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Having masterfully translated a wide range of ancient Chinese poets and philosophers, David Hinton is uniquely qualified to offer the definitive contemporary English version of Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching. Like all of his translations, Hinton's translation of the Tao Te Ching is mind-opening, presenting startling new dimensions in this widely-influential text. He shows how Lao Tzu's spirituality is structured around the generative life-force, for example, and that this system of thought weaves the human into natural process at the deepest levels of being, thereby revealing the Tao Te Ching as an originary text in deep feminist and ecological thought.
Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching is not only the single most important text ever composed in China, it is probably the most influential spiritual text in human history. In the past, virtually all translations of this text have been produced either by sinologists having little poetic facility in English, or writers having no ability to read the original Chinese. Hinton's fluency in ancient Chinese and his acclaimed poetic ability provide him the essential qualifications. Together, they allow a breathtaking new translation that reveals how remarkably current and even innovative this text is after 2500 years.
David Hinton has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, numerous fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and both of the major awards given for poetry translation in the United States: the Landon Translation Award, and the PEN Translation Award. His recent book of essays, Hunger Mountain: A Field Guide to Mind and Landscape, was on the Best-Books-of-the-Year list at The Guardian in England.