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Synopsis

Partpoetry, part paradox, always stirring and profound, Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching has been inspiring readerssince it was written over two thousand years ago. This masterpiece is also oneof the most frequently translated books in all of history, in part because themultiple meanings of the Chinese characters make it impossible to translateinto a Western language in a strictly literal way. For this reason, manytranslations are either too loosely interpretive or are too overloaded withnotes, thereby losing the clarity of the terse poetry found in the originalChinese.The extraordinary strength of SamHamill's translation is that it has captured the poetry of Lao Tzu's originalwithout sacrificing the resonance of the text's many meanings and possibleinterpretations. The result is a beautiful and deeply meditative rendering, onethat is a delight to read over and over again.Accompanying Sam Hamill'stranslation are seventeen Chinese characters brushed by one of the greatmasters of calligraphy, Kazuaki Tanahashi. Hamill provides a comment for eachcharacter, giving the reader a fuller sense of the richness of the originaltext and insight into the process of translation itself.

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