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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pocket I Ching - Simplified By WS Boardman., 27 Nov 2010
By 
ShiDaDao Ph.D (London UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Pocket I Ching: The Richard Wilhelm Translation (Arkana) (Paperback)
The 'I Ching', (or 'Yijing') in modern pinyin, is a Zhou Dynasty (1100-256BC) divining manual, that evolved into a book of Confucius wisdom. Believed to have been etched onto bamboo strips around 800BC, this text evolved from oracle bones (Turtle shells and ox scapula), used to guide the Shang Dynasty (1766-1100BC) kings in their decisions regarding hunting, farming, making war, making peace and even the execution of prisoners. In its Confucian form, this text in a sophisticated explanation of the concept of 'yi', or 'change', that is viewed as the general, and therefore most important aspect of human life. Conquer 'change', and there is nothing a person with noble aspirations cannot attain.

In this 1984 edition, WS Boardman has managed to produce a very readable and easily understood 'abridged' version of the Richard Wilhelm translation that first appeared in its English translation in 1950, rendered from the German by Cary F Baynes - a psychology student of Carl Jung (1875-1961). Baynes is responsible for Wilhelm's German title of 'I Ging', (which is pronounced 'yi jing' in German), being translated into English as 'I Ching'. The problem here is that an English 'I' does not carry the pronunciation of its German counter-part, and the average English reader would have no idea that 'I', in this context, should read 'yi'.

Boardman presents the 64 hexagrams only once in this, simplified version, and does not include the Ten Wings, or ten commentaries usually affixed to the Book of Changes that describe what the book is about, and how it should be used. Wilhelm's full version includes the 64 hexagrams presented 'twice', whilst presenting most the Ten Wings, with one chapter broken-up and its sayings distributed throughout the 64 hexagrams themselves. Joseph Needham (1900-1995), the famous British expert on Chinese history and culture, remarked that although Wilhelm's translation was sound, nevertheless, his organisation of the text was overly complicated and constituted something of a 'sinological maze'. This presentation gives the general reader a pocket-sized edition that is easy to understand. It contains just 130 numbered passages, and is organised into a 9 page introduction that clearly explains how to access the text through the use of 3 coins, and briefly explains the history and purpose of the text. Carl Jung's views are reduced to their bare minimum, and the reader is not swamped with excessive verbage. Not only is this book an excellent introduction to the Yijing in general, it is also a very good introduction to the Wilhelm edition. This book achieves its intended aim.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear and easy to use, 26 May 2010
By 
L. Anning (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Pocket I Ching: The Richard Wilhelm Translation (Arkana) (Paperback)
This I Ching is great to use and almost 'friendly'. i bought this for a friend as I have this version already and they have found it clear and enlightening.
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The Pocket I Ching: The Richard Wilhelm Translation (Arkana)
The Pocket I Ching: The Richard Wilhelm Translation (Arkana) by Richard Wilhelm (Paperback - 29 Sep 1988)
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