Marblehead

General Information

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Okay my Taoist wonderers, we now have a study area for our upcoming study of The Chuang Tzu.

 

First, I don't want to start this series until after we have finished the TTC. What I will be asking for between now and then is input from those interested in the study to offer me some suggestions as to how we can best conduct the study.

 

I think that the way we have conducted the TTC study has been very effective. That is, we have looked at the technical side, ie, translations, as well as the understanding and interpretation side.

 

Secondly, I think that trying to do complete chapters would not be efficient because most of the chapters are very long reads and I fear that we would not be able to hold the interest of the readers/participates for very long. Therefore I suggest that we break the chapters down into the various stories/concepts that are presented within each chapter.

 

I have readily available in MS Word format the complete translations by James Legge and and Burton Watson as well as the Inner Chapters by Lin Yutang. I also think that presenting more than one translation in the opening post of each thread would be too much to read as well so I will suggest that only one translation be presented in the opening post.

 

I prefer Burton Watson's translation but just to show my flexibility I will use the James Legge translation if I have no opposition to this. During the discussion after the opening post we can add other translations by various translators for contrast/comparison/understanding purposes. Someone earlier mentioned Nina's translation so this too can be considered.

 

So here in this "General Information" thread I am asking for comments and suggestions of my thoughts above as well as other comments/suggestions as to how we can best conduct the study.

 

And I will here say thanks to all who have expressed interest in The Chuang Tzu because it was your expression of interest that inspired me to take on this project.

 

There will be no additional moderation of this sub-forum other than the board's moderation so it is up to ourselves to maintain the integrity of the sub-forum. (I can't moderate because I must be myself. Hehehe.)

 

I am looking forward to the study and any suggestions as to how we can best conduct the study.

 

Thanks in advance!

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I'm looking forward to seeing how this goes.

I also like Watson's translations best.

Everything you said above makes sense.

 

One consideration - as we encounter some of the more famous excerpts in any given chapter we could consider looking at comparative translations of some of those isolated parables. That way we can benefit from seeing variations in interpretation and tranlation without plodding through multiple translations of an entire chapter.

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One consideration - as we encounter some of the more famous excerpts in any given chapter we could consider looking at comparative translations of some of those isolated parables. That way we can benefit from seeing variations in interpretation and tranlation without plodding through multiple translations of an entire chapter.

 

Yes. Agree. And I am hoping we will be able to do this. I like Yutang's writing style so I am sure I will be using his for comparison as well.

 

I shamefully admit that I have not read Nina Correa's translation yet. I do know that there are a number of members here who are familiar with her translation.

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I shamefully admit that I have not read Nina Correa's translation yet. I do know that there are a number of members here who are familiar with her translation.

 

It's god-awful BS. Don't bother.

 

I have Thomas Cleary's translation. My problem with his translations in general is that he translates things he shouldn't translate -- e.g. jing, qi, shen should remain jing, qi, shen, instead of "vitality, energy, spirit" of his rendition. He does this all the time, so in a sense he caters to the beginner who is not familiar with taoist concepts and contexts. Not necessarily a bad thing, but I'll be happy to find out what the original word was instead of what he thought up to replace it. Which translation has the most of that? I'd like to get it.

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MH, agreed with you whole-heartly about how we could go through and break down concepts or prose in each chapter.

 

I took the liberty of linking to the translation Marblehead mentioned here:

 

Burton Watson's Translation

 

 

James Legge's Translation

 

 

Nina's Translation

 

 

Lin Yutang's Translation

 

 

Would be nice if Chidragon, Dawei and Lienshan could also join us with their Chinese translations, not sure how that would work yet.

 

But yeah, Thanks Marble biggrin.gif

Keep up the good work!

Edited by XieJia

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It's god-awful BS. Don't bother.

 

I love personal opinions. Hehehe. I have tons of them.

 

... but I'll be happy to find out what the original word was instead of what he thought up to replace it. Which translation has the most of that? I'd like to get it.

 

Can't really answer your question. I think all three that I am knowledgeable of (Legge, Watson & Yutang) translated the terms into English in hopes of offering a better understanding to the English reader.

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MH, agreed with you whole-heartly about how we could go through and break down concepts or prose in each chapter.

 

Would be nice if Chidragon, Dawei and Lienshan could also join us with their Chinese translations, not sure how that would work yet.

 

But yeah, Thanks Marble biggrin.gif

Keep up the good work!

 

Thanks. Yes, I too am hoping for member translations of various areas. I haven't asked any of them if they have done any work with The Chuang Tzu but none of them are bashful so I am sure they will offer whatever they have.

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I dunno,

 

since it's just the concepts, which appear throughout, rather than the chapters, would it not be most interesting for anyone to just start threads on whatever they want to talk about? rather than doing one at a time? This might keep it flowing better, rather than just going one concept at a time. More concepts may appear this way too I think, and I think the openness of it would bring in more respondents and posters.

 

This is the more Chuang Tzu way to do it, imho.

 

P.S.

 

I wasn't under the impression that there were specific formalities.. hence posting...

Edited by Harmonious Emptiness

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I dunno,

 

since it's just the concepts, which appear throughout, rather than the chapters, would it not be most interesting for anyone to just start threads on whatever they want to talk about? rather than doing one at a time? This might keep it flowing better, rather than just going one concept at a time. More concepts may appear this way too I think, and I think the openness of it would bring in more respondents and posters.

 

This is the more Chuang Tzu way to do it, imho.

 

P.S.

 

I wasn't under the impression that there were specific formalities.. hence posting...

 

You have a valid point. However,

 

If an organized way of doing the study is not established then the thread will be all over the place and it would be next to impossible to make sure that the chapters are being considered properly.

 

My thought were to start with chapter one, break the chapter down into the various concepts that are discussed in it, for example: Chapter 1, Section 1, etc., with each section somehow titled.

 

I think that we will be able to find and discuss all the concepts in the Chuang Tzu this way and it will be much easier for us to have constructive discussions of the various concepts.

 

The only formality I would like to see is how each section of each chapter is intially posted in thread opening post.

 

I think we have done really well with the TTC study and I would like to see The Chuang Tzu handled in a similar manner.

 

I remain open for suggestions but if we are going to do this it would be nice if we did it in a manner where anyone coming to the board any time in the future will be able to find the concepts they are interested in and further expand the discussion of the concept if they wish to do so.

 

Also presenting the work in a Chapter, Section format will make it easier for anyone to cross-reference the opening post with other translations.

 

There will be no moderator for this sub-forum except for the board's moderators so it will be up to us to keep the threads consistent as well as the format for all of the threads.

 

Please let me know what you think of these comments I just made.

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Okay, I thought the topics were just going to be the concepts and then people would bring in references from different chapters and life, etc.. I agree, your set-up will be better and more thorough.

 

I think we should allow for some random question topics to be posted here though. It might get too dry and slow moving if we have to wait in line for each chapter.

 

Why don't we do both maybe? We could go chapter by chapter, and also have more random concept topics. This would allow for more ongoing discussions and allow people to freshen it up if the other topics leave little room for interpretation..

 

whadd'yall think?

Edited by Harmonious Emptiness

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Okay, I thought the topics were just going to be the concepts and then people would bring in references from different chapters and life, etc.. I agree, your set-up will be better and more thorough.

 

I think we should allow for some random question topics to be posted here though. It might get too dry and slow moving if we have to wait in line for each chapter.

 

Why don't we do both maybe? We could go chapter by chapter, and also have more random concept topics. This would allow for more ongoing discussions and allow people to freshen it up if the other topics leave little room for interpretation..

 

whadd'yall think?

 

I have no direct problem with that. But the randon concept topics will be repeated in the chapter/section discussions. And I assure you that I will not do a search to see what has already been discussed when I get ready to post the next concept.

 

If anyone wants to talk about a particular Chuang Tzu concept it can easily be started in the Taoism Discussions main forum any time they wish to do so. That is where all such topics were discussed prior to my requesting a Chuang Tzu Sub-forum.

 

I requested it so we could do an organized study of the entire work. Random is not equal to organized.

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The chapters in the Chuang Tzu document are very tedious. I think we should start with describing his personality and what was his general philosophy from what we have already known about him. Maybe we can cite his chapters, individually, to substantiate our notions about him. I think Chapter One is a good place to start to see what was in his mind from his mentioning about the Peng bird and the Kun fish.

Edited by ChiDragon

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The chapters in the Chuang Tzu document are very tedious. I think we should start with describing his personality and what was his general philosophy from what we have already known about him. Maybe we can cite his chapters, individually, to substantiate our notions about him. I think Chapter One is a good place to start to see what was in his mind from his mentioning about the Peng bird and the Kun fish.

 

I'm beginning to regret having asked for suggestions. Hehehe. Not really but all the stuff rumbling around in my head is making me dizzy.

 

Well, you know that the Peng and Kun is the first paragraph of the first chapter.

 

I included a brief summary of Chuang Tzu's philosophy in the introduction to my series titled "Taoist Philosophy".

 

A link to that could be used unless you want to write a summary of his philosophy and title the thread in the Chuang Tzu sub-forum "Introduction to Chuang Tzu's philosophy".

 

But I guess you are right in that we should have some form of introduction before we start posting excerpts from the chapters.

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Oh how exciting!

 

I would like to recommend the translation by sinologist Victor Mair as being one of my favorites.

 

Has anyone else read Mair? I haven't seen him mentioned so far, but I think he captures the spirit of the stories very well.

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Oh how exciting!

 

I would like to recommend the translation by sinologist Victor Mair as being one of my favorites.

 

Has anyone else read Mair? I haven't seen him mentioned so far, but I think he captures the spirit of the stories very well.

 

I have read only a little of Mair's translation and that is what is available on the net as I do not have his work. I wouldn't even be able to say if I like it or not.

 

If you have his text perhaps you could add his translation of some of the sections as we discuss them.

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I have read only a little of Mair's translation and that is what is available on the net as I do not have his work. I wouldn't even be able to say if I like it or not.

 

If you have his text perhaps you could add his translation of some of the sections as we discuss them.

 

i just might! splendid idea!

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Just out of curiosity, will there ever be a study on the forum done about lao tzu?

 

I hope you are talking about the person and not the Tao Te Ching. (Just asking - I need to understand.)

 

I can speak only for myself and say that I had not considered it.

 

The study of "The Chuang Tzu" will be of the book, not the person although I expect that on occasion the person will be discussed because what he said will, on occasion, need to be viewed from his point of view.

 

Well, just now thinking about it, it might be interesting to attempt a study of the person Lao Tzu, his position in society, and why he wrote what he did.

 

Perhaps we could do that after we finish the TTC and after The Chuang Tzu has gotten rolling.

 

If no one else has started something please remind me of this possibility and we will see what happens.

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You have a valid point. However,

 

If an organized way of doing the study is not established then the thread will be all over the place and it would be next to impossible to make sure that the chapters are being considered properly.

 

My thought were to start with chapter one, break the chapter down into the various concepts that are discussed in it, for example: Chapter 1, Section 1, etc., with each section somehow titled.

 

I think that we will be able to find and discuss all the concepts in the Chuang Tzu this way and it will be much easier for us to have constructive discussions of the various concepts.

 

The only formality I would like to see is how each section of each chapter is intially posted in thread opening post.

 

I think we have done really well with the TTC study and I would like to see The Chuang Tzu handled in a similar manner.

 

I remain open for suggestions but if we are going to do this it would be nice if we did it in a manner where anyone coming to the board any time in the future will be able to find the concepts they are interested in and further expand the discussion of the concept if they wish to do so.

 

Also presenting the work in a Chapter, Section format will make it easier for anyone to cross-reference the opening post with other translations.

 

There will be no moderator for this sub-forum except for the board's moderators so it will be up to us to keep the threads consistent as well as the format for all of the threads.

 

Please let me know what you think of these comments I just made.

I like your ideas MH. If we're going to dedicate a sub-forum to the Zhuang Zi, I think it would make sense to approach it in a more organized and methodical fashion for study purposes.

 

The chapters in the Chuang Tzu document are very tedious. I think we should start with describing his personality and what was his general philosophy from what we have already known about him. Maybe we can cite his chapters, individually, to substantiate our notions about him. I think Chapter One is a good place to start to see what was in his mind from his mentioning about the Peng bird and the Kun fish.

My opinion differs on this. None of us know anything about Zhuang Zi's personality. All we can do is make assumptions and reach conclusions based on our personal interpretation and understanding of his works. To me, it would make much more sense to actually start digging into his works and reach our own conclusions as our study progresses rather than have others bias us with their opinions before we even start the study. I have no objection to a concise introduction and we can also consider a topic about Zhuang Zi as a historical person and discuss our opinions of him there. But I would advise letting the work speak for itself, at least in the beginning.

Just my opinion.

 

I'm beginning to regret having asked for suggestions. Hehehe. Not really but all the stuff rumbling around in my head is making me dizzy.

 

Well, you know that the Peng and Kun is the first paragraph of the first chapter.

 

I included a brief summary of Chuang Tzu's philosophy in the introduction to my series titled "Taoist Philosophy".

 

A link to that could be used unless you want to write a summary of his philosophy and title the thread in the Chuang Tzu sub-forum "Introduction to Chuang Tzu's philosophy".

 

But I guess you are right in that we should have some form of introduction before we start posting excerpts from the chapters.

LOL - I remember thinking exactly the same thing way back when I started the book club

:lol:

LIke I mentioned above, a topic to discuss Zhuang Zi would work as a place to introduce him and discuss historical knowledge of him, but I'd like to see us develop our own ideas through our study of his work, rather than be too distracted by what others think of his philosophy.

 

PS I've always liked Thomas Merton's translations as well

Edited by steve

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I hope you are talking about the person and not the Tao Te Ching. (Just asking - I need to understand.)

 

 

Yeah, I meant the person. I was already aware of the Tao Te Ching forum. Outside of the Tao Te Ching, I know practically nothing about Taoism.

 

So you meant the writing of Chuang Tzu. I thought this was a forum where we were studying the person Chuang Tzu.

 

Although, I thought it was it was funnier than heck how people kept calling him 'The Chuang Tzu.' Now that I know you mean the writing, that makes a lot more sense! :lol:

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Although, I thought it was it was funnier than heck how people kept calling him 'The Chuang Tzu.' Now that I know you mean the writing, that makes a lot more sense! :lol:

 

Hehehe. Yeah, "The Chuang Tzu" - the book, the philosophy, not the person.

 

Chuang Tzu - the person.

 

Most often the book is called "Chuang Tzu" and the author is called Chuang Tzu, which, of course can be confusing.

 

I just recently started adding "The" to identify the book hoping that it would eliminate some confusion and misunderstandings.

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PS I've always liked Thomas Merton's translations as well

 

I don't have access to his translation either so it will be up to others (Yourself?, Hehehe.) to add his translation whenever appropriate.

Edited by Marblehead

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