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The Analects of Confucius

The Analects of Confucius

Hardback Translations from the Asian Classics (Hardcover)

By (author) Burton Watson

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  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Format: Hardback | 176 pages
  • Dimensions: 140mm x 211mm x 15mm | 227g
  • Publication date: 1 September 2007
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0231141645
  • ISBN 13: 9780231141642
  • Sales rank: 676,997

Product description

Compiled by disciples of Confucius in the centuries following his death in 479 B.C.E., The Analects of Confucius is a collection of aphorisms and historical anecdotes embodying the basic values of the Confucian tradition: learning, morality, ritual decorum, and filial piety. Reflecting the model eras of Chinese antiquity, the Analects offers valuable insights into successful governance and the ideal organization of society. Filled with humor and sarcasm, it reads like a casual conversation between teacher and student, emphasizing the role of the individual in the attainment of knowledge and the value of using historical events and people to illuminate moral and political concepts. Confucius's teachings focus on cultural and peaceful pursuits and the characteristics of benevolent and culturally distinguished government. He also discusses ancestor worship and other rites performed for the spirits of the dead. The single most influential philosophical work in all of Chinese history, The Analects of Confucius has shaped the thought and customs of China and neighboring countries for centuries. Burton Watson's concise translation uses the pinyin romanization system and keeps explanatory notes to a minimum, yet his intimate knowledge of the Confucian tradition and precise attention to linguistic detail capture the original text's elegance, cogency, and wit.

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Author information

Burton Watson has taught at Columbia, Stanford, and Kyoto Universities and is one of the world's best-known translators of Chinese and Japanese works. His translations include The Tales of the Heike; The Lotus Sutra; the writings of Zhuangzi, Mozi, Xunzi, and Han Feizi; The Columbia Book of Chinese Poetry; and Records of the Grand Historian.

Review quote

[Watson's] translation... is not only perhaps the most faithful to the writer's intentions, but also one of the few readable ones. -- Donald Richie Japan Times 9/16/07 Watson's gem... captures the wit, freedom, and spontaneous intimacy of this tireless treasure... Highly recommended. CHOICE June 2008 A new, concise translation. Journal of Chinese Studies Week 49, 2009 A lucid and accessible translation. Toronto Globe & Mail 11/14/09

Table of contents

IntroductionBook OneBook TwoBook ThreeBook FourBook FiveBook SixBook SevenBook EightBook NineBook TenBook ElevenBook TwelveBook ThirteenBook FourteenBook FifteenBook SixteenBook EighteenBook NineteenBook TwentyGlossary of Persons and Places