The Analects of Confucius

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W.W. Norton, 1997 - Religion - 224 pages
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No other book in the entire history of the world has exerted a greater influence on a larger number of people over a longer period of time than this slim volume. The spiritual cornerstone of the most populous and oldest living civilization on Earth, the "Analects" has inspired the Chinese and all the peoples of East Asia with its affirmation of a humanist ethics. As the Gospels are to Jesus, the "Analects" is the only place where we can encounter the real, living Confucius. In this gem-like translation by Simon Leys, Confucius speaks with clarity and brilliance. He emerges as a man of great passion and many enthusiasms, a man of bold action whose true vocation is politics. Confucius (551-479 B.C.) lived in an age of acute cultural and political crisis. Many of his observations mark a world sinking into violence and barbarity. Unable to obtain the leading political role he sought, he endeavored to reform society and salvage civilization through ethical debate, defining for ages to come the public mission of the intellectual.

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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

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About the author (1997)

Simon Leys is the pseudonym of Pierre Ryckmans, a noted scholar and astringent observer of Chinese culture and politics.

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