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Analysis of Chuang Tzu 33 Chapters Later Edited by Kuo Hsiang - Essay Example

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Analysis of Chuang Tzu 33 Chapters Later Edited by Kuo Hsiang

The main body of the essay consists of detailed discussion of his philosophic and literary masterpiece. As is obvious the original work is in the Chinese language, hence the main source of this essay is the translation of Chuang Tzu's complete work by the another famous orientalist A.C. Graham __ "Chaung Tzu, The Inner Chapters". Introduction: Little is known of the man Chuang Tzu, except the some sattered details found in miscellaneous official historical records. He lived during the Warring States Era ( 403-221 B.C. ) in the Chinese history; he held a minor official post, and he was a resident of a place called Meng, in the present day Honan Province. At this bleak junction in the Chinese history a phenomenon known as the Baijia, or the hundred schools of thought, emerged. Each of these schools propagated their peculiar brand of remedies to cure the social malaise to rid the Chinese society of the culture of violence and gore. The basic point that in a way united these schools was the fact that all of these schools of thought wanted to a state of social harmony, both at the level of the state and the individual. Among these schools of thought and perhaps the most influential one, was the Ruist__the erstwhile followers of Confucius. These scholars were in favor of returning to the wisdom and the old traditions and values of ancient China. Another, important school was the Mohist: composed of the disciples of "Master Mo" or Mozi. These scholars were opposed to the traditional culture and values because they perceived them to be elitist. Doadejing was also a popular movement of during these turbulent times. Chuang Tzu's philosophy developed within the context defined by the Ruist, Mohist and the Doadeing schools of thought. Chaung Tzu, is reported to have taken birth about more than a century after Confucius. His famous contemporaries were Mencius ( with whom he had no discourse or any contact), Gonsung Longzi ( the logician ) and his acquaintance Hui Shih ( referred to as a paradox monger). One man without whose mention the Chinese cultural history is bereft of any vitality and color is Chuang Tzu. But it is not on his own account but because of the remarkable feat of conservation of his work successfully undertaken by the Jin dynasty scholar and commentator, Kuo Hsiang (d.312 C.E.) that we know him today. Had it not been for Kuo Hsiang, China and the rest of the world would have never known the exceptional visionary, Chuang Tzu. Apart from preserving his work for posterity, Kuo Hsiang also has the unique distinction of being the first editor of Chuang Tzu. Originally, the work of Chuang Tzu was composed of fifty two chapters but it was reduced to its current thirty three chapters by Kuo Hsiang. He left out all that he thought spurious, and to set the record right, only the first seven chapters are written by the great man and are referred to as the "Inner Chapters" or Neipian. The rest of the chapters, that is chapters eight to twenty two, are referred to as the "Outer Chapters or Waipian, and chapters twenty three to thirty three are called the "Miscellaneous Chapters" or Zaipian. These chapters are attributed to the disciples and followers of the great man. In short the "Inner Chapters" form the core of the magnum opus or the basic writings of Chuang Tzu. At this ...Show more

Summary

Analysis of Chuang Tzu 33 chapters later edited by Kuo Hsiang Outline:People in the West apart from the academic circles know little or nothing about the Chinese philosophers. The two most common known Chinese philosophers are Confucius and Loa Tzu. This essay is about one of the most enigmatic Chinese philosopher and literary figure, Chaung Tzu_ a personality not well or to be more precise, little known off, to the rest of the world…
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