Dao De Jing
(Tao) is Open Forum
Zhuangzi (Chuang Tzu) is considered to be on a par with Laozi (Lao Tzu) in disseminating ideas on Dao and Daoism. Unlike Laozi, Zhuangzi presents stories which are both whimsical and thought-provoking. Some stories may cause you to laugh out loud while others seem confusing and enigmatic. Zhuangzi presents these stories without further clarification, as though challenging you to find the plot and the message in each one. Western minds tend to look for a hero and a villain in stories, but Zhuangzi will leave you wondering just which is which.
Itís believed that the first chapters of Zhuangzi, which are referred to as the Inner Chapters (1 through 7), were written by a man named Zhuangzi in the fourth century BCE. This was during the time of Laozi, Confucius and many other ancient Chinese philosophers. The rest of the chapters of the Zhuangzi are thought to have been written much later, possibly around the second century BCE. The later chapters are said to reflect the thoughts of others who tried to argue the benefits of their own philosophies while demeaning the ideologies of other philosophies. Thus, there are stories which praise Confucius, and other stories which try to make him appear to be a fool.
The entire book we now call the Zhuangzi was compiled in the third or fourth century CE by a man named Guo Xiang (Kuo Hsiang), who also wrote an extensive commentary on it at the time. Most translations of the Zhuangzi we have today donít include Xiangís commentaries.
Whoever actually wrote the Zhuangzi seems to be relevant only to scholars. Itís a wonderful book that gives more insights into Dao.
(Note: For more on Zhuangzi as well as my own translation, go to the Zhuangzi (Chuang Tzu) section at the Dao Is Open web site.)
The following is only a list of books in my library on the Zhuangzi. There are links below each book to pages where you can find more information on the book and purchase it if desired.
> Wandering on the Way: Early Taoist Tales and Parables of Chuang Tzu by Victor H. Mair
Translation of all the chapters with notes at the beginning of each one describing how the stories in that chapter relate to the other philosophies in China at the time.
Wandering on the Way: Early Taoist Tales and Parables of Chuang Tzu by Victor Mair at Amazon
> A Taoist Classic: Chuang-Tzu by Fung Yu-Lan
Translation of the Inner Chapters (1 through 7) with many notes and commentaries by Fung Yu-Lan and Kuo Hsiang throughout the book.
A Taoist Classic: Chuang-Tzu by Fung Yu-Lan at Amazon
> Chuang-Tzu: The Inner Chapters by A. C. Graham
Translation of all the chapters with many commentaries and personal notes by Graham. The first 7 chapters (Inner Chapters) are presented in their proper order, but Graham has included the stories from the rest of the chapters sorted by what he considers to be their proper topics. There is no index as to where to find any specific story.
Chuang-Tzu: The Inner Chapters by A. C. Graham at Amazon
> The Book of Chuang Tzu by Martin Palmer and Elizabeth Breuilly
Translation of all the chapters with no commentaries.
The Book of Chuang Tzu by Martin Palmer and Elizabeth Breuilly at Amazon
> The Essential Chuang Tzu by Sam Hamill and J. P. Seaton
Translation of selected chapters, including the Inner Chapters (1 through 7), but not all stories are included.
The Essential Chuang Tzu by Sam Hamill and J. P. Seaton at Amazon
> Wandering at Ease in the Zhuangzi by Roger T. Ames
A collection of interpretive essays on various chapters of the Zhuangzi.
Wandering at Ease in the Zhuangzi by Roger T. Ames at Amazon
> Zhuangzi 1 and Zhuangzi 2, English translation by Wang Rongpei, Modern Chinese translation by Qin Xuqing and Sun Yongchang
The Zhuangzi in two volumes, with the Modern Chinese translation on the opposite page of each English translation.
Zhuangzi 1 and Zhuangzi 2, English translation by Wang Rongpei, Modern Chinese translation by Qin Xuqing and Sun Yongchang at Amazon
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