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The Analects (Classics) [Paperback]

Confucius , D. C. Lau
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
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Book Description

27 Sep 1979 Classics
The Analects express a philosophy, or a moral code, by which Confucius, one of the most humane thinkers of all time, believed everyone should live. Upholding the ideals of wisdom, self-knowledge, courage and love of one's fellow man, he argued that the pursuit of virtue should be every individual's supreme goal. And, while following the Way, or the truth, might not result in immediate or material gain, Confucius showed that it could nevertheless bring its own powerful and lasting spiritual rewards.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; 1 edition (27 Sep 1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140443487
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140443486
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 1.6 x 12.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 16,509 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

Confucius [551-479 BC], though of noble descent, was born in humble circumstances. He believed that politics is only an extension of morals, and spent ten years travelling through the various states of China spreading his ideas. When he realised that there was no way of converting the feudal rulers to his way of thinking he returned to Lu and spent the rest of his life there teaching his pupils.

D.C Lau has held a number of professorships in the field of Chinese language and literature.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
1. The Master said, 'Is it not a pleasure, having learned something, to try it out at due intervals? Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DC Lau - The Heartfelt Wisdom of the Analects. 13 Nov 2010
DC Lau - (that is Din Cheuk Lau), passed away in April of this year (2010). He was born in Hong Kong (in 1921), and despite being a successful academic and a renowned Chinese scholar, he left no off-spring and was something of a hermit outside of work. He was, however, greatly respected by his students. He has left the world with some very important translations. His ability to translate difficult and often obscure, ancient Chinese concepts into English has enriched the study of old China, and given reliable and accurate insight into its sages and their teachings.

The Analects, or 'Lun Yu', to give it its Chinese title, is a collection of sayings of the teacher known as Confucius ((551-429BC). The Penguin Classic paperback edition has the usual twenty chapters associated with the Lun Yun, as well as three appendices:

Appendix 1: Events in the Life of Confucius.
Appendix 2: The Disciples as They Appear in the Abalects.
Appendix 3: The Lunyu.

This background information is crucial. It places Confucius and his students into an historical context. Through this translation, DC Lau introduces a new generation to the ancient wisdom of Confucius. A perfect book.
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great resource & easy reference 11 Jun 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Other than in passing reference I am new to Confucius' body of work and The Analects have been an excellent place to start. D. C. Lau's introduction lays excellent ground for the reader to understand and put into context The Analects. It is this introduction that makes this translation stand out from others I perused before purchasing.

Having read through once I now use this book daily as a reference of useful and practical principles. Much of the guidance given by Confucius is as relevant today as it was over 2500 years ago. In the spirit of Confucius, I would recommend you apply his teachings as part of your own personal quest to self discovery to improve the world around you.

Ahead of his time, it is disappointing that Confucius and The Analects are not more common in education syllabuses to encourage young people to consider their environment, politics and relationships with other human beings. In a society where ego is usually a guiding principle of success, I highly recommend The Analects as your own personal `check and balance'.

I haven't changed the world and I've certainly not lost my ego, but the teachings of Confucius (in this publication) have helped me temper my arrogance and consider my relationships with friends relatives and colleagues; all for the better.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Words of wisdom- can be a constant companion 15 Dec 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I purchased this having often enjoyed reading asserted Confucius quotes on sites such as wikiquote, and others. When I discovered I could purchase them in this form, I ordered it. About half a year later I started to read it, having purchased many classics at once.

I am not a stranger to reading philosophy: odd, perhaps, considering my age (19). I had read Nietzsche, Milton Friedman's monograph Capitalism and Freedom, much of Max Stirner's The Ego and Its Own, numerous political essays and opinion pieces, Machiavelli's The Prince...all those were much more 'cynical' than Confucius, who has a wonderful, if cautious outlook on life. Nietzsche, too, has this property, although it takes a reader to understand the underlying celebration, and to reach the joyful regions of his arguments.

Confucius, known here generally as 'The Master', can be summed simply: he promotes 'wisdom' and 'benevolence' as the chief sources of happiness in life. To Confucius, what follows this is loyalty, social cohesion (if we strive for benevolence, then we are bound to please others, and thus have them seek to please us). In other words, Confucius believes that these elements help the reproduction of society, and the reproduction of man. Confucius refreshingly believes that men can improve themselves, and can become Gentlemen whether they are poor, or are rich. Becoming a gentle man (to twist the translation to show its etymological implications) is, therefore, a wonderful cause, and something which is rewarding.

The early chapters are less interesting than the later, but I picked up and read this over a long period of time (a large break), so I may be wrong.
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56 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good book 2 Jun 2001
By A Customer
A brilliant book sums this up. For those interested in learning about non-western philosophy it is a perfect introduction. Full of Confucius' sayings it will teach you about the morality of the world from the view of Confucius. Not only this but it will also teach you about human nature, people 24 centuries ago aren't that different from people today. More importantly it will teach you how to live. It was a most enjoyable read and it taught me a lot.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Non-Western wisdom 1 Jun 2001
By A Customer
I think most people interested in philosophy have heard of Confucius but not many have read about him. I've always had an interest in philosophy but it is the Greek philosophers who dominate all the books. I decided that I should read some non-Western philosophy and where better than Confucius? I wasn't disappointed. This is a collection of Confucius' sayings which are very interesting and also apply to modern life. This book will not only introduce you to some non-Western philosophy, it will help you become a little bit wiser.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 24 days ago by Michael Duerden
3.0 out of 5 stars The Analects Confucius
This book is extremely fragmentary. The text is corrupt in many parts and that is acknowledged by the writer. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Maurice Fitzgerald
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of Confucius
This is a really good translation, easy to read and very easy to follow.
I enjoyed reading about his travels, his way of treating his students and his love of behaving... Read more
Published 7 months ago by prziloczek
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic must read book
Fantastic must read book.
After reading this book, I realized the the issues related to the "human factor" issues is real and last from few thousand of years. Read more
Published 10 months ago by The Queen
3.0 out of 5 stars no Chinese original
there is no Chinese original in this book, only translation. I'm looking for the the bilingual edition. The book is light and not very big, good. Read more
Published 11 months ago by wendy peng
1.0 out of 5 stars Do not buy this book!
Amazon is really cheeky here - D.C Lau's translation of the Analects is an old standard. But if you click on this book you won't get that - you'll get some strange, anonymous... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Haogu
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice addition to your library
If you are interested in philosophy or just want to see what Confucius "really said", this is the book for you. Easy to dip in and out of.
Published 13 months ago by Steven Szulecki
5.0 out of 5 stars Getting to know Confucius (551-479 BC) is very worthwhile
The Analects contain twelve books (I to XX) each with around 15 to 50 numbered paragraphs. Confucius believed a leader that acted virtuously without resort to punishment could... Read more
Published 21 months ago by laurens van den muyzenberg
4.0 out of 5 stars Timeless wisdom, with solid editing
I understand that this is no fault of the writer(s); Confucius has much less surviving work than western counterparts Plato, Aristotle etc. - and it can be a little offsetting. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Jonathan R
5.0 out of 5 stars As expected
Just what I wanted. Gives an introduction to Confucius followed by the sayings themselves. Couldn't have asked for anything more.
Published 21 months ago by Christopher Brown
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