Sunday, September 19, 2010

Tao Books - Tao Te Ching Annotated and Explained

I'm going to do something that I usually don't do: Review a book I haven't finished reading yet! However, Tao Te Ching Annotated & Explained by Derek Lin has proven to be such an excellent resource in the Line by Line series that I can attest to the fact it is filled with a multitude of keen insights about this ancient text.

For each verse, Lin offers several notes that explain, sometimes obscure, historical references. He takes some of the lines that don't exhibit an easy to understand phraseology and brings them to life in popular wording. And, because of his knowledge of Chinese history and language, his translation of the Tao Te Ching is fresh and inviting.

If you use the link in right sidebar or with each day's post in the Line by Line series, you are one click away from reading his translation for free online. The advantage to purchasing the book (or obtaining it from your local library) is, of course, the notes themselves for each verse.

With my reviews, I typically offer snippets to provide a brief introduction to the book. However, since Lin's translation is featured in the ongoing series and I have and will continue to quote from the book, I see no need to repeat that process here.

There are many excellent translations of the Tao Te Ching around. I submit that Lin's effort should be in your Top 5.

1 comment:

  1. I use this as my own reference and am also in the middle of reading it.

    I've read a couple of other translations and this is the best I've seen. A good companion to this book is "The Tao of Daily Life" by the same author.


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