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Lieh-Tzu: A Taoist Guide to Practical Living (Shambhala Dragon Editions) Paperback – 1 Dec 2001


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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications Inc; New edition edition (1 Dec 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570628998
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570628993
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 1.4 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 625,558 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
LIEH-TZU WAS a humble and sincere person. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mr. I. Dodkins on 13 Feb 2002
Format: Paperback
I'm pleased I purchased this book, if only to complete the set of Taoist classics (along with Tao Te Ching and Book of Chuang Tzu). Although the author is herself chinese and she admits it is not a direct translation I couldn't help feeling that it has lost some of the real meaning behind some of the stories. Although I have not seen the original, some of the stories are relatively well known or also feature in the Book of Chuang Tzu. Eva modestly comments that she found the book of Chuang Tzu hard to understand initially, and I think this is why these versions have lost something. Maybe a good book for those who are just getting into Taoist thought, with snappy little stories. But much of the depth, authority and humour found in Chuang Tzu seems to be lost (though I did laugh out loud at the story of Confucious and the 2 children arguing about the sun). Possibly people will love this book because, as Eva says, Lieh Tzu talks as someone on the road to enlightenment, and not someone who had reached it. Also, interesting stories for children.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By steve-hm@psion.net on 27 Jun 2001
Format: Paperback
Eva Wong is an excellent translator of Taoist texts. Having studied and practised various Taoist arts she has a unique insight into the depth of meaning inherent in this kind of historical text. In this edition she gives us not a strict translation but the voice of Lieh Tzu. She has succeeded in capturing the essence of the spirit in which these tales were written. Each little story has something more to give, some extra meaning each time it is read. A must have book for anyone interested in Taoist philosophy or Chinese historical tales.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 Nov 2004
Format: Paperback
This is actually my second review of this product. After re-reading it several times I now realise how mistaken I was at first; my previous comments do not do it justice. An excellent, concise book which can be read and re-read many many times.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 12 reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
A Great Taoist Work 3 Aug 2002
By Mark Pollock - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The Lieh Tzu is the one of the less known Taoist classics, yet perhaps the most accessable and enjoyable one. It's a collection of 111 stories said to be by the noted scholar Leih-Tzu around the fourth century BCE. (Who's it really by? Who knows? And who cares?)
The stories cover a variety of topics, such as choosing what is important, how to lead a group of people, archery, choosing ones targets well, Confucius, why one chooses to be a Taoist, and much more.
My favorite quote is "Enlightenment is a very normal experience, attainable by everyone. Therefore, there is nothing mysterious or secretive about it."
A simply wonderful, tranquil book that is enjoyable to read and contemplate.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Great material, but -- 8 Dec 2004
By wiredweird - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Lao Tzu, the first author of Taoism, described abstruse, metaphorical scenes in abstruse language. Chuang Tzu uses prosaic descriptions, but still described philosophical ideal rather than gritty facts. Lieh Tzu came later. He used prosaic words to describe prosaic, everyday scenes, and to find enlightenment in them.

Many ring true for me. The "yellow mare" reminded me of a technician who was finely attuned to the circuits we used. He was always wrong in his diagnosis onf the problems he showed me. That never mattered. He was always right in pointing out that there was a problem, often based on small clues that I might have missed.

Lieh discusses honesty and friendship, poverty and happiness, great riches and death. Still, the language is always modern and clear, and a good supplement to Chuang and Lao.

My problem, though, is that this isn't a translation. It's Wong's interpretation. She says, early on, "Instead of a straight translation of the sematics of the text, I have decided to present the 'voice' of Lieh Tzu." As much as I like Wong's text, it troubles me. Translation is never exact, but there are degrees of inexactness. I am concerned about how much Lieh's text has suffered.

This is good anyway, and I'll probably come back to it eve if I find a more scholarly Lieh Tzu. This is readable and thought-provoking, no matter what it's authenticity.

//wiredweird
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
A well-kept secret of Taoist wisdom. 29 April 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book, unlike the more well known works by Lao-Tse and Chuang-Tse, is mostly made up of stories, and is very well suited to children. I read my library's copy, and I wish I could buy a copy to keep for myself, and for my children someday. It is an immensely comforting and wise text we owe to Lieh-Tse, a Taoist master who lived about two centuries after Lao-Tse.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Enjoyable Retelling 1 May 2004
By Joseph Morales - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
One point that should be clarified about this book is that it is not a direct translation of Lieh Tzu. In the intro, the author explains that her goal was to "open up" the text for modern Western readers by essentially retelling the stories in her own way. This is a perfectly valid approach, of course, since she is open about it. In some cases, her renditions sharpen the point and even improve the literary quality of the original. In others, she may have reduced some quirkiness of the original in deference to political correctness, or may have added influences from later Taoist thought. This is a good edition to read for contemplation, but if you are interested in the history of Taoist thought at all, stick with A.C. Graham's more literal translation.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Awesome! 30 Nov 2007
By Michael Willers - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a great version of Lieh Tzu -- much better than any I have read before. I know that Eva Wong (who I have found has done a superb job in translating Taoist texts in general) states that this is somewhat of an "interpretation" rather than a straightforward translation, but I have to say that it works! She captures the spirit and meaning of Lieh Tzu's words very well indeed. This is one book I will keep near to read and re-read many times.
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