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Analects of Confucius

by Burton Watson Columbia University Press
Pub Date:
09/2009
ISBN:
9780231141659
Format:
Pbk 176 pages
Price:
AU$44.99 NZ$47.82
Product Status: Available in Approx 14 days
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Compiled by disciples of Confucius in the fourth century 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 book is valued for its insights into the successful governance of the empire and its ideal organization of society. It has also been used for many centuries as a beginning text in the learning of classical Chinese.

Filled with humor and sarcasm, the Analects 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 complex 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 and the importance of filial piety in cultivating one's moral and ethical development.

The single most influential philosophical work in all of Chinese history, The Analects of Confucius has shaped the thought and customs of China for centuries and has played a key role in the development of nearby countries, such as Korea, Japan, and Vietnam. Burton Watson's concise translation uses the pinyin system of romanization and keeps explanatory notes to a minimum, yet his intimate knowledge of the Confucian tradition and precise attention to linguistic detail capture all the elegance, cogency, and wit of the original text, which continues to exert tremendous influence.

Introduction
Book One
Book Two
Book Three
Book Four
Book Five
Book Six
Book Seven
Book Eight
Book Nine
Book Ten
Book Eleven
Book Twelve
Book Thirteen
Book Fourteen
Book Fifteen
Book Sixteen
Book Eighteen
Book Nineteen
Book Twenty
Glossary of Persons and Places

A lucid and accessible translation.
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.