Book: Zhuangzi Speaks: The Music of Nature

Zhuangzi Speaks: The Music of Nature
Tsai Chih Chung
Translator: Brian Bruya
1992

This is a book of stories illustrating the principles of daoism. It was written in Taiwan about the Daoist teacher Zhuangzi who lived and taught sometime in the fourth and third centuries B.C.E. The book is structured like a graphic novel in comic panels and short stories (usually two to four pages long). This makes it easy to read. The stories are generally funny or otherwise amusing in some way, so that makes the book highly enjoyable. But don’t let the comic book structure and funny stories fool you, this book definitely makes you think about the world, it’s structure and the way in which you and those around you interact with it. The combination of these features is brilliant and masterfully achieved.

I obviously have no idea how the original text reads, but this translation is witty and clear. It is incredibly easy to read. The pictures are clever and always appropriate to the theme and story at hand. I am very impressed by the quality of every aspect of this book!

Probably what impressed me the most was how clear this book made the basic ideals of daoism. I am certain that I don’t understand the intricate issues of the philosophy after reading this book, but I do understand the basic concepts now (which I very much didn’t before). I would absolutely use this as the text in a class trying to teach the basic ideas of daoist philosophy.

I loved this book. It was fascinating and fun to read. I highly recommend it!

All my thanks to Viv for recommending it to me!

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