Daily Zen Library

1994

The Way and Its Power: Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching and Its Place in Chinese Thought

Translated by Arthur Waley Arthur Waley

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Arthur Waley’s brilliant and definitive translation of one of the foremost of all mystical books, Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching, has become a modern classic in its own right. Unlike previous translations, it is founded not on the medieval commentaries but on a close study of all the early Chinese literature, and it provides a singular example of authoritative scholarship skillfully blended with brilliant, precise writing.

In his introduction, Dr. Waley gives an extensive scholarly account of Chinese thought down to the end of the third century B.C. Here, the author presents a full picture of Chinese prehistory, early philosophy, and literature, showing the original, lofty conception of Taoism before the gradual corruption through the course of centuries, tracing this conflict of philosophies and its background of politics.

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