Tao Te Ching
Annotated & Explained

 

Tao Te Ching

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Online Translation
All 81 Chapters

 

  Review by Brian Kennedy

I just got through with my first reading of Derek's translation and annotations of the Tao Te Ching. I thought it was outstanding. I say this in all sincerity; Derek's translation and commentary on the Lao Tzu is the best I have ever seen. No kidding. If anyone asked me, of the hundreds of editions of the Tao Te Ching would you recommend, I would without hesitation say Derek Lin's.

I read my first translation of the Tao Te Ching back in 1974, it was D.C. Lau's edition. In the 30 years since, I can not say I have read them all, but I have read a fair percentage of the English translations and commentaries and I can say; Derek's really stands out as the best.

I am quite aware of the massive problems of trying to translate something like the Lao Tzu. My wife is a professional translator (English to Chinese) and she and I have worked together on our three books (one on Chinese martial arts and two law books). Trying to get martial arts jargon or criminal law terms accurately and successfully translated provides a host of challenges; trying to translate an ancient Daoist classic provides even greater challenges. Derek has done an outstanding job of meeting those translation challenges. The translation is superb.

I thought the commentary was equally superb. I have found modern commentaries on the Lao Tzu to be of wildly varying quality. Derek does a great job of bringing the wisdom of the Lao Tzu into a 21st century context and that is not easy to do. It reflects on the fact that Derek is a knowledgeable and experienced teacher of the Dao that he is able to do such a great job of explaining the Tao Te Ching to a modern audience and making its teachings relevant and understandable.

I really think highly of this book and of Derek as a teacher and writer.


Mr. Brian Kennedy is an expert in Chinese Buddhism, Daoism and martial arts who has lived in Taiwan for the past 14 years.

 

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