NYT on C. C. Tsai’s Comics / Bruya’s Translations available from PUP

The New York Times recently published an interview with C. C. Tsai, who has written and illustrated wonderful cartoon versions of the Art of War and the Analects (among others). Brian Bruya’s translated versions of both of these texts are now available from Princeton University Press.

3 replies on “NYT on C. C. Tsai’s Comics / Bruya’s Translations available from PUP”

  1. C. C. Tsai’s comics illustrating “The Analects” had once been published in English as “Confucius Speaks” (1996, Doubleday). Brian Bruya was the translator in that case as well. The book went out of print in the US but a bilingual version without the English introduction by Roger Ames remained in print in China (2005, Xiandai Chubanshe). Now it’s being reissued, evidently with more cartoons, by Princeton UP with a new introduction by Bruya. Is there a backstory to the checkered history of this comic collection?

  2. I don’t know about the backstory, but without that 1996 “Introduction” it is impossible to understand certain points in the almost identical long entry “Confucianism: Confucius” in Cua’s Encyclopedia of Chinese Philosophy (2002), because the latter uses spelling conventions that have the effect of eliding some different names.

    For example, where the Encyclopedia informs us that Tantai Mieming was “a protégé of the Ziyu described below, and as such invested a great deal of importance in protocol,” this latter name seems to refer to the next “Ziyu” we meet, i.e. Zengzi; but in the 1996 version the reference is unmistakably to You Ruo. And when the Encyclopedia says that You Ruo “went too far in the direction of the other Ziyu, emphasizing … the rites and rituals,” it would seem to be referring to the most recently mentioned other “Ziyu,” i.e. Zengzi; but in the 1996 version the reference is unambiguously to Tantai Mieming, supposed protégé of You Ruo.

    The entry connects Tantai Mieming and You Ruo because of Analects 6.14, which — as one cannot see in Bruya’s English names Ziyou 子游 rather than You Ruo. In my opinion there is no prima facie basis for regarding any of these three Ru as overly concerned with ritual formalities.

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