Any course can be taken
as the right course to take,
but no course like that
can be the course taken always.
Any name can be named
to determine what is or should be,
but no name like that
can be what determines them always
Those are the opening lines of one of the oldest pieces of literature known, the Tao Te Ching. Aside from the Bible, it is also probably the most translated piece of literature known, written in about 400BC. Now, in a new translation by Brook Ziporyn transliterated as the Daodejing, English readers can get some new insight into this provocative and ambiguous classic, which I’ll be reading from.
If you’ve never encountered the Daodejing, you may be startled by its startling modern dialectical approach to life. This new translation with be published this January by Liveright Publishing; you can find more info here.
Click on the triangle or the mp3 link above to hear the reading as heard today on the Arts Express radio show broadcast today on WBAI FM NY and Pacifica affiliates across the nation.
And for our NY friends–we’re on at a new time on WBAI FM: Wednesdays, 9pm.