Words of wisdom
Confucius will feature prominently in next year"s literary offerings, besides books on Shanghai and wildlife. Chitralekha Basu reports
More than 2,500 years after Confucius handed down his sage insights, the Chinese ideologue continues to appeal to a worldwide audience. Not surprisingly, Confucius dominates the offerings of the English-language press in China for 2010.
The Foreign Language Press (FLP) in China is putting out two books on the life and work of a man whose ideas formed the foundation of much of subsequent Chinese thought. The first, Confucius, by Kong Xianglin, 75th descendent of the great man and vice-president of the Confucius Research Institute of China, is a user-friendly, handy guidebook to Confucian ideas. Profusely illustrated with Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) images sourced from Confucius institutes abroad, the book"s salient feature is a chapter on how Confucian doctrines influenced American and European philosophical traditions.
Getting to Know Confucius: A New Translation of the Analects, by Lin Wusun, chief editor of Beijing Review, who also translated Sun Tzu"s Art of War, comes with a longish introduction, in which the author compares Confucius to Plato and Jesus Christ. The bi-lingual edition comes with detailed annotations, and the 30 most-used Confucian aphorisms in the form of a pullout.
Pan Macmillan is reissuing Yu Dan"s immensely popular Confucius from the Heart, based on her equally admired TV series, a lively adaptation of The Analects for the non-scholarly reader, in a paperback edition. The United Kingdom-based Compendium Books will be releasing The Way of Confucius by Jonathan Price, published in association with the Shandong Publishing Group.