November 20, 2012

New I Ching Book and Movie

 The venerable gray-covered I Ching book on many people's shelves was originally translated and annotated by Richard Wilhelm, a German living in China during the early 20th century. His work was later translated into English by Cary Baynes. Finally, there is now a biographical look at Wilhelm, and the huge impact his work had upon Western thought. To see the trailer, follow this link.

The I Ching: A Biography
Richard J. Smith (Princeton University Press)
Richard Smith, who teaches at Rice University, has come out with a new book about the I Ching: Here Richard Smith tells the extraordinary story of how this cryptic and once obscure book became one of the most widely read and extensively analyzed texts in all of world literature. "In this concise history, Smith traces the evolution of the I Ching in China and throughout the world, explaining its complex structure, its manifold uses in different cultures, and its enduring appeal. He shows how the indigenous beliefs and customs of Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and Tibet "domesticated" the text, and he reflects on whether this Chinese classic can be compared to religious books such as the Bible or the Qur'an. Smith also looks at how the I Ching came to be published in dozens of languages, providing insight and inspiration to millions worldwide--including ardent admirers in the West such as Leibniz, Carl Jung, Philip K. Dick, Allen Ginsberg, Hermann Hesse, Bob Dylan, Jorge Luis Borges, and I. M. Pei. Smith offers an unparalleled biography of the most revered book in China's entire cultural tradition, and he shows us how this enigmatic ancient classic has become a truly global phenomenon."