The Analects of Confucius

Translated by Burton Watson

Columbia University Press

The Analects of Confucius

Pub Date: November 2009

ISBN: 9780231141659

176 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $17.95£14.99

Pub Date: August 2007

ISBN: 9780231141642

176 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $45.00£38.00

Pub Date: August 2007

ISBN: 9780231511995

176 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $16.99£13.99

The Analects of Confucius

Translated by Burton Watson

Columbia University Press

Compiled by disciples of Confucius in the centuries following his death in 479 B.C.E., The Analects of Confucius is a collection of aphorisms and historical anecdotes embodying the basic values of the Confucian tradition: learning, morality, ritual decorum, and filial piety. Reflecting the model eras of Chinese antiquity, the Analects offers valuable insights into successful governance and the ideal organization of society. Filled with humor and sarcasm, it reads like a casual conversation between teacher and student, emphasizing the role of the individual in the attainment of knowledge and the value of using historical events and people to illuminate moral and political concepts.

Confucius's teachings focus on cultural and peaceful pursuits and the characteristics of benevolent and culturally distinguished government. He also discusses ancestor worship and other rites performed for the spirits of the dead. The single most influential philosophical work in all of Chinese history, The Analects of Confucius has shaped the thought and customs of China and neighboring countries for centuries. Burton Watson's concise translation uses the pinyin romanization system and keeps explanatory notes to a minimum, yet his intimate knowledge of the Confucian tradition and precise attention to linguistic detail capture the original text's elegance, cogency, and wit.
[Watson's] translation... is not only perhaps the most faithful to the writer's intentions, but also one of the few readable ones. Donald Richie, Japan Times
Watson's gem... captures the wit, freedom, and spontaneous intimacy of this tireless treasure.... Highly recommended. CHOICE
A new, concise translation. Journal of Chinese Studies
A lucid and accessible translation. Toronto Globe & Mail
Introduction
Book One
Book Two
Book Three
Book Four
Book Five
Book Six
Book Seven
Book Eight
Book Nine
Book Ten
Book Eleven
Book Twelve
Book Thirteen
Book Fourteen
Book Fifteen
Book Sixteen
Book Eighteen
Book Nineteen
Book Twenty
Glossary of Persons and Places

Read the >introduction to The Analects of Confucius.

About the Author

Burton Watson has taught at Columbia, Stanford, and Kyoto Universities and is one of the world's best-known translators of Chinese and Japanese works. His translations include The Tales of the Heike; The Lotus Sutra; the writings of Zhuangzi, Mozi, Xunzi, and Han Feizi; The Columbia Book of Chinese Poetry; and Records of the Grand Historian.