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Bryan Van Norden's new translation of the Mengzi (Mencius) is accurate, philosophically nuanced, and fluent. Accompanied by selected passages from the classic commentary of Zhu Xi--one of the most influential and insightful interpreters of Confucianism--this edition provides readers with a parallel to the Chinese practice of reading a classic text alongside traditional commentaries. Also included are an Introduction that situates Mengzi and Zhu Xi in their intellectual and social contexts; a glossary of names, places and important terms; a selected bibliography; and an index.
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Bryan W. Van Norden is Professor in the Philosophy Department and in the Department of Chinese and Japanese at Vassar College.Review:
The Mengzi is one of the richest philosophical texts in classical Chinese philosophy, and Van Norden's translation is among the few that do it justice. His translation is further distinguished by its accessibility and is unique in including substantial selections from later commentaries. As such it is both an essential scholarly resource and a great introduction to Confucian thought.--Justin Tiwald, San Francisco State University
Bryan W. Van Norden accomplishes two impressive feats in this important new translation of Mengzi (Mencius). First, he presents the text in a traditional fashion, with indispensable commentary interwoven into--yet always clearly distinct from—the text. This opens up the text to modern readers as never before in a translation. Second, he both lets us hear the voice of the text's greatest commentator (Zhu Xi from the twelfth century) and gives us a translation faithful to the text's original time and philosophy. The supple balance with which Van Norden pulls this off makes this translation perfect for students, general readers, and scholars alike.--Stephen Angle, Wesleyan University
This is the most accurate, readable, and philosophically revealing version of the Mengzi available. It has the added virtue of a running commentary that weaves together Zhu Xi's explanation of Mengzi's thought with Van Norden's exposition and insights and his selected bibliographies. The inclusion of Zhu Xi's comments allows readers to appreciate more fully not only the depth of Mengzi's original vision but also its power to inspire creative interpretation by one of the greatest minds of the neo-Confucian period. The result is a magnificent work that brings the study and understanding of Mengzi's philosophy to an unprecedented and most impressive level of rigor, sophistication, and interest.--Philip J. Ivanhoe, City University of Hong Kong
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