The basic writings of Chuang Tzu have been savored by Chinese readers for over two thousand years. And Burton Watson's lucid and beautiful translation has been loved by generations of readers.
Chuang Tzu (369?-286? B.C.) was a leading philosopher representing the Taoist strain in Chinese thought. Using parable and anecdote, allegory and paradox, he set forth, in the book that bears his name, the early ideas of what was to become the Taoist school. Central to these is the belief that only by understanding Tao (the Way of Nature) and dwelling in its unity can man achieve true happiness and freedom, in both life and death.
Chuang Tzu: Basic Writings includes the seven "inner chapters," which form the heart of the book, three of the "outer chapters," and one of the "miscellaneous chapters." Watson also provides an introduction, placing the philosopher in relation to Chinese history and thought.
Witty and imaginative, enriched by brilliant imagery, and making sportive use of both mythological and historical personages (including even Confucius), this timeless classic is sure to appeal to anyone interested in Chinese religion and culture.
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I have searched for a translation that most accurately retains chuang-tzu's sarcasm and poignant distaste for elaborate ritualistic living, and this rendition by far captures the simple wit and insight best of any i have seen. the first and only chuang-tzu volume i recommend to others.
Read the chapter on Free and Easy Wandering. Or don't! The Way doesn't care. It's all good.
FREE AND EASY WANDERING
DISCUSSION ON MAKING ALL THINGS EQUAL
THE SECRET OF CORING FOR LIFE
IN THE WORLD OF MEN
THE SIGN OF VIRTUE COMPLETE
THE GREAT AND VENERABLE TEACHER