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Livres de David Hinton
This is the first English translation devoted to the work of Meng Hao-jan. Meng’s poetic descendents revered the wisdom he cultivated as a mountain recluse, and now we too can witness the sagacity they considered almost indistinguishable from that of rivers and mountains themselves.
A master translator's beautiful and accessible rendering of the seminal Chinese text
In a radically new translation and interpretation of the I Ching, David Hinton strips this ancient Chinese masterwork of the usual apparatus and discovers a deeply poetic and philosophical text. Teasing out an elegant vision of the cosmos as ever-changing yet harmonious, Hinton reveals the seed from which Chinese philosophy, poetry, and painting grew. Although it was and is widely used for divination, the I Ching is also a book of poetic philosophy, deeply valued by artists and intellectuals, and Hinton's translation restores it to its original lyrical form.
Previous translations have rendered the I Ching as a divination text full of arcane language and extensive commentary. Though informative, these versions rarely hint at the work's philosophical heart, let alone its literary beauty. Here, Hinton translates only the original strata of the text, revealing a fully formed work of literature in its own right. The result is full of wild imagery, fables, aphorisms, and stories. Acclaimed for the eloquence of his many translations of ancient Chinese poetry and philosophy, Hinton has reinvented the I Ching as an exciting contemporary text at once primal and postmodern.
Buddhism migrated from India to China in the first century C.E., and Ch'an (Japanese: Zen) is generally seen as China's most distinctive and enduring form of Buddhism. In China Root, however, David Hinton shows how Ch'an was in fact a Buddhist-influenced extension of Taoism, China's native system of spiritual philosophy. Unlike Indian Buddhism's abstract sensibility, Ch'an was grounded in an earthy and empirically-based vision. Exploring this vision, Hinton describes Ch'an as a kind of anti-Buddhism. A radical and wild practice aspiring to a deeply ecological liberation: the integration of individual consciousness with landscape and with a Cosmos seen as harmonious and alive.
In China Root, Hinton describes this original form of Zen with his trademark clarity and elegance, each chapter exploring in enlightening ways a core Ch'an concept--such as meditation, mind, Buddha, awakening--as it was originally understood and practiced in ancient China. Finally, by examining a range of standard translations in the Appendix, Hinton reveals how this original understanding and practice of Ch'an/Zen is almost entirely missing in contemporary American Zen, because it was lost in Ch'an's migration from China through Japan and on to the West.
Whether you practice Zen or not, taking this journey on the wings of Hinton's remarkable insight and powerful writing will transform how you understand yourself and the world.
A new and substantially expanded version of Hinton’s landmark translation of Tu Fu, published on the thirtieth anniversary of that original edition
Shortlisted for the Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize
Tu Fu (712–770 C.E.) has for a millennium been widely considered the greatest poet in the Chinese tradition, and Hinton’s original translation played a key role in developing that reputation in America. Most of Tu Fu’s best poems were written in the last decade of his life, as an impoverished refugee fleeing the devastation of civil war. In the midst of these challenges, his always personal poems manage to combine a remarkable range of possibilities: elegant simplicity and great complexity, everyday life and grand historical drama, private philosophical depth and social engagement in a world consumed by war. Through it all, his is a wisdom that can only be called elemental, and his poems sound remarkably contemporary.
What is consciousness but the Cosmos awakened to itself? This question is fundamental to the Taoist and Ch'an (Zen) Buddhist worldview that shapes classical Chinese poetry. A uniquely conceived biography, Awakened Cosmos illuminates that worldview through the life and work of Tu Fu (712-770 C.E.), China's greatest classical poet. Tu Fu's writing traces his life from periods of relative normalcy to years spent as an impoverished refugee amid the devastation of civil war. Exploring key poems to guide the reader through Tu Fu's dramatic life, Awakened Cosmos reveals Taoist/Ch'an insight deeply lived across the full range of human experience.
Each chapter presents a poem in three stages: first, the original Chinese; then, an English translation in Hinton's masterful style; and finally, a lyrical essay that discusses the untranslatable philosophical dimensions of the poem. The result is nothing short of remarkable: a biography of the Cosmos awakened to itself in the form of a magisterial poet alive in T'ang Dynasty China.
Thirty years ago, David Hinton published America's first full-length translation of Tu Fu's work. Awakened Cosmos is published simultaneously with a newly translated and substantially expanded version of that landmark translation: The Selected Poems of Tu Fu: Expanded and Newly Translated (New Directions).
A monk asked: “A dog too has Buddha-nature, no?” And with the master’s enigmatic one-word response begins the great No-Gate Gateway (Wu-Men Kuan), ancient China’s classic foray into the inexpressible nature of mind and reality. For nearly eight hundred years, this text (also known by its Japanese name, Mumonkan) has been the most widely used koan collection in Zen Buddhism—and with its comic storytelling and wild poetry, it is also a remarkably compelling literary masterwork. In his radical new translation, David Hinton places this classic for the first time in the philosophical framework of its native China, in doing so revealing a new way of understanding Zen—in which generic “Zen perplexity” is transformed into a more approachable and earthy mystery. With the poetic abilities he has honed in his many translations, Hinton brilliantly conveys the book’s literary power, making it an irresistible reading experience capable of surprising readers into a sudden awakening that is beyond logic and explanation.
Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching is not only the single most important text ever composed in China, it is probably the most influential spiritual text in human history. In the past, virtually all translations of this text have been produced either by sinologists having little poetic facility in English, or writers having no ability to read the original Chinese. Hinton's fluency in ancient Chinese and his acclaimed poetic ability provide him the essential qualifications. Together, they allow a breathtaking new translation that reveals how remarkably current and even innovative this text is after 2500 years.
Formulated in the ruins of a society that had been founded on untenable spiritualistic concepts of governance, Confucius' philosophy postulated a humanistic social order that has survived as China's social ideal ever since. Beginning with the realization that society is a structure of human relationships, Confucius saw that in a healthy society this structure must be a selfless weave of caring relationships. Those caring relationships are a system of "ritual" that people enact in their daily lives, thus infusing the secular with scared dimensions.
Highly regarded for the poetic fluency he brings to his award–winning work, David Hinton is the first twentieth–century translator to render the four central masterworks of ancient Chinese thought: Chuang Tzu, Mencius, The Analects, and Tao te Ching (forthcoming). HIs new versions are not only inviting and immensely readable, but they also apply a much–needed consistency to key terms in these texts, lending structural links and philosophical rigor heretofore unavailable in English. Breathing new life into these originary classics, Hinton's translations will stand as the definitive series for our era.
The Inner Chapters are the only sustained section of this text widely believed to be the work of Chuang Tzu himself, dating to the fourth century B.C.E. Witty and engaging, spiced with the lyricism of poetry, Chuang Tzu's Taoist insights are timely and eternal, profoundly concerned with spiritual ecology. Indeed, the Tao of Chuang Tzu was a wholesale rejection of a human–centered approach. Zen traces its sources back to these Taoist roots—roots at least as deep as those provided by Buddhism.
But this is an ancient text that yields a surprisingly modern effect. In bold and startling prose, David Hinton's translation captures the "zany texture and philosophical abandon" of the original. The Inner Chapters' fantastical passages — in which even birds and trees teach us what they know — offer up a wild menagerie of characters, freewheeling play with language, and surreal humor. And interwoven with Chuang Tzu's sharp instruction on the Tao are short–short stories that are often rough and ribald, rich with satire and paradox.
On their deepest level, the Inner Chapters are a meditation on the mysteries of knowledge itself. "Chuang Tzu's propositions," the translator's introduction reminds us, "seem to be in constant transformation, for he deploys words and concepts only to free us of words and concepts." Hinton's vital new translation makes this ancient text from the golden age of Chinese philosophy come alive for contemporary readers.
With this groundbreaking collection Classical Chinese Poetry, translated and edited by the renowned poet and translator David Hinton, a new generation will be introduced to the work that riveted Ezra Pound and transformed modern poetry.
The Chinese poetic tradition is the largest and longest continuous tradition in world literature, and this rich and far-reaching anthology of nearly five hundred poems provides a comprehensive account of its first three millennia (1500 BCE to 1200 CE), the period during which virtually all its landmark developments took place. Unlike earlier anthologies of Chinese poetry, Hinton's book focuses on a relatively small number of poets, providing selections that are large enough to re-create each as a fully realized and unique voice. New introductions to each poet's work provide a readable history, told for the first time as a series of poetic innovations forged by a series of master poets.
From the classic texts of Chinese philosophy to intensely personal lyrics, from love poems to startling and strange perspectives on nature, Hinton has collected an entire world of beauty and insight. And in his eye-opening translations, these ancient poems feel remarkably fresh and contemporary, presenting a literature both radically new and entirely resonant, in Classical Chinese Poetry.