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Translators of the TTC

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On 3/2/2011 at 11:13 PM, Marblehead said:

someone beside yourself thought it was of value

 

YOU are that value.

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20200912_090504.jpgI've been going through the standard Chinese text for about a year, working out my own understanding. This character , Da, winds up in my notes as "So Called Grown Up", as an example of my own linguistic point of view. Looking at many other translations and interpretations, evaluating for myself. It's been an engrossing study.

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I've been tinkering with a translation these last few years that's an attempt to be both literal and retain a similar lyricism. If I ever get serious about this project I'll have to actually study Classical Chinese first, though. :lol:

 

But what I came here to ask is, which editions have the most bells and whistles? Classical and contemporary commentaries, inclusion of Guodian and Mawangdui variants, critical apparatus, etc. I have this fantasy that one day the core Daoist texts will get a rigorous anthology edition, something like a study bible.

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On 3/30/2017 at 9:29 PM, Gerry said:

Can anyone direct me to a translation of the TTC with these three features.

 

  1. The original characters, as close to the ancient forms, of the TTC with "exact" translations under then.
  2. A rendition of the TCC in English that follows the above literally.
  3. An English translation "smoothing out" the Chinese into what we usually accept as a translation.

 

Many, many years ago I had a book that did something like this.       

 

What you're describing is called a 'gloss': https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interlinear_gloss

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On 5/25/2021 at 2:21 PM, hermes said:

But what I came here to ask is, which editions have the most bells and whistles? Classical and contemporary commentaries, inclusion of Guodian and Mawangdui variants, critical apparatus, etc. I have this fantasy that one day the core Daoist texts will get a rigorous anthology edition, something like a study bible.

 

I've been researching for a few hours and it seems like I'll have to keep on dreaming. I found one edition that calls itself a critical edition, but if the reviews are anything to go by it is anything but. The only actual critical edition I know of is Chinese Reading of the Daodejing by Rudolf Wagner which focuses on the Wang Bi commentary. It's a valuable addition to the scholarship, an exemplar for further studies. I know there a few other translations that take excavated texts into account, though which ones make explicit the differences in the Chinese I haven't taken the time to find out. Other than that there's Red Pine's translation which includes several lines from various commentaries for each chapter. I make reference to my first edition often, and am pleased to see a new edition was published in 2009. There doesn't seem to be much else out there, at least in English.

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@hermes

 

You seem to have the translation situation well covered. I have A Chinese Reading of the Daodejing by Rudolf Wagner and can confirm that it’s very much a book for specialist academic researchers. And Red Pine's is the only edition I've come across with a wide selection of Chinese commentaries, albeit, as you note, in very brief form. My only further suggestions are:

 

A comprehensive essay by Alan Chan titled, The Daodejing and its Tradition, which I added to this forum a while back:

https://www.thedaobums.com/topic/40989-the-daodejing-and-its-tradition/

 

Also, if you haven’t read the highly influential commentaries by Wang Bi’s and Heshang Gong, I recommend these two translations:

 

Richard John Lynn, The Classic of the Way and Virtue: A New Translation of the "Tao-te ching" of Laozi as Interpreted by Wang Bi

 

Dan G Reid, The Heshang Gong Commentary on Lao Zi's Dao De Jing

 

I have about a dozen translations of the Daodejing and gained much insight from the various interpretations. When I first joined Dao Bums there was plenty of discussion of the text and I very much liked that then. Although it’s no longer my focus, your interest may spur new discussion. I’d like to see that on the forum but it’s unlikely I’d join in myself. 

 

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