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The Art of War

Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2002 3:36 am
by animetayl
I've been to a couple of bookstores, hoping to find this book. I've found them, but when I skim through them, they don't seem to be what I'm looking for. I'm looking for the most accurate translation of this book in it's closest form to the original. However, a lot of them are translated for modern usage. One of the editions just broke Sun Tzu's treatise into little paragraphs set on top of the pages and then the rest of the pages were devoted to the translator's explanation of them. :?
One of the sales personnel told me that a lot of chinese people who look for these books say that some of the translations are just horrible.
There is one translation by James Clavell. I've read one of his books (Shogun- based off of feudal Japan), and he is a fabulous writer. I'm thinking that maybe he did a decent job. I'll just have to wait until the store has them in stock to decide... (sigh).
Anyway, for anyone who has read this book, can you please give me the editions and translators, and tell me what you thought of it? I'm trying to research this in order to buy the right book. Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks.

Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2002 4:29 am
by LittleConqueror
I have the 1994 version translated by Ralph D. Sawyer, published by Barnes & Noble. It starts with about fifty pages of general historical background stuff, followed by about 80 or so pages in an introduction, which talks about varoius things. Then, it has the Art of War in translation, followed by the tomb texts and lost writings. Lastly, there are are notes, bibliography, glossary, etc. I enjoyed the book, as the art of war is translated well, and the background stuff is an interesting read if you're into that type of stuff. However, it's the only version I've read, so I can't compare it with others.

Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2002 5:58 am
by Phlegyas
I have one original version of it and a version that consist of Zhuge Liang and Liu Ju's commentaries.

Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2002 2:30 pm
by Wix The Great
Zu Mao wrote:I have one original version of it and a version that consist of Zhuge Liang and Liu Ju's commentaries.


Ya, that is Mastering the Art of War. I have that and a copy of the Art of War.

Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2002 1:06 am
by Chen Zhen
i bought "mastering the art of war" only for one buck

Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2002 6:33 pm
by animetayl
Um, thank you for the replies. I was not, however, asking who has read it. I'm asking what editions you have read and your views on them. Thanks.

Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2002 10:17 pm
by James
I have read many different version but I must say that my favorite of all is actually online. http://www.sonshi.com/

Not only do they have a wonderful online version, they also have great information about the book itself. You can also find translation reviews.

Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2002 4:21 am
by Wix The Great
Zhuge Kongming wrote:I have read many different version but I must say that my favorite of all is actually online. http://www.sonshi.com/

Not only do they have a wonderful online version, they also have great information about the book itself. You can also find translation reviews.


Wow, thanks for this site James. I never knew Machiavelli wrote his own ver. of The Art of War. I think I will read it and if I like it, buy it for further study.

Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2002 4:44 am
by Han Xin
Chen Zhen wrote:i bought "mastering the art of war" only for one buck


It probably only worth a buck... :wink:

Seriously, I haven't readed any evident which suggested that Mastering the Art of War was the work of the Great Zhuge Liang, it was never mentioned until the 14th century AD and all book written about Zhuge Liang prior never mention anything about it, book of stategies by Sun Wu, Sun Bin, and Wu Qi was very famost almost during their lifetime. So you could make up your own mind if Zhuge Liang was the author of such book or not, somehow I am not convince.

Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2002 10:00 pm
by Wix The Great
Han Xin wrote:
Chen Zhen wrote:i bought "mastering the art of war" only for one buck


It probably only worth a buck... :wink:

Seriously, I haven't readed any evident which suggested that Mastering the Art of War was the work of the Great Zhuge Liang, it was never mentioned until the 14th century AD and all book written about Zhuge Liang prior never mention anything about it, book of stategies by Sun Wu, Sun Bin, and Wu Qi was very famost almost during their lifetime. So you could make up your own mind if Zhuge Liang was the author of such book or not, somehow I am not convince.


I may have misunderstood you and if I have I am sorry. Zhuge Liang didn't write the book Mastering the Art of War but he wrote The Way of the General. I dunno if you actually meant he didn't write Mastering the Art of War or if you meant Way of the General. Tell me if I didn't understand you correctly.