He builds on the Confucian idea of ren, or humaneness, and places it alongside the complementary principle of yi, or rightness, advancing a complex notion of what is right for certain individuals as they perform distinct roles in specific situations. Consequently, Mencius's impact was felt not only in the thought of the intellectual and social elite but also in the value and belief systems of all Chinese people.
Author : Martha Ann Selby
ISBN : 9780231521581
Genre : Poetry
File Size : 41.42 MB
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Dating from the early decades of the third century C.E., the Ainkurunuru is believed to be the world's earliest anthology of classical Tamil love poetry. Commissioned by a Cera-dynasty king and composed by five masterful poets, the anthology illustrates the five landscapes of reciprocal love: jealous quarreling, anxious waiting and lamentation, clandestine love before marriage, elopement and love in separation, and patient waiting after marriage. Despite its centrality to literary and intellectual traditions, the Ainkurunuru remains relatively unknown beyond specialists. Martha Ann Selby, well-known translator of classical Indian poetry and literature, takes the bold step of opening this anthology to all readers, presenting crystalline translations of 500 poems dense with natural imagery and early examples of South Indian culture. Because of their form's short length, the anthology's five authors rely on double entendre and sophisticated techniques of suggestion, giving their poems an almost haikulike feel. Groups of verse center on one unique figure, in some cases an object or an animal, in others a line of direct address or a specific conversation or situation. Selby introduces each section with a biographical sketch of the poet and the conventions at work within the landscape. She then incorporates notes explaining shifting contexts. Excerpt: He has gone off all by himselfbeyond the wasteswhere tigers used to prowland the toothbrush trees grow tall,their trunks parched,on the flinty mountains, while the lovely folds of your loins, wide as a chariot's seat, vanish as your circlet worked from gold grows far too large for you.
Only by inhabiting Dao (the Way of Nature) and dwelling in its unity can humankind achieve true happiness and freedom, in both life and death. This is Daoist philosophy's central tenet, espoused by the person—or group of people—known as Zhuangzi (369?–286? BCE) in a text by the same name. To be free, individuals must discard rigid distinctions between right and wrong, and follow a course of action not motivated by gain or striving. When one ceases to judge events as good or bad, man-made suffering disappears, and natural suffering is embraced as part of life. Zhuangzi elucidates this mystical philosophy through humor, parable, and anecdote, using non sequitur and even nonsense to illuminate truths beyond the boundaries of ordinary logic. Boldly imaginative and inventively written, the Zhuangzi floats free of its historical period and society, addressing the spiritual nourishment of all people across time. One of the most justly celebrated texts of the Chinese tradition, the Zhuangzi is read by thousands of English-language scholars each year, yet, until now, only in the Wade-Giles romanization. Burton Watson's conversion to pinyin in this book brings the text in line with how Chinese scholars, and an increasing number of other scholars, read it.
Master Sun's The Art of War is by no means the only ancient Chinese treatise on military affairs. One chapter in the Huainanzi, an important compendium of philosophy and political theory written in the second century BCE, synthesizes the entire corpus of military literature inherited from the Chinese classical era. Drawing on all major, existing military writings, as well as other lost sources, it assesses tactics and strategy, logistics, organization, and political economy, as well as cosmology and the fundamental morality of warfare. This powerful work set out to become the last word on military matters, subsuming and replacing all preceding literature. Written under the sponsorship of Liu An, king of Huainan, the Huainanzi's "military methods" emphasize the preservation of peace as the ultimate value to be served by the military, insisting that the army can be effectively and rightly used only when defending the sacred hereditary position of the emperor and his vassals. This position stands in stark contrast to that of The Art of War, which prioritizes the enrichment and empowerment of the state. Liu An's philosophy also argues that military success depends on the personal cultivation of the commander and that deception is not enough to secure victory. Only a commander with the exceptional qualities of insight and cognition, developed through a program of meditative practice and yogic refinement, can effectively control and interpret the strategic situation. Andrew Seth Meyer offers both a full translation of this text and an extensive analysis of its historical context. His thorough treatment relates Liu An's teachings to issues in Chinese philosophy, culture, religion, and history, helping to interpret their uncommon message.