Bronze Age Chinese Translations in 2014
By Lucas Klein, published
What is Chinese Literature?
As noted earlier, 2014 produced a "bumper crop" of Chinese literature translations in English, but almost all the titles listed are of contemporary fiction and poetry by living or recently deceased writers (and at least one of those titles won't be released until sometime in 2015).*
Yet 2014 also saw the publication of some very significant bronze age works. While China may not have the five thousand-year history the cultural nationalists claim for it, its written history does extend about three thousand years, with texts from that era serving as reference for intellectuals and underpinning longstanding habits of belief. Three of those texts are now available in major new English translations:
1 The Book of Master Mo, translated by Ian Johnston (Penguin Classics) (this is an updated republication of the Chinese University Press)
2 Xunzi: The Complete Text, translated by Eric L. Hutton (Princeton University Press)
3 The I Ching: The Essential Translation of the Ancient Chinese Oracle and Book of Wisdom, translated by John Minford (Penguin)
I look forward to reading them all, and finally learning how to live!