Advertisement

Dao

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 233–254 | Cite as

Zhuangzi the Poet: Re-Reading the Peng Bird Image

  • Lian Xinda
Original Paper

Abstract

The image of the Peng bird, which opens the Zhuangzi text, is not the product of metaphysical reasoning. An inspiring example of soaring up and going beyond, the image is used to broaden the outlook of the small mind; its function is thus more therapeutic than instructional. With its rich poetic and experiential content, the image of the Peng refuses to be reduced to an abstract concept, or a mere signifier of certain philosophical position. Misreading of the image results from any attempt to accurately “size up” its philosophical implication by measuring it quantitatively against a spectrum of positions and values. To see only the superficial “inconsistencies” in Zhuangzi’s argument and to read the wind under the Peng’s wings as a handicap that it needs to overcome in order to embark on its “free and easy wandering” is, in the name of logic and “consistency,” to ignore the big picture Zhuangzi presents.

Keywords

Zhuangzi as a poet Productive ambiguity and positive “inconsistency” Dispersed/shifting-point perspective (sandian toushi 散點透視) vs. fixed-point perspective 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Allinson, Robert. 1989. Chuang-Tzu for Spiritual Transformation: An Analysis of the Inner Chapters. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  2. Boltz, William. 1980. “The Structure and Interpretation of Chuang Tzu: Two Notes on Hsiao Yao Yu.” Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 63.3: 532-543.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Carr, Karen, & Philip Ivanhoe. 2000. The Sense of Antirationalism: The Religious Thought of Zhuangzi and Kierkegaard. New York & London: Seven Bridges Press.Google Scholar
  4. Chen, Derong. 2005. “Three Meta-questions in Epistemology: Rethinking Some Metaphors in Zhuangzi.” Journal of Chinese Philosophy 32.3: 499.Google Scholar
  5. Cook, Scott. 2003. “Harmony and Cacophony in the Panpipes of Heaven.” In Scott Cook ed. Hiding the World in the World: Uneven Discourses on the Zhuangzi. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  6. Deqing 釋德清. 1956. Annotations on the Inner Chapter of the Zhuangzi 莊子內篇註. Taibei 台北: Jiankang shuju 建康書局.Google Scholar
  7. Fung, Yu-lan. 1975. Chuang Tzu: A New Selected Translation with an Exposition of the Philosophy of K uo Hsiang. New York: Gordon Press.Google Scholar
  8. Graham, A. C. 1981. Chuang-Tzu: The Inner Chapters. London: George Allen & Unwin.Google Scholar
  9. _____. 1983. “Taoist Spontaneity and the Dichotomy of ‘Is’ and ‘Ought.’” In Experimental Essays on Chuang-tzu. Edited by Victor H. Mair. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.Google Scholar
  10. Guan, Feng 關鋒. 1961. Interpretation and Criticism of the Inner Chapters of the Zhuangzi 莊子內篇譯解和批判. Beijing 北京: Zhonghua shuju 中華書局.Google Scholar
  11. Guo, Qingfan 郭慶藩, ed. 1961. Collected Annotations on the Zhuangzi 莊子集釋. Beijing 北京: Zhonghua shuju 中華書局.Google Scholar
  12. Hao, Changchi. 2005. “Relativity of the Human World and Dao in Lao-Zhuang—An Interpretation of Chapter 1 of the Zhuang-zi and of the Lao-zi.” Asian Philosophy 15.3: 267-268.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. LaFargue, Michael. 1992. The Tao of the Tao Te Ching. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  14. Legge, James. 1959. The Text of Taoism: The Tao Te Ching and the Writings of Chuang Tzu. New York: The Julian Press.Google Scholar
  15. Lin, Xiyi 林希逸. 1997. Yanzhai’s Annotation and Commentary on the Zhuangzi 莊子鬳齋口義校注. Beijing 北京: Zhonghua shuju 中華書局.Google Scholar
  16. Lundberg, Brian. 1998. “A Meditation on Friendship.” In Wandering at Ease in the Zhuangzi. Edited by Roger Ames. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  17. Pas, Julian. 1981. “Chuang Tzu’s Essays on ‘Free Flight Into Transcendence’ and ‘Responsive Rulership.’” Journal of Chinese Philosophy 8: 479-496.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Pu, Jiangqing 浦江清. 1989. “Notes on Xiaoyaoyou 逍遙遊之話.” In Works by Pu Jiangqing 浦江清文集. Beijing 北京: Renmin wenxue chubanshe 人民文學出版社.Google Scholar
  19. Schwitzgebel, Eric. 1996. “Zhuangzi’s Attitude Toward Language and His Skepticism.” In Essays on Skepticism, Relativism, and Ethics in the Zhuangzi. Edited by Paul Kjellberg and Philip Ivanhoe. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  20. Shirokauer, Conrad. 1984. “Rationality in Chinese Philosophy: An Exploration.” Journal of Chinese Philosophy 11: 19-29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Van Norden, Bryan. 1996. “Competing Interpretations of the Inner Chapters of the Zhuangzi.” Philosophy East & West 46.2: 247-268.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. _____. 2005. Review of Hiding the World in the World, by Scott Cook, ed. China Review International 12.1: 1-14.Google Scholar
  23. Wang, Fuzhi 王夫之. 1974. Zhuangzi Interpretation 莊子解. Taibei 台北: Heluo tushu chubanshe 河洛圖書出版社.Google Scholar
  24. Wang, Zhongyong 王仲鏞. 1980. “A New Investigation on Zhuangzi’s ‘Xiaoyaoyou’ 莊子《逍遙遊》新探.” In Chinese Philosophy《中國哲學》4: 152-164. Beijing 北京: Sanlian shudian 三聯書店.Google Scholar
  25. Watson, Burton, trans. 1968. The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Wu, Yi 吳怡. 2006. The Free and Easy Zhuangzi 逍遙的莊子. Guilin 桂林: Guangxi shifan daxue chubanshe 廣西師範大學出版社.Google Scholar
  27. Yearley, Lee H. 2005. “Daoist Presentation and Persuasion: Wandering among Zhuangzi’s Kinds of Language.” Journal of Religious Ethics 33: 518.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Zhang, Hengshou 張恒壽. 1983. A New Investigation of the Zhuangzi 莊子新探. Wuhan: 武漢 Hubei renmin chubanshe 湖北人民出版社.Google Scholar
  29. Zhang, Mosheng 張默生. 1993. A New Interpretation of the Zhuangzi 莊子新釋. Jinan 濟南: Qilu shushe 齊魯書社.Google Scholar
  30. Zhao, Ming 趙明. 1987. “On the Meaning of Xiaoyaoyou 逍遙游義辨.” In Colleted Papers on Laozi and Zhuangzi 老莊論集. Edited by Zhang Songru 張松如, et. al. Jinan 濟南: Qilu shushe 齊魯書社.Google Scholar
  31. Zhong, Tai 鍾泰. 2002. Exploring the Zhuangzi 莊子發微. Shanghai 上海: Shanghai guji chubanshe 上海古籍出版社.Google Scholar
  32. Ziporyn, Brook. 2003. “How Many Are the Ten Thousand Things and I? Relativism, Mysticism, and the Privileging of Oneness in the ‘Inner Chapters.’” In Scott Cook ed. Hiding the World in the World: Uneven Discourses on the Zhuangzi. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Modern LanguagesDenison UniversityGranvilleUSA

Personalised recommendations