After Confucius and Mencius, Zhu Xi (1130–1200) is perhaps the most important philosopher of Chinese history. His interpretations of the Confucian canon became orthodoxy until the fall of imperial China, and even into modern times. Of the texts in the canon, the Yijing (I Ching, tr., Book of Changes, also known as Zhouyi) is the most enigmatic and least understood of the Confucian classics. Confucian tradition includes ten appendixes (or "ten wings") to the basic text of what was originally a divination manual, adding a philosophical layer of moral cosmology. Adler (Kenyon College) is not, of course, the first to translate this work into English—his predecessors include James Legge (1899), Richard Lynn (1994), Richard Rutt (1996), Geoffrey Redmond (2017), and Margaret Pearson (2011)—but he is, surprisingly, the first to translate into English Zhu Xi's Zhouyi benyi, the original text with interlineary commentary. Adler's translation is both skillful and readable. This volume will be invaluable to any English-language reader who wants to understand this important Confucian classic and its interpretation, which has influenced Chinese thought and society for more than seven centuries.
Summing Up: Essential. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty; general readers.
- Reviewer: C. D. Smith, California State University, Sacramento
- Recommendation: Essential
- Readership Level: General Readers, Lower-division Undergraduates, Upper-division Undergraduates, Graduate Students, Researchers/Faculty
- Interdisciplinary Subjects: Asian and Asian American Studies
- Subject: Humanities - Language & Literature - Asian & Oceanian
- Choice Issue: may 2020 vol. 57 no. 9
- Choice Review #: 57-2863