What Planet is This?

18 Aug 2005

On the Tao Te Ching

One excellent version of the Tao Te Ching that I have, translated by Red Pine, uses heng2 (恆, U+6046) in the place of where practically all the online texts use chang2 (常, U+5E38), without a precise explanation why. I suspect that it may be based on the Mawangtui or some other early text. The introduction of the book alone shows the meticulous work that the author has put into researching and translating it, so whatever the reason behind the difference, it must be quite compelling. Here's the original text used for his English translation of the first verse:


In its article on the Tao Te Ching, Wikipedia mentions the 1993 discovery of the Guodian Laozi, the oldest version of the Tao Te Ching yet found, dating from about 300 BC. The article also states that "this find unearthed 14 verses previously unknown". The only possible extra verse that I've been able to find, however, is the Taiyi Sheng Shui, and it's not even known whether this was intended to be an extra verse of the Tao Te Ching or not. I've also been unable to find an English translation, though the Chinese University of Hong Kong has a site which reputedly contains the Chinese original.

Cite: Palmer, S.B. (2005). "On the Tao Te Ching", in: What Planet is This?
Archival URI: http://inamidst.com/notes/onthettc


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What, no link to me?

John Cowan, Thu Aug 18 13:19:19 2005

> What, no link to me?

Your version doesn't display the original Chinese. I did, however, use your zhongwen.com recommendation over my initial thought of afpc.asso.fr/wengu. Also, I mention you as the "magnificent John Cowan" in the very next post!

Taoism is one of the things that I'm hoping to phase in gradually as a topic on the weblog, so it's very likely that I'll be writing about it again soon, and when I do I'll weave in a link to the Unix Power Classic. There's an awful lot to write about on WPIT, and I'm being too anal over it.

Note also that you didn't credit me in, say, Terse Telegrams [1] even though I gave you one of the quotes therein. I don't mind though. I've noticed that you never cite the sources of the recyclements, I guess since it would make it a lot messier.

Oh, also, did you see that I found Da Silva's original "Verbogeny" email? That was rather cool. I was going to ask you on IRC but you weren't around (that happens a lot: I'll want to ask you a WPIT-related question but you won't be around; I was going to ask you about the zhongwen.com thing too), so I just guessed that it'd be in Usenet. It wasn't easy to find, either; Google was kinda hiding it.

Were you subscribed to the group when he said it, or did you pick it up from someone else's .sig? I remember asking you who he was and you know, but perhaps you just looked him up on Google.

[1] http://recycledknowledge.blogspot.com/2005/05/terse-telegrams.html

L'auteur, Aug 18, 2005 6:47 PM


Periodical essays on linguistics, history, and much more, from Shakespeare to post Romano-​British findings. Like Notes and Queries sans the queries and solely antiquarian disposition.

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