Nineteen Ways of Looking at Wang Wei
The difficulty (and necessity) of translation is concisely described in Nineteen Ways of Looking at Wang Wei, a close reading of different translations of a single poem from the Tang Dynasty-from a transliteration to Kenneth Rexroth's loose interpretation. As Octavio Paz writes in the afterword, "Eliot Weinberger's commentary on the…
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1 author picked Nineteen Ways of Looking at Wang Wei as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?
An extraordinary gem of a booklet that considers the many ways that four lines of a single poem, composed by an 8th century Chinese Buddhist, have been translated into modern idiom. It is amazing how a mere twenty ideograms, depicting a mountain and forest scene devoid of people, can illuminate the variety and subtlety of consciousness. I recommend the 2016 edition with additional translations.
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