Stephen Mitchell Writing Styles in Tao Te Ching

Stephen Mitchell
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Perspective

The translator of the TAO TE CHING, Stephen Mitchell studied at Amherst, the University of Paris, and Yale, and later "unstudies" through fourteen years of Zen training, initially under the Zen Master Seung Sahn and Continuum founder Emilie Conrad Da'oud, both of whom he quotes in the endnotes. Mitchell does not translate from the Chinese original, but works from literal translations and tries to capture author Lao-tzu's mind.

The endnotes suggest that Mitchell wants to help newcomers to the Tao Te Ching get the most from their study. Unfortunately, he gives little information about those whom he quotes as authorities. If one looks them up, one can see when they live and in what school they belong, but not fathom why they are necessarily called upon to support a given passage in the text. The reader is left taking accepting Mitchell's judgment that the material is apt and...

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This section contains 794 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Tao Te Ching Study Guide
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