A. Citaten uit de brontekst

Postface Guo Xiang

foto Lapland of Zweden

This humble scholar sees his virtue as lying in the ability to deal with what is easy to understand, but he does not think very highly of his talent to study strange doctrines. Now, Chuang-tzu possessed extensive skill and exceptional abilities, so that his work is really full of daring terms and lofty expressions. Sometimes the immediate meaning of a word is as good in understanding the text as its metaphorical sense is. Thus, an unlearned person like me is unable to clarify his vast ideas. Instead I randomly revised his parables and metaphors. Especially chapters like Sri O-i, I-hsiu, Wei-yen, Yu-i and Tzu-hsu are extremely artful and complicated. Texts of this kind make up about thirty percent of the book. Some passages have to be stretched to appear somewhat reasonable, others are so distorted that one can only call them absurd. There are parts very similar to the Shan-hai-ching, others resemble the scripts of dream-interpreters. Some come from the Huai-nan-tzu, others again belong in the category of speculation about names and reality.

The text sounds very lofty, with profundity and shallowness side by side. On the other hand, there are vulgar and far-fetched expressions, without any essence or depth whatsoever. In vain one undertakes the effort to understand those, supposing some concealed meaning underlying them. All this causes enormous hindrance in commenting and makes one often lose track of the argument. Taking this into consideration, how could one ever succeed in finding Chuang-tzu's real intentions? Thus I content myself with summarizing all and refrain from intensely inquiring into its logic. I reduced the text to 33 chapters, selecting its best and most complete parts, those which could reasonably be made into one coherent whole. (Kohn 1982 p54-55).

Vertaling Christofer Rand:
Master Chuang's vast talent was known throughout the world; he was truly a man of outstanding ability and mighty words. But because he expressed truths in paradoxes, the twisted scholars who followed him were not able to explicate his expansive meaning but perversely interpolated wrong ideas— [for example J at the beginning of the "E-i" and "I-hsiu" chapters, and in the "Chih-yen", "Yu-fu", and Tzu-hsü" chapters. Such ingenious admixtures constitute some thirty percent of the whole: some of these lead us close to the text's original meaning, while others distract us with absurdities; some resemble the Classic of Hills and Seas (Shan hai ching), while others resemble books of dream interpretation; some come from the Huai-nan [Tzu], while others debate form and name (hsing-ming). ... The style of these admixtures is vulgar and unseemly, and has neither profundity nor subtlety. Moreover, because of the troublesome obscurities [this writing introduces], it is difficult to know [the real text]; the submerged obstacles this writing creates block the current of ideas. How, then can one seek out Master Chuang's meaning? For while there is a sketch [of Chuang Tzu's concepts], his ideas are not [completely] preserved Thus, I have endeavored to take from this writing only what is far-penetrating and serves to preserve the main body [of Master Chuang's thought]. The result is a work of thirty-three chapters... (Christofer Rand 1983 p12-13)

B. Notitie

foto Lapland of Zweden


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