The basic writings of Chuang Tzu have been savored by Chinese readers for over two thousand years. And Burton Watson's lucid and beautiful translation has been loved by generations of readers.
Chuang Tzu (369?-286? B.C.) was a leading philosopher representing
the Taoist strain in Chinese thought. Using parable and anecdote,
allegory and paradox, he set forth, in the book that bears his
name, the early ideas of what was to become the Taoist school.
Central to these is the belief that only by understanding Tao (the
Way of Nature) and dwelling in its unity can man achieve true
happiness and freedom, in both life and death.
Chuang Tzu: Basic Writings includes the seven "inner
chapters," which form the heart of the book, three of the "outer
chapters," and one of the "miscellaneous chapters." Watson also
provides an introduction, placing the philosopher in relation to
Chinese history and thought.
Witty and imaginative, enriched by brilliant imagery, and making
sportive use of both mythological and historical personages
(including even Confucius), this timeless classic is sure to appeal
to anyone interested in Chinese religion and culture.