The Works of Mencius
EPUB EBook by James Legge
EBook DescriptionBill actually bought this for me a couple years ago and I finally decided I should really read it. The Works of Mencius EPUB EBook I have to say I had been inspired to read it after reading a book that talked about education of boys and girls contributing to gender roles. In Imperial China it seemed that the main reason given in favour of the education of girls was so that they'd be able to instruct their sons when they became mothers, as Mencius' mother had done. Unfortunately everything written about her comes from the biography of Mencius and other sources, other than his book, but at least James Legge did include a bit about her in his introduction.Legge is one of the earliest English Sinologists and translated just about everything. He was a missionary (I believe) in China in the mid to late 19th century. And even though there's been many translations since his they are still easily found today. The Dover reprint of this book is rather spectacular. It has roughly a 100 pages of background and philosophical ideas, he also includes, with the Chinese and the translation, passages from the philosophers that Mencius mentioned and was speaking against. He then includes the full text, a translation, and notes explaining the meaning of the words, and a full dictionary! This time through I mostly read the English, but would then attempt some of the Chinese to see how far I could get. I think I shall have a proper go with the Confucius of his first, but I'm sure this book will be very useful in the years to come helping me with my study.The text itself was a little disappointing. There seemed to be so much that was just focused on government and being a good Emperor, and not so much that was easily transferable to lesser mortals. I liked his arguments that people were by nature good and that if you were a just ruler they'd behave. And that it was the ruler's responsibility to treat his subjects well. I was actually a little surprised to see how very Confucian it was how he repeatedly spoke in reverence of Confucius and followed on from his teachings. I suppose I found this surprising as all the other philosophers at the time seemed to be doing their own thing, and Mencius' was not so highly thought of until centuries later. I also felt that there was much that I was missing, and will have to try again at some point.I have to say I do find Chinese religion more interesting than its philosophy, (and I realise the trouble with using those English words and creating a dichotomy where there isn't one). But I am very glad I read it, and shall have to go through it again at a later date once my Chinese has improved. It is rather embarrassing that I haven't read the actual works of so many famous Chinese philosophers. But I will aim to fix that. As I feel like I really should. Like this book? Read online this: Why I Will Never Ever Ever Ever Have Enough Time to Read This Book, Chinese Literature - Comprising the Analects of Confucius the Shi-King, the Sayings of Mencius, the Sorrows of Han and the Travels of Fa-Hien.
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