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Zhuangzi: The Essential Writings
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About the Author

Brook Ziporyn is Associate Professor of Religion and Philosophy, Northwestern University.

Reviews

The Zhuangzi, with its 'goblet words,' lends itself by design to endless interpretation, of which no single instance has any real claim to the 'correct' meaning of the text. To date, Zhuangzi translations have presented their readers with only a single view of the text--that of the translator himself. With Ziporyn's book, the English world finally has the means to read the Zhuangzi the way it should be read: through the eyes of many. Ziporyn has carefully selected the most illuminating passages to be found within several of the most brilliant Zhuangzi commentaries written over the past two millennia, and he has rendered these often abstruse interpretations, along with the key Zhuangzi chapters which form their subject, accurately and lucidly into flowing English prose. This extraordinary work sets the new standard for Zhuangzi translations, and will prove an indispensable resource for anyone who wishes to take a comprehensive view of this most timeless and boundless of Chinese philosophical classics. --Scott Cook, Grinnell College
In Ziporyn, the Zhuangzi has found a worthy translator who brings both philosophical and Sinological acumen to the book. . . . Readers encounter not only the primary text in a fluid, readable translation, but also may refer to selected commentaries on particular passages with ease. . . . His translation offers a splendid portal into the thought of one of the funniest philosophers of all time. --Jeffrey L. Richey, Berea College
With judicious abridgement (sixteen full chapters, including all seven Inner chapters, plus selections from six more) and valuable added commentary, this book is a great choice for the undergraduate classroom. The translation often provides a fresh perspective to old problems, and the selection of commentary delivers a focus and accessibility that engages--and encourages us to re-engage--the considerable commentarial tradition. The translation is a delight. Ziporyn's lucid prose is often a marked improvement over his predecessors. . . . Footnotes are more plentiful than in the previous translations and are especially helpful with a text like the Zhuangzi . The selections from traditional commentaries are the most innovative feature of this translation, in keeping with Edward Slingerland's Analects and Bryan Van Norden's Mengzi translations (also from Hackett). Ziporyn provides extracts from forty-seven commentators that offer valuable contextualization as well as a variety of perspectives from which to approach the text. Overall Ziporyn's translation is smooth, clear and accurate, his notes are helpful, and his commentary selections bring new and welcome dimensions to the text as textbook and as an aid for scholarly research. --Paul Fischer, American University in Cairo, in Philosophy East & West

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