In a radically new translation and interpretation of the I Ching, David Hinton strips this ancient Chinese masterwork of the usual apparatus and discovers a deeply poetic and philosophical text. Teasing out an elegant vision of the cosmos as ever-changing yet harmonious, Hinton reveals the seed from which Chinese philosophy, poetry, and painting grew. Although it was and is widely used for divination, the I Ching is also a book of poetic philosophy, deeply valued by artists and intellectuals, and Hinton's translation restores it to its original lyrical form. Previous translations have rendered the I Ching as a divination text full of arcane language and extensive commentary. Though informative, these versions rarely hint at the work's philosophical heart, let alone its literary beauty. Here, Hinton translates only the original stratum of the text, revealing a fully formed work of literature in its own right. The result is full of wild imagery, fables, aphorisms, and stories. Acclaimed for the eloquence of his many translations of ancient Chinese poetry and philosophy, Hinton has reinvented the I Ching as an exciting contemporary text at once primal and postmodern.
A master translator's beautiful and accessible rendering of the seminal Chinese text.
"[The I Ching is] the only thing that is amazingly true, period . . . You don't have to believe anything to read it, because besides being a great book to believe in, it's also very fantastic poetry." --Bob Dylan"The I Ching has never left my side." --John Cage
David Hinton's many translations of classical Chinese poetry have earned wide acclaim for creating compelling contemporary poems that convey the actual texture and density of the originals. He is also the first translator in more than a century of the four seminal masterworks of Chinese philosophy: Tao Te Ching, Chuang Tzu, Analects, and Mencius. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and has won the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award, the PEN Translation Prize, and, most recently, the Thornton Wilder Prize for lifetime achievement from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.