New Book on Zhuangzi

Scott Bradley has published a stimulating adaption/reflection of the Inner Chapters of Zhuangzi. Details are here; read on for Brook Ziporyn’s endorsement.

Scott Bradley reads, lives and breathes the spirit of Zhuangzi with his blood—not to mention with his eyes and his ears as they open into the world, with his knowing consciousness as it plumbs and unravels both its other and itself, and with all the cells in his body: he reads the Zhuangzi as Zhuangzi tells us the Genuine Person breathes: from his heels.

A bystander can only sigh in gratitude to see that this is still possible, heartened that the pulse of Zhuangzi finds its channel in the world yet: in his many years sailing the watery part of the world—the Daoiest part of the Dao, according to some—led only by the radiance of drift and doubt, Bradley has floated his craft safely past both the Scylla of know-nothing New Age enthusiasm and the Charybdis of scholarly forestblind literalism, past both theomorphic piety and complacent humanism, producing a highly accessible, spirited and subtle interpretative rendering and evocation of the Zhuangzi which at the same time communicates the living spirit and the lifeblood of its argument with a rigor and attention to crucial nuances and distinctions which is heartbreakingly lacking in most works on the subject. Bradley’s work makes sense of the Zhuangzi, and rides that sense true and close, all the way out to the refreshing life-giving open sea of its sense-preserving senselessness.

Brook Ziporyn
Professor of Chinese Religion, Philosophy, and Comparative Thought
The University of Chicago Divinity School

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