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Where to start with Confucius? Ezra Pound...
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You are currently reading a thread in /lit/ - Literature

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Where to start with Confucius? Ezra Pound translations?
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start with the Greeks
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Readings in Classical Chinese Philosophy - Ivanhoe & Van Norden
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>>7592922
Afaik Ezra Pound couldn't even read Chinese. So... no.
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>>7593044
Yes he could.
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>>7593044
incorrigible stupidity
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>>7593222
>>7593228
Source pls. I've never seen anything saying he could read Chinese fluently- everything I've seen points to the opposite. See for example
https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=CDBFfbjKpM0C&pg=PA31&lpg=PA31&dq=It+is+a+bold+man+who+will+undertake+to+render+into+English+a+language+he+does+not+know.+But+Ezra+Pound+dared+to+be+bold+when+the+occasion+demanded&source=bl&ots=1MUKeYPhCo&sig=skBGe-0CwTdPC8OHQDZbCXJO8Rk&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjjq8Kfg6_KAhVLAxoKHWZ0AiAQ6AEIFDAA#v=onepage&q=It%20is%20a%20bold%20man%20who%20will%20undertake%20to%20render%20into%20English%20a%20language%20he%20does%20not%20know.%20But%20Ezra%20Pound%20dared%20to%20be%20bold%20when%20the%20occasion%20demanded&f=false
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>>7593317
...or "It is fairly common knowledge that Pound could not speak or read Chinese"

http://english.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/Williams%20Pound%20Essay.pdf
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>>7592922

A.C. Graham's book Disputers of the Tao gives a general philosophical/historical overview of warring states period China (the milieu in which Confucius was writing).

Unlike the cryptic Daoist sources like the Daodejing, the analects of Confucius are pretty straightforward, and so I'd say even the antiquated Legge translation still holds its own. But there have been more modern renditions - most recently Burton Watson, a mega-legit sinologist. That will be more understandable to a contemporary mind.

But if it's ConfucianISM you're interested in, I'd argue that Confucius isn't actually even the most important guy. He sort of spawned two schools of thought - those of Mengzi and of Xunzi. Mengzi became orthodoxy in the Han. So you should at the very least check out Mengzi (Mencius) as well.
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I started with Zhengzi's Classic of Filial Piety, kind of a Confucian Manifesto.
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No Chinese literature is worth a read translated.
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>>7593883
>>>r/books
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>>7593888
Chinese authors, more than other East Asian authors, utilise their language features in a way that just can't be reproduced in English. When you read a translated version, its absolutely gutted. I think it's you who is Reddit lad.
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>>7593892
We're both shitposters
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>>7593222
>>7593228

Ezra Pound was a posturing faggot who pretended to know a lot of things he didn't. I still love a lot of his poetry nonetheless.

kek @ Pound's weird anti-semitic tirade and endless stream of allusions trying to present itself like a latter-day Dante.... failed so hard. Still I really love reading some of the Cantos.
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>>7593883
>>7593892
OP's asking about Confucius, though. You don't read that stuff for the literary stylings.

Also I wouldn't agree Chinese lit is super-untranslatable anyway, except maybe the poetry. What is it you're referring to? All the classical allusions?
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>>7593883
>No Chinese literature is worth reading.

ftfy
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>>7593979
I'm guessing the nay-sayers in this thread can't actually read classical Chinese? Sure, there's a good case that the daodejing is untranslatable. Even phrasing it in modern Chinese is always a hack job requiring extensive footnotes.

But the Kongzi is actually really straight head. Sure the meaning is tricky, and the hermeneutical gymnastics it endures from the Han through the Qing requires a lifetime of study to even get the gist of, but the syntax is quite plain.

The same goes for Mengzi, whose prose really set the standard for classical philosophical language. My prof used to say Mengzi was to classical Chinese as Plato was to classical Greek. He really set the standard.

So no, this stuff isn't in any way untranslatable. Of course you get more out of it if you're reading it in the classical Chinese, but people like Legge and Watson still get the point across.
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>>7593916
Except none of that is true.
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>>7593044
That's not true.
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>>7593228
>>7593317
>>7593916
MFW the responders didnt know about the meme
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>>7593916

anti-semites are so weird
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>>7592922
Ezra Pound translations? Hell no.

The best translation would be the D.C. Lau translation. It is the older Penguin classic version.
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>>7594642
Which meme? Is claiming Ezra Pound was good enough at Chinese to translate it a meme?

>>7594236
>I'm guessing the nay-sayers in this thread can't actually read classical Chinese?
I was thinking either that, or a Chinese person being all 'muh super secret five thousand year old culture, no waiguoren will ever understand it'.
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>>7593883
English and Chinese have the same word-order. If anything, it's the only language worth reading in translation.
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>>7593222
>>7593228
>>7593916

In the New Directions Anthology of Classical Chinese Poetry, I believe it says he basically faked it till he made it with an Italian translation. The intro to that collection makes it pretty clear that the translations are not the most faithful.
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>>7592922

Tfw you love Mencius but people only talk about confucius
Thread replies: 27
Thread images: 4
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