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Ta Hsüeh and Chung Yung: The Highest Order of Cultivation and On the Practice of the Mean (Penguin Classics) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 180 pages||Word Wise: Enabled|
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
So they've finally gotten to this most basic of texts, the Great Learning and the Doctrine of the Mean. Together with the Analects and Mencius, these make up the 4 books that were a main part of the civil service exams in imperial China (along with the 5 Classics: the Books of Documents, Odes, Changes, Rites, and the Spring and Autumn Annals).
One thing that should be changed about this translation is the use of Wade-Giles transcription instead of Pinyin. To me, Wade-Giles has always looked like a ridiculous attempt at phonetization - "Teng Hsiao-p'ing" instead of "Deng Xiaoping" Plus it is often misleading - the former Chinese leader's name starts with a "d" sound, not a "t" sound. I think Penguin needs to make it official policy to go to Pinyin, which is the standard usage in China and probably will be the VHS to Wade-Giles' Beta.
I also hope Penguin will produce more of the Chinese works that are kicking around out there. So far, Oxford World Classics have been beating them in the Asian classics category (only barely, though). Penguin could do a lot to introduce some classics to Westerners, and erase the myth that there aren't as many ancient works from China as there are from Greece and Rome.
I suggest Penguin publish the Book of Odes, Book of Documents, the Spring and Autumn Annals, the Tso Chuan, The Intrigue of the Warring States, the Conversations of the States, the Records of the Grand Historian, and Histories of the Former and Latter Han, all histories except the Book of Odes. These works would surely appeal to readers of Livy, Plutarch, Suetonius, Herodotus, and Thucydides. All it would take is a few footnotes and some maps to explain names and places a little. We shall see - but this book is a small step in the right direction.
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