cover image The New Lao Tzu: A Contemporary Tao Te Ching

The New Lao Tzu: A Contemporary Tao Te Ching

Ray Grigg, Author, Bill Gaetz, Illustrator Tuttle Publishing $18.95 (187p) ISBN 978-0-8048-3034-8

Griff (Tao of Relationships; The Tao of Selling, etc.) here seeks to lay bare the ``essential'' wisdom of a classic Chinese text by eliminating linguistic and conceptual obstructions. The result is a kind of tenderized Tao Te Ching. Lexical problems and controversies surrounding the source materials of the Tao Te Ching, Griff asserts, make even the best of translations subjective interpretations, calling his new version ``...merely an outright declaration of the way the source material has always been treated.'' Based upon nine translations of the ancient text, Grigg's work is also a reflection of the eclecticism typical of Western dabblers in Eastern mysticism-a hodgepodge of loose interpretations and manipulated conventions. But part of the appeal of such a work, as here, is the ability to retain the enigmatic while rendering the text highly readable. Thus, while this is never billed as a scholarly work, readers will want to remain mindful that this rendering provides access not so much to the Tao Te Ching as to one individual's view of what constitutes contemporary ``essential'' wisdom and that that distinction is an important one. (Apr.)