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( University of Washington , USA )



    In 1937 the Spanish philosopher Jos é Ortega y Gasset published in the Argentine newspaper La Naci ó n an article entitled “ La Miseria y el esplendor de la traducci ó n” (The Misery and Splendor of Translation). In this article Ortega y Gasset identifies two important facets of translation, one that he calls “misery”, and the other that he designates “splendor”. The “misery of translation” stems from the pessimistic proposition that except for scientific works, which basically are written in their own special language, it is impossible to translate from one language to another. The reason for this miserable state of affairs is that there is a vast linguistic and cultural gulf that separated different languages. “Languages separate us and discommunicate, not simply because they are different languages, but because they proceed from different mental pictures from disparate intellectual systems — in the last instance, from divergent philosophies.” Despite this ostensibly pessimistic view of translation, Ortega y Gasset is actually optimistic, for he sees in the process of translation a redeeming quality that he calls the “splendor of translation”. To him, a translation is not a “magic manipulation” from one language to another, or even a “duplicate of the original text”, but rather is one that draws attention to the cultural and linguistic differences in order to “force the reader from his linguistic habits and oblige him to move within those of the author”. Thus, a good translation is one that allows the reader to undertake a metaphorical “voyage to the foreign, to the absolutely foreign, which another very remote time and another very different civilization comprise”. This enhanced “historical consciousness” has the beneficial result — or in Ortega y Gasset's words, the “splendor” — of introducing new perspectives that may challenge conventional benefits.

    In the title of my paper, I have used near synonyms for Ortega y Gasset's “misery” and “splendor”. I have substituted the words “peril” and “pleasures” for his “misery” and “splendor”. I have chosen “perils and pleasures” not simply to observe the Anglo-American convention of devising an alliterative title for my paper, but to indicate a slightly different view of translation, especially as it concerns the Chinese classics. First, I will discuss what I call the perils of translation. This may sound like a peculiar way of characterizing translation, but what I shall discuss here are some of the pitfalls and traps into which a translator of Chinese texts, including myself, easily falls. I shall argue that if one is aware of these pitfalls and traps, and even tries to overcome them, translation need not be the miserable and degrading activity that if often is considered to be. I shall even dare to suggest that translation, if done properly, is a form of high-level scholarship that is as rewarding and valuable as other forms of scholarly endeavor.

    I do not have time to discuss the entire Chinese canon in this lecture. What I shall do here is to focus on one important text of the Chinese Confucian canon, the Yi jing . Before I do so, I should give a brief history of the early translation of the Confucian canon into European languages.

    The history of the Western language translations of the Confucian classics begins with the Jesuits. The assessment of their work is mixed. The Jesuits initially seemed to have focused their attention on the texts that came into the Chinese canon relatively late, the Si Shu 四书 . As early as 1593, the earliest Jesuit missionary in china, Michele Ruggiere (1543-1607) prepared a Latin translation of the Daxue . This was printed in Rome in 1593.

    Almost one hundred years later, a more substantial translation work is Confucius Sinarum Philosophus (The Chinese Philosopher Confucius), a collaboration done by a group of twenty-two Jesuits, four Dominicans, and one Franciscan in Guangzhou between 1665 and 1671 and published in Paris in 1687. It contains translations into Latin of the Daxue , Zhong yong , and Lun yu . The person who primarily is responsible for producing this work is the Flemish Jesuit Philippe Couplet (1623-1692). However, despite its popularity at the time, one recent scholar has characterized the translations as “long-winded paraphrases, slightly ‘characterizing' in many cases the Chinese text”.

    An even more influential work that contained a substantial number of translations of the classics, including extracts from the Si shu , Shi jing , Shu jing , and even the Yi jing is Joseph du Halde's Description geographique, historique, chronologique, politique et physique de l'Empire de la Chine et de la Tartarie chinoise . Although these translations are done in a clear and readable French, one scholar notes that the bland style must have had a negative effect “on the appreciation of Chinese classics as literature ”.

    Among the early Western language translations of the classics, there are two that stand out. The first is the complete translation of the Shu jing by Antoine Gaubil (1689-1759). Gaubil lived for thirty-seven years in Peking , and was both a scientist and an exacting philologist. He was a member of the Academy of Sciences as well as the Academy of Inscriptions and Belles-Lettre of Paris (he also was affiliated with the Imperial Academy of St. Petersburg and was an associate member of the Royal Academy of London). According to Abel-R é musat, who was the first scholar named to the Chair of Chinese at the Coll è ge de France, Gaubil had the most profound knowledge of ancient China of all the Jesuit missionaries who went to China. Gaubil completed his translation of the Shu jing in the 1740s. This was never published. The French scholar Joseph de Guignes (1721-1800), who was actually a professor of Syriac at the Coll è ge Royal de France, undertook to revise and “correct” Gaubil's translation so as to render it “more literal”. This was published in Paris in 1770.

    The Chinese classic that most interested the early Jesuit scholars was the Yi jing . One of the early Jesuits, Fr. Joachim Bouvet 白晋 (1665-1730), who was a close confidante of the Kangxi emperor, thought that the Yi jing , which he attributed to Fu Xi, was the oldest written book in the world. He also considered the Yi jing diagrams “as containing a key to reducing all phenomena of the world into quantitative elements of number, weight, and measure”. Bouvet was such a Yi jing enthusiast the Jesuits who were offended by his figurist theories characterized him as “Yikingiste”.

    The first Western language translation of the Yi jing was contained in the Cofucius Sinarum philosophus . This you will remember was published in 1687. It is a Latin translation, probably done by Couplet himself, of Hexagram 15, Qian 谦 “Humility”. This is a very verbose translation. For example, the translator uses forty-four Latin words to translate the six words of the second line: 六二, 鸣谦贞吉 .

    The first translation of the Yi jing into a modern European language was done by a Breton Jesuit, Claude Visdelou 刘应声闻 (1656-1737). Visdelou was one of the Catholic missionaries sent to China by King Louis XIV in 1687. One of his first tasks upon arriving in China was to learn the Chinese language. Apparently he acquired a facility in both spoken and classical Chinese that impressed members of the Qing court, including one of the sons of the Kangxi Emperor. After briefly serving as Vicar Apostolic of Guizhou (1705-1708) and Bishop of Macao, in 1709 Visdelou left for India , where he spent the remainder of his life in Pondicherry . Visdelou is primarily known today for his studies of the Central Asian peoples that historically had contact with China . His work on the Yi jing was published in 1770 as a supplement of Gaubil's translation of the Shu jing . One of Visdelou's contributions was the creation of the terms “trigramme” and “hexagramme” to designate the three-lined and six-lined gua of the Yi jing . Visdelou only translated one hexagram text. He gives a translation into French of Hexagram 15. Unlike the Couplet translation, Visdelou did not supply any extra words. For example, for the second line of this hexagram, he writes “L'humilit é é clatante (devient) justement fortun é e” or “Dazzling humility (becomes) justly fortunate.”

    The first complete translation of the Yi jing into a European language was not published until 1834-37. This is a translation into Latin entitled Y-King: Antiquissimus Sinarum Liber ( Yi jing , the oldest Chinese book). This translation had been done much earlier by the Jesuit Jean-Baptiste R é gis (1663-1738), who first went to China in 1698. R é gis based his translation on two earlier unpublished versions, one by Joseph de Mailla (1669-1748), who is best known for his monumental history of China, and Pierre du Tartre (1669-1724). De Mailla seems to have worked mainly from a Manchu translation. R é gis based his translation on the Zhou yi zhe zhong 周易折中 , the famous imperial edition prepared under the auspices of the Kangxi emperor in 1715. It is this edition that most of the subsequent translators of the Yi jing used. R é gis was known for his profound knowledge of Chinese. R é gis completed his translation in 1736, but it remained unpublished until the German Orientalist Joseph Mohl (1800-1876) edited and published it in two volumes that appeared at Stuttgart and T ü bingen in 1834 and 1839. His translation is much more economical and terse than Couplet's version. Thus, for the second line of Hexagram 14 where Couplet uses forty-four words, R é gis uses only six: “Clamosa seu apparens humlitas, solidum bonum.”

    The first English translation of the Yi jing was done by an Irish Anglican missionary, Thomas McClatchie (1814-1885), who went to Shanghai in 1844 to establish the China Missionary Society. McClatchie published a complete translation of the Yi jing in 1876. Although McClatchie's English rendering is not always unreliable, it received strong criticism from many of his contemporaries for his bizarre theory about the origins and nature of the book. According to McClatchie, the Yi jing originated in the time of the Great Flood recorded in the Bible . McClatchie believed that the Yi jing was one of the books that were saved from the Great Flood and was an important text to the ancient Babylonians. The reason his translation was so controversial is that he endeavored to uncover evidence of phallic symbolism in some passages of the Yi jing . For example, the passage in the “Xi ci zhuan” that reads 乾,阳物也;坤,阴物也 , McClatchie translates as “Khien is the membrum virile [male member], and Khw ǎ n is the pudendum muliebre [female private part] (the sakti of Khien).” It was interpretations like this that led James Legge to exclaim, “It is hardly possible, on reading such a version, to suppress the exclamation proh pudor [for shame]!”

    James Legge (1815-1897) was a Scotsman who went to Hong Kong in 1843 as a missionary. Until 1873 he was almost constantly in Hong Kong doing both missionary work and scholarship. Legge's major contribution to Sinology was the five-volume Chinese Classics, for which he earned the first Stanislas Julien prize in 1875. These volumes include the complete Si shu , Shang su , Shi jing , Chunqiu , and the Zuo zhuan . When Legge left Hong Kong in 1873, he returned to England where he was appointed to the first chair of Chinese at of Oxford in 1876. Here he continued his scholarly work. In 1882 he published a translation of the Yi jing , six years after McClatchie's translation appeared. In 1885 he issued his translation of the Li ji . In his later years he worked on Taoism and the Chuci . In 1891 he published complete translations of the Laozi and Zhuangzi . Legge is one of the great giants among the European translations of the Chinese classics. He mentions in the preface to his Yi jing translation that he had completed a translation of the Yi jing in 1855, but because he was unsure that he sufficiently understood the book, put it aside for twenty years returning to it only after he had taken up his professorship at Oxford . Legge published his translation as volume 16 of The Sacred Books of the East series edited by the famous Orientalist F. Max M ü ller (1823-1900).

    Legge's translation of the Yi jing had almost canonical status in the West, especially in the English speaking world, until the 1950s, when the English version of Richard Wilhelm's Yi jing translation was published. I will have more to say about Legge's translation of the Yi jing later in my talk.

    About a decade after the publication of the first edition of Legge's translation of the Yi jing a scholar named Paul-Louis-Felix Philastre 霍道生 (1837-1902) published a complete translation of the Yi jing into French in two volumes. The first volume was published in 1885; the second appeared ten years later in 1893. This is generally regarded as the standard French translation. Philastre not only translated the Yi jing text but also the commentaries of Cheng Yi 程颐 and Zhu Xi 朱熹 .

    Appearing about the same time as Philastre's translation was another French translation by the Belgian scholar Charles Joseph de Harlez (1832-1899), which was published in 1899. In addition to his translation of the Chinese text, de Harlez provided a transcription of a Manchu translation of the Text. De Harlez thought that the Yi jing was originally a dictionary. De Harlez interprets each of the hexagrams as representing a single word. According to De Harlez, each of these “words” designates an entry in the dictionary. He considers the various yao ci and commentaries simply explanations of the meaning of the word or examples of how the word could be used. In arriving at his interpretation, de Harlez probably was influenced by the famous Orientalist Terrien de Lacouperie (1845-1894), who published a partial translation of the Yi jing in 1892. Lacouperie put forth the proposition that the Yi jing was a non-Chinese book that was brought to China by Bactrian immigrants in 2282 B.C. (According to Lacoupeire, the Chinese word baixing 百姓 , which he reconstructed as baksing , was a name for the Bak or Bactrian people.) Lacouperie had actually published his ideas about the Yi jing some ten years earlier, and James Legge even refers to them in the introduction to his translation of the Yi jing . Lacouperie thought that the Yi jing hexagram titles represented words from a Babylonian dictionary that Bactrian immigrants had brought to China in the third millennium B.C.

    It was not until the 1920s that another European language translation of the Yi jing was published. This is the translation into German by Richard Wilhelm (1873-1930). Richard Wilhelm is to German Sinology what Legge is to British Sinology. He was primarily a translator of the Confucian classics and pre-Qin philosophical texts. Wilhelm did his university study at T ü bingen University, where he took a degree in theology. After serving several years as a minister, Wilhelm decided to go to China as a missionary. Wilhelm resided in China for twenty-five years, most of this time in Qingdao . Between 1910 and 1928, Wilhelm produced translations of the Lun yu , Laozi , Liezi , Zhuangzi , Mengzi , Yi jing , and the L ü shi chunqiu . His best-known work is the translation of the Yi jing , which he did in collaboration with the Chinese scholar Lao Naixun 劳乃宣 (1843-1921). In 1924 the University of Frankfurt gave him an honorary doctor of philosophy degree and named him an honorary professor. In 1927 an endowment was established for him to assume a chair in Sinology at Frankfurt . Wilhelm established at Frankfurt the China-Institut, which was the only center for Chinese studies in Germany at the time. Wilhelm also was on close terms with leading European intellectuals, including Karl Gung and Hermann Hesse.

    Wilhelm began his translation in March of 1913 at the suggestion of Lao Naixuan. Richard Wilhelm had invited Lao in that year to come to Qingdao to preside over the Confucius Society located in that city. Wilhelm's method of translating the Yi jing was to have Lao explain the text to him, and following Lao's explanation Wilhelm translated it into German. Wilhelm then translated the German version into Chinese, and after consulting Lao, he then produced a new German translation. With the outbreak of World War I, the Japanese seized Qingdao in November 1914, and Lao moved to Qufu. At the conclusion of the war, Lao returned to Qingdao to help Wilhelm finish the translation. However, he did not live to see the published translation. Lao died on 21 July 1921 in Qingdao . By this time Wilhelm had already returned to Germany and had virtually completed his translation. However, he mentions that a friend in Germany provided him with an edition of the Yi jing for which he “had hunted in vain through all the bookstores of Peking .” Although Wilhelm does not mention the name of this edition of the Yi jing , it undoubtedly is the 1715 Kangxi edition of the Zhou yi zhe zhong . Richard Wilhelm passed this book on to his son Hellmut Wilhelm. Hellmut Wilhelm was my teacher at the University of Washington in the 1960s. When my wife and I were married in Seattle in 1977, the wedding present we received from Professor Wilhelm was the very copy of the Zhou yi zhe zhong that Richard Wilhelm had used in completing his translation of the Yi jing .

    Richard Wilhelm's translation of the Yi jing was published in 1924. One of the first notices of the book was by the German novelist Hermann Hesse, with whom Wilhelm was well acquainted. Wilhelm also was friends with the psychologist Carl Jung, who had recruited in the late 1920s a psychology student of his in Zurich , Cary F. Baynes, to translate the Yi jing into English. Mrs. Baynes had originally intended to work under Wilhelm's supervision, but his untimely death in 1930 ended any opportunity for them to collaborate. Baynes did not complete her English translation until 1949, and during the time she was working on the translation, she was able to consult Richard Wilhelm's son Hellmut, who had taken up residence in Seattle by then. The Wilhelm-Baynes translation was first published in 1950 with a foreword by Carl Jung. This was reprinted in 1955. The third edition, issued in 1967, contains some slight revisions and a preface by Hellmut Wilhelm.

    With the publication of the English version of Richard Wilhelm's Yi jing translation in 1950, there were basically two standard Western language translations of the Yi jing , Legge's and what is usually called Wilhelm-Baynes, for Cary Baynes' English version virtually eclipsed the German version in Europe and North America. Legge's translation, which had come into the public domain by the 1960s, was frequently reprinted, and because it was in the public domain, it was often shamelessly plagiarized. As I mentioned above, Legge's translation was included in The Sacred Books of the East series edited by Max M ü ller. The story of M ü ller's project, along with Legge's involvement in it, has recently been told in several places, and I will here only comment on a few points hat relate to the problems of translation. The first is related to the issue of what works are deemed worthy of translating. The Sacred Books of the East series was an attempt to produce a set of translations of canonically sanctioned works. The main criterion that determined canonicity was that that these books should be “religious” texts that “could be appealed to for deciding any disputed points of faith, morality, or ceremonial.” M ü ller established eight groups of “book religions” for the series. There were two groups devoted to Chinese religious texts: the religion of the followers of Khung-fu-sze (i.e., Confucius) and the religion of the followers of L a o-sze (i.e., Laozi). He recruited James Legge to select and translated the Chinese religious texts. What is notable about M ü ller's project is what it included, and what it left out. As Norman Giradot has pointed out, there is an overwhelming emphasis on the Indo-European tradition, which was M ü ller's primary scholarly interest. “In the culminating set of forty-nine volumes, the Indian religious made up thirty-three volumes — that is, twenty-one Vedic-Brahamanic volumes, two Jain volumes, and ten Buddhist volumes (only one of which, volume 19, was devoted to a Chinese Buddhist text and two others included Mahayana texts influencing East Asian tradition). To this must be added the eight volumes of Persian or Zoroastrian texts, which gives a grand total of forty-one out of forty-nine volumes (more or less, depending on how a few of the Buddhist volumes are counted) that could be generally classified as belonging to ‘Indo-European' tradition. Trailing weakly along at the end came the two-volume translation of the Islamic Koran and Legge's six volumes devoted to Confucianism and Daoism.” Anyone familiar with the East Asian tradition undoubtedly will be offended by the exclusion not only of Chinese Buddhist words, but sacred texts from the Japanese and Korean tradition. I mention this point not to detract from the value of M ü ller's series, which served the important purpose of producing reliable scholarly translations of seminal works that were outside the Judaeo-Christian tradition. However, M ü ller is not an isolated example of an editor who allowed his own interests to determine what works were worthy of translation for the canon of Eastern religious texts as he defined it. Lawrence Venuti has recently shown in his recent book on translation theory that translation “wields enormous power in constructing representations of foreign cultures.” The determination of what texts to translate in particular in effect creates a new canon in the domestic literature that may not accurately reflect the values of the foreign traditions from which the translated work comes. In the case of translations from the Chinese, one can point to examples of this phenomenon from the very earliest translations done by the Jesuits to the present day.

    The question that most translations do not reflect sufficiently on is why one decides to translate a particular text. In the early history of Western Sinology, it is probably the case that the majority of translators relied on Chinese informants to determine what to translate. As I have already mentioned, the earliest texts of the Chinese that interested the Jesuits were the Si shu . Their motivation was primarily to translate the texts that the Neo-Confucian scholars had told them were central to the so-called Chinese religious tradition. I would also say that James Legge and Richard Wilhelm, who had much more comprehensive view of the Chinese literary tradition than their predecessors, were also strongly influenced by the impulse to provide German and English versions the canon as understood in traditional China . However, the translation projects of Legge and Wilhelm were not disinterested undertakings. They both were missionaries. Their initial interest in the Chinese classics was strongly motivated by religious concerns. This is probably more the case with Legge than Wilhelm. Wilhelm is reputed to have said that during his entire time in China he never baptized a single person. One eminent contemporary scholar of Chinese and comparative literature has characterized Legge's translations of the Chinese classics “as highly civilized but fatally secular versions of Christian dogma.” This is certainly an exaggeration, for in his own time, Legge actually was severely criticized by many in the protestant religious establishment for his Sinophilia and unwarranted crediting of the Confucian classics with important ethical and religious values. Indeed, near the end of his life, Legge said in a lecture at a Christian conference held in 1886 that the Confucian classics “‘compare favorably' with the books of the Hebrew Old Testament.”

    The contemporary reception of Legge's translation of the Yi jing was mixed. An anonymous reviewer in The Athen ? um , one of the leading London literary journals of the time, judges Legges's version to be a “faithful and trustworthy exposition of the original.” However, in the scholarly community, Legge's translation met with a more hostile response. The criticisms directed against Legge relate to another issue of translation, which I would also characterize as another pitfall or peril faced by the translator, the illusion of the stability of ancient texts. The foremost scholarly critic of Legge's translation was Terrien De Lacouperie, whom I have mentioned had proposed the novel theory that the Yi jing actually was a Babylonian syllabary. James Legge in his preface to his Yi jing translation had made disparaging remarks about Lacouperie's theory. In a letter to The Athen ? um , Lacouperie faults Legge for the wordiness of his translation, and more particularly, for failing to recognize that the Yi jing “is a collection of vocabularies, some with incidental remarks and sentences on the populations, customs, traditions, geography, &c., of early China .” He also finds that Legge has an excessive “number of meanings made up for the occasion and forced upon the characters.” Lacouperie gives only one example of these made up meanings, Legge's translation of the word tian 天 in the third line of Hexagram 38: 六三,见舆曳,其牛掣;人天且劓 , which Legge translates “In the third line, divided, we see one whose carriage is dragged back, while the oxen in it are pushed back, and he himself subjected to the shaving of his head and cutting of his nose.” Lavouperie claims that Legge has no justification for translating tian ‘heaven' by ‘shaving'. In a letter published two weeks later in The Athen ? um , Legge replied to Lacouperie's criticism of his concocting “meanings made up for the occasion.” Legge explains that when he encountered the third line of the hexagram, he knew that tian “could not have its usual meaning of ‘heaven', and concluded that it must have somehow taken the place of another character. The context required that there should be instead of it a character signifying some infliction of pain or punishment.” From the Chinese commentaries, Legge then found two meanings, both designating forms of punishment: shaving the head or cutting the forehead. Legge resolved the issue by following the Kangxi zidian , which explains tian as kun 髡 ‘shaving the hair' as a form of punishment.

    Lacouperie followed up with another letter in which he claims that the tian example is only one of about “250 of similar licenses” on Legge's part. According to Lacouperie, Legge's main failure is his over-reliance on the Chinese commentators. He calls this practice “the principle of interpretation by guessing at the meaning — a principle which may be good amongst the utterly uncritical Chinese scholars, but which cannot be considered of any value for European science.” Lacouperie then launches into a long denunciation of the reliability of Chinese reference works, and then claims that the ordinary meaning of “heaven” is “perfectly appropriate, as will be seen in my version.” As if to indicate that they had had enough of the debate between the two Sinologists, at the end of Lacouperie's letter, the editors insert a short note: “We cannot insert any more letters on this subject.”

    This old controversy involving the interpretation of a line in the Yi jing is a splendid example of the perils faced by a translator of ancient Chinese texts. First is James Legge, who upon finding the character tian , which ordinarily should mean “sky” or “heaven” in a line in which those meanings seem not to fit, does what any good scholar would do, consult the commentaries. The earliest commentary that he consulted seems to be the Kong Yingda commentary to the Zhou yi , which indeed tells us that tian means a form of punishment: 黥额为天 , “tattooing the forehead is tian .” Then, along comes Terrien de Lacouperie, who contends that Legge is too trusting in the Chinese commentators, who are not as rigorous as the “scientific” Europeans. Although Lacouperie does not give his translation, he implies that the reading tian ‘heaven' makes “perfectly good sense” in this line. What both of these scholars failed to recognize is that the text of the Yi jing was highly unstable, and that we cannot be sure what the original reading might have been. I give Legge some credit for recognizing that tian probably represented some word other than ‘heaven'. On the basis of parallelism alone with the word yi 劓 , ‘to cut off the nose', tian should be a verb that designates some sort of corporal punishment. However, one should not completely dismiss Lacouperie's insistence on examining why the text reads tian ‘heaven'. The earliest commentaries on this passage are from the Han, and they both explain tian as “to tattoo the forehead.” Unlike Lacouperie, who is all too eager to dismiss traditional Chinese commentaries as “uncritical” and “made up for the occasion”, I would suggest that one attempt to determine whether or not there is any validity to their interpretation. For example, it may be relevant to note that both Shuo wen and Guang ya gloss tian 天 (Old Chinese * thien) as dian 颠 (Old Chinese *tien), ‘head' or ‘top of the head'. Scholars such as Zhang Taiyan 章太炎 (1869-1936) and Wang Li 王力 have adduced evidence that 天 in the Yi jing passage represents the word 颠 in the sense of “branding the forehead” or “tattooing the forehead.” Although not conclusive, this interpretation does corroborate the Han time commentators' reading of the word. Unfortunately, this line is missing from the Mawangdui manuscript, and thus we cannot determine how it transcribed 天 in that version.

    The dispute between Legge and Lacouperie arises another issue that is often a problem for the translator of ancient texts, the use of commentaries. When Richard Wilhelm's German translation was published in 1924, it received a highly critical review by the German Sinologist Erich Hauer. One of Hauer's main criticisms of Wilhelm's work was his excessive reliance on the explanations he received from Lao Naixuan and the Zhou yi zhe zhong commentaries. According to Hauer, Wilhelm should have consulted the Ri jiang Yi jing jie yi 日讲易经解义 , which had also been translated into Manchu. Hauer was a Manchu specialist, and thus he was a strong advocate for the importance of consulting Manchu translations of Chinese works. The Ri jiang Yi jing jie yi was compiled by officials of the Classics Colloquium for the Kangxi emperor. The Kangxi Emperor approved this work in 1684. This is a text of the Yi jing with a detailed and easy to understand commentary that seems to follow the Cheng-Zhu interpretations. For example, for the gua ci of Hexagram 50, 鼎 ‘Caldron', which reads in the received version 鼎,元吉亨 , both Cheng Yi and Zhu Xi had argued that 吉 is superfluous and should be eliminated from the line. Without repeating the arguments of Cheng and Zhu, the authors of the Ri jiang Yi jing jie yi simply state that 吉 is superfluous. Although I have not done a comprehensive comparison of the Ri jiang Yi jing jie yi , it does seem to follow the Cheng-Zhu text and interpretation rather closely. For example, in the fourth line of Hexagram 50, where the Wang Bi version reads 其形渥 , it follows Zhu Xi in reading the text as 其刑 .

    As for the utility of the Manchu translations, this was a controversial issue in European Sinology, especially among the German Sinologists, many of whom were Manchu specialists. I do not know Manchu, but based on my limited knowledge, I doubt that the Manchu translations, which seem to follow the prevailing interpretations of the time, mainly that of Zhu Xi, provide many new and illuminating interpretations. For example, Stephen Durrant, a Sinologist who also has studies Manchu, remarks: “In using Manchu translations, it must be remembered that they generally follow commentaries popular during the early Ch'ing period.” Indeed, the French translation of Charles de Harlez, which is based on both the Chinese and Manchu's version of the Ri jiang Yi jing , does not offer any original interpretations.

    One of the greatest problems that a translator of the Yi jing , or most of the Chinese classics for that matter, faces is the instability of the text. Almost all translators have been content to assume a stable textual tradition for woks such as the Yi jing when in fact we know that the Yi jing might be the most instable of all of the classics. One of the reasons for its instability is that this is a text that was created by an accumulative process over a long period of time. The earliest layers of the book, preserved largely in the gua ci and yao ci , reveal the text as it might have been understood as an oracle book used for divination. However, by the late Warring States period the book has gradually become re-interpreted as a repository of moral concepts. This process of re-interpretation, which probably took place over a long period of time, resulted in the commentaries that we now call the “Shi yi” 十翼 or “Ten Wings”. As Edward Shaughnessy has rightly said, because of the multi-layered character of the Yi jing , “care is necessary in speaking of the Book of Changes as a single text.

    A number of scholars in recent times have attempted to reconstruct what has been called the “original” Yi jing . I will comment on this phenomenon later in my talk. However, most scholars now agree that the Yi jing is not a monolithic text that existed in its present form from the Western Zhou, but is a multi-layered work that was transmitted over a long period of time before it became a relatively stable text, perhaps around the time of Wang Bi in the third century A.D. Professor Qu Wanli 屈万里 has clearly outlined the process by which the Wang Bi version of the text (as opposed to its interpretation) became the standard version even after Wang Bi's interpretation was repudiated in the Southern Song: 唐初撰五经正义,于易用王氏注,而郑学浸微;至南北宋之际,郑注遂亡。盖自唐初迄今,说易之书虽众,而其经文几无不用王氏本者。

    In the Han period, there is evidence of considerable variation in the textual tradition. For example, there seem to have been several court-sponsored versions of the Yi jing , notably those of Shi Chou 施仇 , Meng Xi 孟喜 , Liangqiu He 梁丘贺 , and Jing Fang 京房 at the end of the Former Han. There was also the privately circulated, but highly influential version of Fei Zhi 费直 (ca. 50B.B.-A.D.10) The Fei Zhi version seems to be the one adopted by Ma Rong 马融 (79-166) from whom it passed down to none other than Zheng Xuan 郑玄 (127-200). Zheng Xuan's version was prestigious until the late Nanbeichao period. By the early Tang, it seems to have been completely eclipsed by the Wang Bi version.

    The version of the Yi jing preserved at Mawangdui also clearly shows a textual tradition radically different from the received “orthodox” version. We at least have two quite different Chinese transcriptions of this text, and one English translation by Professor Edward Shaughnessy of the University of Chicago that differs from the Chinese versions in many places. I will not take time here to comment on these studies. They present serious problems of translation and interpretation that go far beyond the time I have allotted for my talk.

    One good example of a prevailing Han reading that was not followed in the received version of the text is in the fourth line text of Hexagram 50, “Ding” 鼎 . The received version, which goes back to Wang Bi, reads 鼎折足,覆公餗。其形渥。凶。 The problematic line is 其形渥 , which seems in Wang Bi's interpretation to mean “his body is soaked” (as a result of the spilling of the food in the caldron). However, there is abundant evidence that almost all Han versions read this as 其刑 , which would mean either “one's punishment is heavy” or “one's punishment is execution within a building.” Xu Qinting records most of the occurrences of the variants in the Han versions of the text, as does Zhang Liwen in his commentary on the Mawangdui text.

    By Song times, there seems to be some awareness of the diversity of reading for this line. Although Cheng Yi reads it as 形渥 , he diverges from Wang Bi in construing it as the perspiration that flows as the result of the embarrassment of having spilled the duke's caldron of food: 其形渥,谓赧汗也 . Zhu Xi, on the other hand, follows the Han dynasty reading 型 :晁氏曰:形渥,诸本作型 ,谓重型也。今从之 .

    Although Professor Xu Qinting 徐芹庭 has done a splendid job of collecting variant readings, especially those from the Han versions, he did his work before the Mawangdui manuscript had appeared. Thus, although this would seem to be an obvious task for a Yi jnng scholar to undertake, we still do not have a proper variorum edition of the Yi ying .

    How, then, does a translator of the Yi jing deal with the problem of representing not only the multi-layered character of the text, but also the instability of its transcription? Unfortunately, most translators of the book into English and European languages have not recognized these two factors as a problem, and they have translated the book as if it had existed in its present form from time immemorial.

    On solution to this problem has been to translate the version used by a particular commentator. The first work of this sort is the late nineteenth century French translation done by Philastre, who translates both the Cheng Yi and Zhu Xi commentaries. However, he does not do anything beyond simply translating the commentaries, and he says virtually nothing about the nature of the Cheng-Zhu interpretation, including the important question of how they differ between each other and also from the Wang Bi interpretation.

    A more recent attempt to translate Cheng Yi's commentary into English is the work of the prolific translator Thomas Cleary. Cleary claims that Cheng Yi's commentary provides a guide to “strategy-making for business, political, social and religious organizations.” Although Cleary's translation is written in a smooth, contemporary English style, his attempt to read the book as a guide for managers and CEOs results in a number of anachronistic formulations such as “supervisor” for hou 侯 ‘noble', “leader” or “man of affairs” for 君子 , “low-level power” for chu gang 初刚 ‘solid line in the first place', “leader” for gong ‘lord'/ ‘duke', and “workers” for chen 臣 ‘vassal'/ ‘court minister'. Although Cleary makes great claims about the relevance of Cheng Yi's understanding of the Yi jing to organizational theories propounded by such modern industrialists as Matsushite Konosuke, founder of Panasonic Corporation, he does not provide much in the way of an extended analysis of Cheng Yi's commentary in the context of the history of Yi jing interpretation in traditional China .

    The most successful translation of an important version of the Yi jing is Richard Lynn's rendering of the Yi jing together with the commentary of Wang Bi. In his preface, Lynn clearly states his view of he text: “In my view, however, there is no one single Classic of Changes but as many versions of it as there are different commentaries on it. The text of the classic is so dense and opaque in so many places that its meaning depends entirely on how any particular commentary interprets it.” Lynn then provides us with a careful translation of the entire Yi jing in which he tries faithfully to represent the reading of the Yi jing as Wang Bi might have understood it. For example, Lynn translates the second line of Hexagram 50 as follows:


    The Caldron in replete here. This one's companion suffers anxiety and so cannot come to him, but this means good fortune.

    One of the problems in this line text is how to understand the word qiu 仇 . Wang Bi understands it as “companion”, and says that wo qiu 我仇 , literally “my companion”, refers to the yin line in the fifth place, which because it suffers from the “ailment of riding on top of the solid fourth line”, cannot “approach” the second yang line. 我仇谓五也。困于乘刚之疾,不能就我,则我不溢,得全其吉也 . However, both Zhu Xi and Cheng Yi understand qiu in the sense of ‘opponent'. In their interpretation the opposing line is the first yin line of the hexagram. According to Zhu Xi, because the second line is “solid” 刚 and in a central position in the lower trigram, despite its proximity to the yin line in the first place, this “opponent” cannot “approach” it, that is do it harm. 二能以刚中自守,则初虽近,不能就之矣 . Zhu Xi seems to be elaborating on the explanation given by Cheng Yi, who contrary to Wang Bi, sees a sympathetic relationship between the second and fifth lines of the hexagram, which are both central lines in the lower and upper trigrams respectively. Because of its sympathetic relationship with the fifth line, the second line maintains its “rectitude”. In this way, it resists any harm from the nearby first yin line. 二阳刚有济用之才,与五相应。上从六五之君,则得正而其道可亨。然与初阴密比。阴从阳者也。九二居中而应中,不至失正。己虽自守,彼心相求,故能远之使不来即我,则吉也。仇,对也。阴阳相对之物,谓初也。相从则非正而害义,是有疾也。二当以正自守,始知不能来就己。人能自守以正,则不正不能就矣。所以吉也。

    Another problematic phrase in this line is you ji 有疾 . This would seem to be a straightforward statement, but even a simple phrase like this can be construed a number of different ways, not only by commentators, but also by the scholars who translate the commentators. Wang Bi actually does not gloss this term. However, in the context of his commentary, he seems to construe it as referring to the liability or “affliction” inherent in the fifth line of the hexagram. Presumably this “affliction” represents a threat to the second yang line. Lynn's “anxiety” probably is not the best rendering of ji 疾 , especially in the context of Cheng Yi's explanation. This is Lynn 's translation of the Yi jing line text following Cheng Yi's interpretation: “This one may have a filled Caldron, but his companion causes his anxiety.” However, Cheng Yi clearly identifies ji 疾 as something possessed by the opposing line, the qiu 仇 . Both Philastre and Cleary bring out this sense in their translations of the line text. Philastre: “la marmite est pleine; nos ennemis sont dangereux.” Cleary: “The cauldron has substance. One's opponent has an affliction.”

    It is instructive to see how Legge and Wilhelm deal with this same line. Here is Legge's translation: “The second line, undivided, shows the caldron with things (to be cooked) in it. (If its subject can say), ‘My enemy dislikes me, but he cannot approach me,' there will be good fortune.” Legge provides a laconic explanation which seems to be based on the commentaries collected in the Zhou yi zhe zhong : “Line 2 is strong. ‘The enemy' is the first line, which solicits 1. One, however, is able to resist the solicitation; and the whole paragraph gives a good auspice.” I am not sure what Legge means by “ 1” in the phrase “solicits 1” . Perhaps this is a typographical error for “ 2” . Legge probably derives his interpretation of ji 疾 as “hates” from Li Guangdi's commentary in the Zhou yi zhe zhong . Li glosses ji as ‘to be jealous of”. 此疾字是妒害之义,所谓入朝见疾是也。夫相妒害,则相远而不相即矣 . Legge probably construed this in the sense of ‘to hate'. Legge does not explain how what he calls the “subject” of the hexagram can resist the “solicitation” from the first line. I suspect that he really did not have a full understanding of the commentary, or at least he did not care to present the full argument of the commentary in his brief note. This is typical of Legge's interpretative remarks about the Yi jing , which are often rather perfunctory.

Richard Wilhelm also seems to have followed Li Guangdi's explanation of ji . His German translation reads:

Im Tiegel ist Nahrung.

Meine Genossen haben Neid,

Aber sie k?nnen mir nichts anhaben.


Cary Baynes renders this into English as follows:

There is food in the ting .

My comrades are envious,

But they cannot harm me.

Good fortune.

    Wilhelm's translation of ji as “haben Neid” ‘to be envious of' is an exact rendering of Li Guagndi's gloss. He seems partly to follow Cheng Yi and Zhu Xi in his interpretation of the entire line text. Thus, he notes the relationship between the second line and the fifth line, which is the “ruler” of the hexagram. However, unlike Cheng and Zhu, he does not identify the qiu 仇 with the first yin line, but rather the two yang lines that separate the second line from the ruling fifth line. This is how Wilhelm explains this:

    The yielding element that moves upward is the ruler of the hexagram in the fifth place; it stands in the relationship of correspondence to the strong assistant, the nine in the second place … This line is firm and central, hence it symbolizes the contents of the ting . [Cf. Zhu Xi: 以刚居中, 鼎有实之象也。 ] It forms a unit with the third and fourth lines, but as it stands in the relationship of correspondence to the ruler of the hexagram, it must go its own way as prescribed for it by these relationships. This leads on the other hand to envy from its comrades, the two lines from which it is separated by inner relationships. But being quite free of possible entanglements and shielded by the strong relationship to the ruler, it need fear nothing.

    I have not been able to discover on what Chinese authority Wilhelm based his explanation of qiu . His interpretation is similar to the explanation given in the Zhou yi shu yi 周易述义 , another Qing dynasty imperially sponsored commentary to the Yi jing , 仇,类也。 疾与嫉同。二与三四同为乾体,故曰仇。二与五应,以实奉五,而不及三四,故其仇有嫉而害之者 . Whatever Wilhelm's source, it is clear that he did not derive his interpretation from the Zhou yi zhe zhong , which his critics have alleged he slavishly followed.

    I have gone into detail here in order to show the diversity of the Western language translators who basically were working with the same Chinese commentary tradition. If these translators differ on the meaning of a relatively straightforward commentary, what happens when scholars try to translate the “originally” meaning of the text? I use the word “original” here in a somewhat ironic sense, and that is why I put it in scare quotes. In the last several decades, a number of western scholars have attempted to recover what is generally called the “original Yi jing ”. I do not have time to discuss this approach to the text in the detail that it deserves. Here is a brief summary. Although the interpretations of these scholars differ widely, their basic approach is the same: to strip away the Confucian moralistic commentary in order to discover what the original early Zhou dynasty meaning of the gua ci and yao ci might have been. This of course is not new in scholarship on the Yi jing . Chinese scholars such as Li Jingchi 李镜池 , Gao Heng 高亨 , and Qu Wanli have made important contributions in this area. One of the first Western scholars to argue that it was possible to uncover the original oracle meaning of the text is Arthur Waley, who published a short article on this subject in 1933. Inspired partly by the early work of Li Jingchi, Waley read many of the yao ci as peasant oracles. Thus, he claims that hexagram 33, dun 遯 , conventionally understood in the sense of ‘hiding', should be read tun 豚 ‘young pig'. This then allows him to explain the concrete sense of such statements as 係遯 = 豚 ‘tie up the pig', 好遯 = 豚 ‘good pig', 嘉遯 = 豚 ‘lucky pig', 肥遯 = 豚 ‘fat pig'.

    No Western scholar followed up on Waley's ingenious reading of the text until the 1980' s. In that decade, two dissertations that attempt to determine the ancient Zhou dynasty meaning of the book were completed. The first of these is Edward L. Shaughnessy's “The Composition of the Zhouyi ”, a Ph.D. dissertation done at Stanford in 1983. The second is Richard Alan Kunst's Berkeley 1985 dissertation in Oriental Languages entitled “The Original Yijing : A Text, Phonetic Transcription, Translation, and Indexes.” These are both studies of high originality and rigorous scholarship. Shaughnessy's work is the more historical of the two. Shaughnessy argues that the hexagram and line statements came into existence in the later part of the Western Zhou dynasty, probably during the last two decades of the ninth century B.C. (49). He concludes that the book is “the conscious composition of an editor or editors” (175). In his study he attempts to uncover the original meaning of certain hexagram names and technical terms such as yuan hen li zhen 元亨利贞 .

    Kunst concludes that the Yi jing is a collection of notes that were intended as aids to diviners. He believes that “it came into existence as an orally transmitted, organically evolving anthology of omens and their prognostication, popular sayings, historical anecdotes, and wisdom about nature, which were assembled into a manual around a framework of hexagrams and their solid or broken lines by diviners relying on the manipulation of yarrow stalks to obtain oracles” (Abstract, 1). Kunst provides a transcription into pinyin Romanization of the entire benjing text along with a word-for-word and more “interpretive” translation.

    Like Waley, Kunst attempts to identify what ancient word lies behind the standard transcription. For example, he construes qian 谦 as a loan for xian 鼸 , which he translated as the rodent “hamster”. Thus, ming qian 鸣谦 = 鼸 is a “grunting hamster”, lao qian 劳谦 = 鼸 is a “toiling hamster”, and hui qian 撝谦 = 鼸 is a “tearing hamster”. These renderings are quite different from Legge and Wilhelm, who follow the Confucian interpretations of these phrases. Legge gives us the following: “humility that has made itself recognized [ 鸣谦 ]”, “the superior man of (acknowledged) merit [ 君子劳谦 ]”, and “stirring up (the more) his humility [ 撝谦 ]. Wilhelm-Baynes reads: “modesty that comes to expression [ 鸣谦 ]”, “a superior man of modesty and merit [ 君子劳谦 ]”, “modesty in movement [ 撝谦 ].”

    Although Kunst's dissertation is 664 pages long, he is only able to provide detailed philological evidence for his translation of two hexagrams, Hexagram 1 乾 , and Hexagram 50, 鼎 . However, Kunst provides a detailed discussion of the methodology of his reconstruction of the “original” ben jing .

    Neither Kunst nor Shaughnessy published their dissertation. The only published work that provides a systematic reconstruction of the original Yi jing is Richard Rutt's The Book of Changes . Rutt served as missionary in Korea in the 1950s where he was first introduced to the Yi jing . Although he translates the entire Yi jing , including the Ten Wings, the focus of his book is on the line texts. Following Gao Heng, Li Jingchi, and Kunst, Rutt argues that the Yi jing “is a royal book of oracles mainly related to warfare, especially warfare as a means of obtaining captives to be killed in sacrifices”. Like Kunst, Rutt attempts to remove the Confucian veil from the text and uncover the ancient concrete meaning. Thus, he follows Kunst in construing qian 谦 as xian 鼸 . Rutt's version of the line texts of Hexagram 15 is only a slight variation on Kunst's translation: ming qian 鸣谦 = 鼸 becomes “squealing rat”, lao qian 劳谦 = 鼸 is “industrious rat”, and hui qian 撝谦 = 鼸 is “ripping rat”.

    There is much to commend in this philological approach to the Yi jing . One indeed would like to know exactly the original meaning not only of the Yi jing but also other early Zhou texts such as the Shi jing and Shu jing . As much as I favor the philological approach to translation, I find the results of the “reconstructionists” somewhat mixed. To be sure, some of their interpretations are quite credible. For example, the equation of dun 遯 / 遁 ‘to flee' with tun 豚 ‘piglet' is convincing, not only because “piglet” makes good sense in the context, but also because there is evidence for the interchangeability of the two graphs among the Yi jing variants. In Hexagram 61, “Zhongfu” 中孚 , for the phrase 豚鱼 Yu Fan 虞翻 of the Later Han and Huang Ying 黄颖 of the Jin period read 遯鱼 . However, even for this case none of the reconstructionists cite this kind of evidence, and for Hexagram 61, Rutt even rejects the 豚鱼 reading altogether. There more common approach is simply to make ad hoc equations by changing the classifier. Thus, qian 谦 becomes xina 鼸 ‘hamster/rat', xu 需 is equated with ru 濡 ‘getting wet' or 蠕 ‘crawling insect', xian / gan 咸 is taken as a loan for kan 砍 ‘chopping' to cite only a few examples. Although cases might be made for these readings, one would like to see a much more rigorous linguistic, especially phonological arguments to support them. As Norman Giradot has said about the reconstructionist approach to interpreting the Yi jing , it can be as “esoteric and problematic” as the psychological or moralistic approach. “It depends on a coupling of scholarly deduction and intuitive speculation that approximates a form of interpretive divination.” Philological translation should be done at a much higher level than this.

    The most popular of the Western language Yi jing translations during most of the last half of the twentieth century was the Wilhelm-Baynes version. As of 1982, Princeton University Press had sold over 500,000 copies. I have no figures to support my claim, but I suspect that because of my close connection with Hellmut Wilhelm, I am partial to the Richard Wilhelm translation. One should be aware that there are some differences between Wilhelm's German original and the English version that Cary Baynes produced. For example, Wilhelm translates gua 卦 as Zekchen ‘sign'. Baynes follows Legge in rendering it as “trigram” or “hexagram” depending upon the context. In his original version Wilhelm translates Tao 道 with the German word Sinn (sense or meaning), which he always capitalizes as SINN . Baynes consistently changes SINN to Tao . By making these changes, Baynes probably wished to make the book more palatable for the English reader. In at least one instance I discovered that Bayness changed Wilhelm's original occurs in the fourth line text of Hexagram 50, “Ding” 鼎 , which reads in the received version: 鼎折足,覆公餗。其形渥。凶 . Wilhelm's German translation reads: “Der Tiegel bricht die Beine. Das Mahl des F ü rsten wird versch ü ttet, und die Gestalt wird befleckt. Unheil!” Baynes translates this into English as follows:

The legs of the ting are broken.

The prince's meal is spilled

And his person is soiled.


    The problem lies in the translation of 其形渥 . Wilhelm translated 形 as Gestalt, which is a literal translation of the Chinese xing ‘form'. Wilhelm's German literally says: “the form is stained.” It is not clear whether Wilhelm construes xing as referring to staining of the Gestalt /form of the prince or the ting. Wilhelm may have been deliberately ambiguous. However, Baynes eliminates the ambiguity by rendering Gestalt as the “prince's person”, i.e., his body. This specific sense is not in the German original. This is another type of “peril” of translation that the unsuspecting reader must be aware of, and clearly demonstrates why one cannot always trust a translation done even from closely related languages like German and English.

    If one cannot always be confident that a translation from one modern language to another is reliable, one must be even more skeptical about the prospect of translating what Max M ü ller called “old thought into modern speech”. This warning should apply even more directly to the task of translating a work like the Yi jing . Translation is in effect another commentary on the text. Simply because it is written in a language other than Chinese does not make it any less an interpretation. One of the appealing features of the Wilhelm translation is the facet that he provides a running commentary on the translation. What is more problematic about the Wilhelm commentary is that it is not always possible to determine where Wilhelm derives a particular interpretation. I would hope that some enterprising scholar would make a thorough study of the Wilhelm commentary to ascertain the extent to which it is based on Chinese commentaries and where it represents Wilhelm's own original speculation.

    In most of this talk I have dwelled on the perils and problems of translation. However, like Ortega y Gasset, I do not hold a pessimistic view of translation. Although I have no illusions about obtaining a perfect understanding of a text as ancient and difficult as the Yi jing , I believe that if one reads critically, being alert to the possibility that the received version may not be the only possible reading, that a certain degree of understanding can be obtained. A proper translation should also come with extensive notes and commentary. As Vladimir Nabokov eloquently put it, “I want translations with copious footnotes, footnotes reaching up like skyscrapers to the top of this or that page so as to leave only the gleam of one textual line between commentary and eternity.” So far, we do not have a translation of the Yi jing that has sufficient annotation of a scholarly sort. Richard Lynn's Yi jing does a creditable job of annotating the text, but the limitations imposed by his publisher probably prohibited him from providing the extensive notes and commentary that a learned and careful scholar like Lynn was capable of doing.

    As some of you know, I have spent much of my academic career translating a certain book. This is a book that is also part of the Chinese literary canon, the Wen xuan . Anyone who has seen my three volumes will know that it is polluted with annotations — many of the notes well exceed the length of the original text. If the Wen xuan merits this kind of scholarly translation, the Yi jing is even more deserving of one. This is where the pleasure translation comes in. The joy lies in trying to overcome the perils and problems that the translator faces. Rather than ignore a problem because it is hard or difficult to solve—which is the case with nearly the entire Yi jing —I suggest that the true pleasure of translation lies in examining the evidence, however slight, for what a particular word or passage might mean, and presenting that evidence and one's conclusions in a well-argued commentary. Of course, this is very slow and demanding work. If Nietzche is correct in defining philology as “that venerable art which demands of its votaries one thing above all: to go aside, to take time, to become still, to become slow”, then proper translation is the art of translation slowly, savoring the meaning of each word in a line. There is no greater pleasure of reading literature than this. I am probably the world's slowest translator, but I don't know how to do it any other way.


See The Tao of Organization: The Yi Ching for Group Dynamics (1988; rpt. Boston : Shambhala Publications, Inc., 1995).

The Classic of Changes: A New Translation of the I Ching as Interpreted by Wang Bi (New York: Columbia University Press, 1994).

Lynn , The Classic of Changes , 8.

The Classic of Changes , 454.

Zhou yi zhengyi 5.21b (125). In Lynn 's translation, this reads: “ ‘This one's companion' refers to Fifth Yin, which, because it is troubled by anxiety brought on by riding on top of the hard and strong [Fourth Yang], unable to come to this one.”

Zhou yi zhe zhong 7. 14b.

Zhou yi zhe zhong 7. 14a .

The Classic of Changes , 458, n. 8.

Le Yi king , 293.

I Ching , 169.

I Ching , 172.

Zhou yi zhe zhong 7. 15a .

I Ging , 146.

The I Ching , 195.

The I Ching , 643-44.

Feheng 傅恒 (d. 1770), Wu Ding 吴鼎 et al., comp., Zhou yi shu yi 周易述义 , Siku quanshu ( Shanghai guji chubanshe ed.), 4.8b (38-645).

See Gao Heng, Zhou yi gu jing jinzhu 周易古经今注 (1947; rpt. Hong Kong: Zhoghua shuju, 1968); Gao Heng, Zhou yi dazhuan jinzhu 周易大传今注 (Ji'nan: Qi Lu shushe, 1979); Li Jingchi 李镜池 , Zhou yi tanyuan 周易探源 (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1978); Qu Wanli 屈万里 , Du Yi sanzhong 读易三种 . (Taipei: Lianjing, 1983).

“The Book of Changes”, Bulletin of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities” , 5 (1933): 121-42.

See “Zhou yi shi ci kao” 周易释辞考 , Gu shi bian 3 (1933): 187-251.

See “The Book of Changes” , 124.

“The Original Yi jing ”, 269.

The I Ching , 90.

The I Ching , 66-67.

Richard Rutt, Zhouyi The Book of Changes: A New Translation with Commentary (1996; rpt. London : RoutledgeCurzon, 2002).

Rutt, Zhouyi , 135.

See Sun Xingyan, Zhou yi jijie 7.500: 释文:豚黄作遯。集解:虞氏以三至上体遁,便以豚鱼为遁。

See Zhouyi , 353. Rutt follows Wen Yiduo in reading 豚鱼 as 屯魯 , which he translates as “Good fortune”.

Waley thinks this refers to an inset or worm; see “The Book of Changes”, 127. Kunst and Rutt construe it as “getting wet”. See Kunst, “The Original Yijing”, 247 and Rutt, Zhouyi , 297-98.

See Kunst, “The Original Yijing”, 301 and Rutt, Zhouyi , 324.

Giradot, The Victorian Translation of China , 367.

I Ging , 147.

The I Ching , 196.

“Preface to the Sacred Books of the East”, in The Upanishads , Sacred Books of the East, Vol. I (1879; rpt. Delhi : Motillal Banarsidass, 1965), xxvii.

Nabokov, “Problems of Translation”, 512.

See La Naci ó n (Bunenos Aires), May-June 1937; rpt. In Jos é Ortega y Gasset, Obras completas , 11 vols. (Madrid: Revista de Occidente, 1946-1969), 5: 429-48. For a translation into English by Elizabeth Gamble Miller, see Rainer Schulte and John Biguenet, eds., Theories of Translation An Anthology from Dryden to Derrida (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992): 93-112.

Miller trans., 107.

Miller trans., 108.

Miller trans., 109.

It was included in Antonio Possevino's Bibliotheca selecta qua agitur de ratione studiorum . See Knud Lundbeck, “The First European Translations of Chinese Historical and Philosophical Works” in China and Europe Images and Influences in Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries , ed. Thomas H. Lee (Hong Kong: The Chinese University Press, 1991), 36. See also Lundbeck's “The First Translation from a Confucian Classic in Europe”, in China Mission Studies (1550-1800) Bulletin 1 (1979): 2-11.

Lundbeck, “The First European Translations of Chinese Historical and Philosophical Works”, 38.

Lundbeck, “The First European Translations of Chinese Historical and Philosophical Works”, 40.

See “Antoine Gaubil”, in Abel- R é musat, Nouveaux M é langes asiatiques (Paris: Schubart et Heideloff, 1829), 277.

Le Chou-king, un des livres sacr é s des Chinois, qui renferme les fondements de leur ancienne historie, les principes de leur gouvernement & de leur morale; ouvrage recueilli par Confucius ( Paris : N. M. Tilliard, 1770). This was reprinted in Les Livres sacr é s de l'Orient , ed. Guillaume Pauthier (Paris: Firmin Didot freres, 1840).

David E. Mungello, Curious Land: Jesuit Accommodation and the Origins of Sinology (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1985), 315.

Mungello, Curious Land , 315.

See Richard Rutt, The Book of Changes (Zhouyi) A Bronze Age Document Translated with Introduction and Notes (Richmond, Surrey: Curzon Press, 1996), 61.

See Abel- R é musat, Nouveaux M é langes asiatiques , 245.

Le Chou-king, 422.

Abel-R é muat, Nouveaux Melanges asiatiques , 238.

Y-King, antiquissimus Sinarum liber quem ex latina interpretatione p. Regis aliorumque ex Soc. Jesu p.p. edidit Julius Mohl (Stuttgart and T ü bingen: J.G. Cottae, 1834-39).

A Translation of the Confucian Yi-king (Shanghai: American Presbyterian Mission Press, 1876).

The I Ching (1899; rpt. New York : Dover , 1963), 396, n.

There is an excellent study of Legge by Norman Giradot, The Victorian Translation of China: James Legge's Oriental Pilgrimage ( Berkeley : University of California Press , 2002).

The Yi King , Pt. 2 of The Sacred Books of China , The Texts of Confucianism . In Sacred Books of the East , edited by F. Max M ü ller, vol. 16 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1882; 2 nd . ed., 1899).

Tsheou Yi: Le Yi King ou Livre des changements de la dynasties des Tsheou, trduit pour la premi è re fois en fran ? ais avec les commenataires traditionnells de T's è ng Ts é et de Tshou-hi et des extraits des principaux Commentateurs, Annales du Mus é e Guimet, Vols. 8 and 23, (Paris: Leroux, 1885-1893).

See Le Yi-king traduit d'apr è s les interpr ê tes chinois avec la version mandchoue (Brussels: F. Hayez, 1889; rpt. and rev., Paris: E. Leroux, 1897). There is an English translation of the first edition by Jean-Pierre Val d'Eremo, The Yih-king: A New Translation from the Original Chinese by Mgr. C. de Harlez D. L. L. (Wo King: Publications of the Oriental University Institute, 1896).

The Oldest Book of the Chinese: The Yh-king and its Authors , Vol. 1 (London: Nutt, 1892).

See Terrien de Lacourerie, “The Oldest Book of the Chinese (the Yh-King) and its Author”, JRAS 14 (1882): 798-815, JRAS 15 (1883). Legge's reference to Lacouperie is in I Ching, “Preface”, xviiixix, referring to a letter that Lacouperie had published in the June 21, 1882 issue of Athen ? m .

I Ging: Das Buch der Wandlungen , aus dem Chinesischen verdeutscht und erl ? utert, 2 vols. (Jena: Eugen Diederichs Verlag, 1924).

See Hermann Hesse, “Erinnerung an Lekt ü re”, Neue Rundschau 36 (September 1925): 964-72, esp. 971-72. Hesse does not actually mention Wilhelm's name in his review. However, he says about the book: “Diese Buch der Wandlungen liegt seit einem halben Jahre in meinen Schlafzimmer, und nie habe ich auf einmal mehr als eine Seite gelesen.”

The I Ching or Book of Changes . 2 vols. Bollingen Series 19. New York : Pantheon Books, 1950.

See Lurens P. van den Bosch, Friedreich Max M ü ller: A Life Devoted to Humanities ( Leiden : E.J. Brill, 2002), 341ff; and Giradot, The Victorian Translation of China , 266-79.

Cited in van den Bosch, Friedrich Max M ü ller , 342. The citation is from M ü ller's Natural Religion , 539.

Giradot, The Victorian Translation of China , 262.

See The Scandals of Translation: Towards an Ethics of Difference (London: Routledge, 1998), 67.

See Richard Wilhelm, The Soul of China , trans, John Holroyd Reece (New York: Harcourt, Brace, and Company, 1928), 33: “A church in the midst of a cultured nation can only constitute itself; it cannot stand under the guidance of aliens without being itself condemned to inferiority. Accordingly, I never christened anyone in China , and have therefore perhaps come closer in touch with the nature of the Chinese people.”

Eugene Eoyang, The Transparent Eye: Reflections on Translation, Chinese Literature, and Comparative Poetics (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1993), 107.

See Girardot, The Victorian Translation of China , 276-82.

See Girardot, The Victorian Translation of China , 396.

The Athen ? um , no. 2862 (September 2, 1882): 297.

Legge says in part, “The projects [i.e., Lacouperie and his collaborator, R K. Douglas] have been misled somehow about the contents of the Y ? ; and unless they can overthrow all the traditions and beliefs about them, whether Chinese or foreign, their undertaking is more hopeless than the task laid on the children of Israel by Pharoah, that they should make bricks without straw.” See The I Ching , xix.

See The Athen ? um , no. 2863 (September 9, 1882):338.


The I Ching , 139.

See The Athen ? um , no. 2863 (September 9, 1882): 338.

See The Athen ? um , no. 2865 (September 23, 1882): 402.

The Athen ? um , no. 2866 (September 30, 1882): 443.



Zhou yi zhushu 周易注疏 in Shisan jing zhushu 十三经注疏 (Tokyo: Chunbun shuppansha, 1972), 4.20a (103).

In his book on the Yi jing published in 1892, Lacouperie explains that 天 is one a series of five glosses on the character 癸 (Lacouperie's transcription of Hexagram Kui 睽 ). As I mentioned above, Lacouperie thought that the Yi jing was a Babylonian syllabary. Thus, he claims that both 天 , which he explains as “It is in the Heavens (an opposition, e.g., of Sun and Moon, cf. 睽 ),” and 劓 , which he glosses as “to slit the nose”, are one of five meanings of 癸 . See The Oldest Book of the Chinese , 53. Lacouperie denounces the commentaries with the following fulmination: “It will be scarcely be believed that in the commentaries 天 T'ien ‘Heaven' has been interpreted by SHAVING!!!”

See Ma Rong 马融 and 虞翻 cited in Sun Xingyan 孙星衍 , ed. and comm., Zhou yi jijie 周易集解 , Guoxue jeben congshu , 5.320. Ma Rong explains it as 刺凿其额曰天 , and Yu Fan as 黥额为天 .

See Ding Fubao 丁福保 , ed., Shuo wen jie zi guling 说文解字诂林 , 12 vols. (Taipei: Shangwuyinshuguan, 1967), 1.12a -14b; Wang Niansun 王念孙 , Guang ya shu zheng 广雅疏证 , Sbby , 5A . 16a .

See Zhang Taiyan, Xiaoxue dawen 小学答问 , in Zhang shi congshu 章氏丛书 (Shanghai: Youwenshe, n.d.), 2: 1b; Wang Li, Tongyuan zidian 同源字典 (Beijing: Shangwu jinshuguan, 1982), 325.

See “I Ging, Das der Wandlungen aus dem Chinesischen verdeutscht und erl ? utert von Richard Wilhelm … 1924” , Ostasiatische Zeitschrift (1925).

See Zhou yi zhezhong 7.13a .

See Ri jiang Yi jing jie yi , Siku quanshu , 1.46b (37:522): 吉字,衍文 .

See Zhou yi zhezhong 7. 16a : 晁氏曰:形渥,诸本作刑 ,谓重刑也。今从之。 Compare Ri jiang Yi jing jie yi 11.53a (37:525): 形渥作刑 ,谓重刑也。

See Stephen Durrant, “Manchu Translations of Chou Dynasty Texts”, Early China 3 (1977): 52.

“I Ching 易经 (Chou I 周易 )”, in Michael Loewe, ed., Early Chinese Texts: A Bibliographic Guide ( Berkeley : The Society for the Study of Early China and The Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California , Berkeley ), 216.

See Qu Wanli, Han shi jing Zhou yi can zi ji zheng 汉石经周易残字集证 , BIHP Monograph No.46. (Taipei: Zhongyang yanjiu yuan, lishi yuyan yanjiusuo, 1963), 1a -b.

Two good studies of the Han dynasty Yi jing tradition are Suzuki Yoshijir ō 铃木由次郎 , Kaneki kenkyu 汉易研究 (Tokyo: Meitoku shuppansha, 1963); Gao Huaimin 高怀民 , Liang Han Yixue shi 两汉易学史 (Taipei: Zhongguo xueshu zhuzuo jiangzhu weiyuanhui, 1970).

For a study of Fei Zhi's version of the Yi jing see Paul George Fendos, Jr. “Fei Chih's Place in the Development of I-ching Studies”, unpublished Ph. D. Diss., University of Wisconsin , 1988.

The more important works on the Mawangdui versions are: Deng Qiubo 邓球柏 , Boshu Zhou yi jiaoshi 帛书周易校释 (Changsha: Hunan remin chubanshe, 1987); Zhang Liwen 张立文 , Zhou yi boshu jin zhu jin Yi 周易帛书今注今译 , 2 vols. (Taipei: Xuesheng shuju, 1991); Deng Qiubo 邓球柏 , Baihua boshu Zhou yi 白话帛书周易 (Changsha: Yuelu shushe, 1995).

See Edward L. Shaughnessy, trans. and comm., I Ching The Classic of Changes (New York: Ballantine Books, 1996).

See Xu Qinting, Zhou yi yiwen kao , 96-97; Zhang Liwen, Zhou yi boshu jinzhu jinyi , 2: 661.

Zhou yi zhe zhong 7. 16a .

See Zhou yi yiwen kao 周易异文考 (Taipei: Wuzhou chubanshe, 1975).

From:Center for Zhouyi & Ancient Chinese Philosophy
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