Hank Keeton - SeeingTao photographer and author of Dao De Jing, A process Perspective.



Translation and Commentary by
Hank Keeton & Yu Fu

In the late 1960s, one of us (Keeton) began a long cycle of interest in DaoDeJing, collecting numerous English translations, none of which were very satisfying. Each translation manifested some particular appeal, but none of them expressed the continuity intuited within the ancient manuscripts themselves.

In 2003 Roger Ames and David Hall released their English translation. Hall died before the manuscript was published, but the overall integrity of the project is apparent. Their work became the impulse driving this translation. With this inspiration, in late 2009 I circulated an inquiry for interested Chinese scholars for collaboration and I was introduced to Dr. Meijun Fan and her husband Dr. Zhihe Wang. Meijun’s deep commitment to Chinese culture, her personal intellect, plus her training and skills were just what the project needed.

Meijun and Zhihe work part-time in the U.S. and part-time in China, and our joint efforts became too time-consuming to sustain. In early 2016, we decided to realign our translating process, and I circulated another request for assistance. An emerging scholar, Yu Fu, Associate Professor, Department of English, Zhejiang University City College in China, expressed interest in exploring a process interpretation of DaoDeJing.

Together we launched into the final stages of the project, polishing and refining the manuscript. Our joint efforts have been deeply rewarding, and greatly satisfying, and in that spirit we offer our current process translation of the DaoDeJing. We envision it as a constructive step in the overall process of bringing the wisdom-metaphors of this ancient tradition into the modern world, for interpretation and application.

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