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This translation captures the terse and enigmatic beauty of the ancient original and resists the tendency toward interpretive paraphrase found in many other editions. Along with the complete translation, Lombardo and Addiss provide one or more key lines from the original Chinese for each of the eighty-one sections, together with a transliteration of the Chinese characters and a glossary commenting on the pronunciation and meaning of each Chinese character displayed. This greatly enhances the reader's appreciation of how the Chinese text works and feels and the different ways it can be translated into English.
"This crystalline translation of the Tao Te Ching is accurate down to the nuance and as concisely poetic as the original. It preserves the quirks and flavors of the original text. The translators hearkened to the message of the book itself, and kept it clear and gently strong. Of the many translations I have read in English, this is unquestionably the best."
—Gary Snyder, University of California at Davis
"This edition combines an earthy—as opposed to esoteric—translation with a welcome entrée into the Chinese text for those who do not know that language. The gorgeous ink paintings add beauty to the edition. I can't imagine a better way to present this text, and I can't imagine ever using a different edition."
—Greg Salyer, Huntingdon College
"This is by far the best translation on the market today, and I have been praising it to whoever would listen."
—Livia Kohn, Boston University