[Torn from the pages of our Vegans Learning Chinese Facebook group.]
You might find this interesting, @Damien. There's a long and difficult to read essay over at Victor Mair's Sino-Platonic Papers reflecting on (among other things) the extent to which the translation of the DaoDeJing (道德經) is still an absolute fraud (and the evidence from comparative study of manuscripts has generally been ignored). One example discussed is the image of this fish that should be kept in its pond: nobody (in Chinese or English, apparently) knows what the (overtly political) point of this parable/image in this passage was supposed to mean.
J Legge (Translator)
The soft overcomes the hard; and the weak the strong. Fishes should not be taken from the deep; instruments for the profit of a state should not be shown to the people.
J H McDonald (Translator)
This is called the subtle understanding
of how things are meant to be.
The soft and pliable overcomes the hard and inflexible.
Just as fish remain hidden in deep waters,
it is best to keep weapons out of sight.
Lin Yutang (Translator)
Gentleness overcomes strength:
Fish should be left in the deep pool,
And sharp weapons of the state should be left
Where none can see them.
Link to the article mentioned: http://sino-platonic.org/complete/spp199_laozi_hanfeizi.pdf
Thursday, 18 April 2019
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