THE COLUMBIA SOCIETY FOR COMPARATIVE PHILOSOPHY
Welcomes: ALEXUS MCLEOD (University of Connecticut)
With responses from: ANDREW MEYER (Brooklyn College, CUNY)
Please join us at Columbia University’s Religion Department on FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2nd at 5:30PM for his lecture entitled:
“The Madman of Chu: The Problem of Mental Illness and Self-Cultivation in Early Chinese Texts”
ABSTRACT: In Confucian and Zhuangist texts of the Pre-Han and Han period, we see characters described as “crazy, mad” (狂 kuang), and find descriptions or discussions of madness or mad persons—most prominently the infamous Jieyu, “Madman of Chu”. I argue that madness is seen by Confucians and Zhuangists as a kind of moral deformity that moves one outside of the boundaries of ritual and society and thus full personhood—a fact that leads the Confucians to shun mad people, and the Zhuangist to praise them. Madness is seen not as a 病 bing (disorder, illness), but instead as based on a cultivated choice. Continue reading “Alexus McLeod – Columbia Society for Comparative Philosophy Lecture: “The Madman of Chu: The Problem of Mental Illness and Self-Cultivation in Early Chinese Texts”, Dec. 2 @ 5:30pm”
Huainanzi update: A couple of years ago — has it really been that long? — WW&W posted an announcement and hosted some discussion that included the authors of the unabridged Huainanzi translation published by Columbia University Press. FYI, I just received in the mail an abridged version of the translation (272 pages instead of 1016), which is now available: The Essential Huainanzi.
Unrelated book note: The WAC (“Writing-across-the-Curriculum”) Clearinghouse at Colorado State University is offering, free of charge, electronic access to Chinese Rhetoric and Writing: An Introduction for Language Teachers by Kirkpatrick and Xu.
I’m informed by the publicity editor for Columbia University Press that the new Huainanzi translation is out and that the translators are available to write something about it on this blog or to be interviewed. I’m not sure what kinds of things we might have them address as of yet since very few, if any, of us has had a chance to look at the volume. Any thoughts?
I did have a related set of questions about backgrounds of translators in general, ones that are relevant not only to our specialization but to others, which occurred to me in this context. Most ancient texts that interest philosophers tend to have been translated, at least into English, by non-philosophers — that is, by specialists who have specialized training in other fields than philosophy. Continue reading “Huainanzi Translation and Some Questions about Translation”
Due out in January 2010; 992 pages, from Columbia University Press, translated by John Major, Sarah Queen, Andrew Meyer, and Harold Roth. Should be a nice little addition to your Han philosophy collection.