A Taoist Classic: Zhuang-Tzu -A New Selected Translation with an Exposition of the Philosophy of Kuo Hsiang
By Fung Yu-Lan
Foreign Languages Press, Beijing, 1998
Hardcover, 220mm x 152mm, 150 pages
Zhuang-tzu is the textbook Professor Fung Yu-lan, a distinguished contemporary Chinese philosopher, used to teach a course on Chuang Tzu in the Beijing Chinese Language School during the 1920s. It was first published by the Commercial Press in 1931. The book originally contained the translation of the first seven chapters of the Chuang-tzu and an article entitled "Some Characteristics of the Philosophy of Kuo Hsiang" appeared as an appendix. With Professor Fung's permission the book is reprinted for the sake of interested readers abroad. Apart from changes in style and occasional change in phraseology, Chapter Ten, "The Third Phase of Taoism: Chuang Tzu," of Professor Fung's A Short History of Chinese Philosophy is included as an appendix in the present edition with a view to offering readers better understanding of Chuang Tzu and his writings.
The Chuang-tzu, one of China's most important Taoist works, forms a connecting link between the preceding Book of Lao Tzu and the following Book of Huai Nan Tzu. It brims with ideas by means of images, shedding light on philosophy through the aid of fables. As the seven chapters are consistent in both style and thought, they were obviously written by Chuang Tzu himself, while some of the other chapters of the original Chuang-tzu were written by scholars of later periods or of other schools. Therefore, Chuang Tzu's philosophical thought is well presented in those seven chapters, while the ideas of the other chapters were incorporated in the translator's notes. Therefore, the present volume represents ideas discussed in the thirty-three chapters in the original Chuang-tzu. Professor Fung has, in his translator's notes, made a comparative study between Western philosophical thought and that of Chuang Tzu with a view to helping readers grasp the core of Chuang Tzu's writings.