Favourite book:

Thoreau’s annotated translation and commentary of the Chuang Tzu/《庄子》.

A rare meeting of two thinkers/writers who, while coming from very diverse backgrounds -in geography and in time- undeniably share a kindred spirit and a delightful genius for prose in their own vernacular.

The delicious unknowns in this work of course, lies in whether Thoreau had read Chuang Tzu’s eponymous classic in the original Chinese, or whether Thoreau had based his sublime translation/interpretation on the works of earlier sino-scholars. One also wonders if Thoreau had written Walden (and other books like Walking) before or after his reading of what is probably the representative work on the philosophy of the ascetic vagabond or hermit from eastern thought.

This slim volume can be found in Borges’s Babelian Library, filed under “Non”.


2 thoughts on “About…

  1. http://tigerchess.wordpress.com/2009/04/13/shape-shifter/

    And as for chosen names and their evocations/connotations, I have to say that my chosen name for the wordpress account has both eastern and western influences.
    The words and imagery are from some of my most treasured lines from eastern and western writings; some biblical some secular and some more esoteric, of mundane musings as well as ecclesiastical yearnings…

    However, there is another and distinctly eastern influence for the word Dust…
    One of the characters of my Chinese name is 坤, which is the word for ‘Earth/World’, and which contains the root character 土 or ‘earth’.
    And a ’small earth’ or 小土 or 尘 is the word ‘dust’.

    a small clod travelling through this alien land…


  2. https://dustysojourner.wordpress.com/2009/07/23/wagers-of-salvation-but/#comment-45


    Welcome to this little corner of the world wide sandbox.
    You are right; indeed, we ARE all dusty sojourners…

    As David declares:

    But who am I, and who are my people,
    That we should be able to offer so willingly as this?
    For all things come from You,
    And of Your own we have given You.
    For we are aliens (sojourners) and pilgrims before You,
    As were all our fathers;
    Our days on earth are as a shadow,
    And without hope.
    O LORD our God, all this abundance that we have prepared to build You a house for Your holy name is from Your hand, and is all Your own.

    -1 Chronicles 29

    And the Teacher counsels:

    Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth,
    Before the difficult days come,
    And the years draw near when you say,
    “I have no pleasure in them”:

    For man goes to his eternal home,
    And the mourners go about the streets.
    Remember your Creator before the silver cord is loosed,
    Or the golden bowl is broken,
    Or the pitcher shattered at the fountain,
    Or the wheel broken at the well.
    Then the dust will return to the earth as it was,
    And the spirit will return to God who gave it.
    “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher,
    “All is vanity.”

    And moreover, because the Preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yes, he pondered and sought out and set in order many proverbs. The Preacher sought to find acceptable words; and what was written was upright—words of truth. The words of the wise are like goads, and the words of scholars are like well-driven nails, given by one Shepherd. And further, my son, be admonished by these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is wearisome to the flesh.

    Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:

    Fear God and keep His commandments,
    For this is man’s all.
    For God will bring every work into judgment,
    Including every secret thing,
    Whether good or evil.

    -Ecclesiastes 12


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