The Analects of Confucius

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Columbia University Press, 2007 - Philosophy - 162 pages
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Compiled by disciples of Confucius in the centuries following his death in 479 B.C.E., The Analects of Confucius is a collection of aphorisms and historical anecdotes embodying the basic values of the Confucian tradition: learning, morality, ritual decorum, and filial piety. Reflecting the model eras of Chinese antiquity, the Analects offers valuable insights into successful governance and the ideal organization of society. Filled with humor and sarcasm, it reads like a casual conversation between teacher and student, emphasizing the role of the individual in the attainment of knowledge and the value of using historical events and people to illuminate moral and political concepts.

Confucius's teachings focus on cultural and peaceful pursuits and the characteristics of benevolent and culturally distinguished government. He also discusses ancestor worship and other rites performed for the spirits of the dead. The single most influential philosophical work in all of Chinese history, The Analects of Confucius has shaped the thought and customs of China and neighboring countries for centuries. Burton Watson's concise translation uses the pinyin romanization system and keeps explanatory notes to a minimum, yet his intimate knowledge of the Confucian tradition and precise attention to linguistic detail capture the original text's elegance, cogency, and wit.

 

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The Analects of Confucius

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Simon Leys is the pseudonym of Pierre Ryckmans (Chinese studies, Univ. of Sydney), who tells us in the foreword that he uses a literary pen name because his intention here was to produce a "writer's ... Read full review

Contents

INTRODUCTION
1
Book Thirteen
89
Book Fourteen
97
Book Sixteen
115
Book Seventeen
121
Book Eighteen
129
Book Nineteen
135
Book Twenty
141
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About the author (2007)

Burton Watson has taught at Columbia, Stanford, and Kyoto Universities and is one of the world's best-known translators of Chinese and Japanese works. His translations include The Tales of the Heike; The Lotus Sutra; the writings of Zhuangzi, Mozi, Xunzi, and Han Feizi; The Columbia Book of Chinese Poetry; and Records of the Grand Historian.

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