The Essential Huainanzi by John S. Major

The Essential Huainanzi

byJohn S. Major, Sarah Queen, Andrew Meyer...

Kobo ebook | April 17, 2012

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Columbia University Press’s widely anticipated, complete translation of the Huainanzi, published in 2010, opened exciting new pathways in the study of classical Chinese philosophy and literature. Compiled in the second century B.C.E., the Huainanzi is a critical work of early Chinese thought, clarifying a crucial period in the development of Chinese conceptions of the cosmos, human nature, and the social order. This abridgement contains essential selections from each of the Huainanzi’s twenty-one chapters and adds a new introduction and chapter descriptions. Designed for classroom use and general readers, it allows even greater access to this central work of Chinese intellectual history.

Outlining all that a modern monarch needs to know” in order to govern efficaciously, the Huainanzi emphasizes rigorous self-cultivation and mental discipline, attributing successful rule to a balance of broad knowledge, diligent application, and penetrating wisdom. The text represents a remarkable synthesis of Daoist classics, such as the Laozi and the Zhuangzi; works associated with the Confucian tradition, such as the Changes, the Odes, and the Documents; and a range of other foundational philosophical and literary texts, from the Mozi to the Hanfeizi. This abridgement preserves the Huainanzi’s special rhetorical features, such as its parallel prose and verse, and its unique compositional techniques, making its form and content accessible to students, specialists of later China, and audiences new to Chinese history and thought. For decades, Western scholars overlooked the Huainanzi’s sophisticated structure, creative content, and rich historical value, yet all that changed with the translation of the full text. The Essential Huainanzi continues to increase awareness of this brilliant work and change our understanding of early Chinese history.

John S. Major taught East Asian history at Dartmouth College from 1971 to 1984. Since then--as an independent scholar, writer, editor, and lecturer--he has published many scholarly and general-interest books on Asia, including (with Constance A. Cook) Defining Chu: Image and Reality in Ancient China and (with Roger V. DesForges) The...
Title:The Essential HuainanziFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:April 17, 2012Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231501455

ISBN - 13:9780231501453


Read from the Book

Read the introduction to >The Essential Huainanzi.

Table of Contents

Sketch of Early Chinese History, with Special Reference to the Huainanzi
1. Originating in the Way
2. Activating the Genuine
3. Celestial Patterns
4. Terrestrial Forms
5. Seasonal Rules
6. Surveying Obscurities
7. Quintessential Spirit
8. The Basic Warp
9. The Ruler's Techniques
10. Profound Precepts
11. Integrating Customs
12. Responses of the Way
13. Boundless Discourses
14. Sayings Explained
15. An Overview of the Military
16 and 17. A Mountain of Persuasions and A Forest of Persuasions
18. Among Others
19. Cultivating Effort
20. The Exalted Lineage
21. An Overview of the Essentials
Glossary of Personal Names
Brief Bibliography

Editorial Reviews

The Essential Huainanzi is highly multifaceted, dealing with an astonishing variety of topics ranging from the mundane to the cosmic. John S. Major and his collaborators have produced an English version that is both readable and reliable.