I am soliciting corrections, comments, and criticisms of my translation and study. I can send you a printed version: email emersonj at gmail dot com.
In 1979 P. M. Thompson published The Shen Tzu Fragments (Oxford, 1979), a careful attempt to separate the actual words of Shen Dao from the legendary and pseudoepigraphical accretions. For reasons of his own, however, when Thompson published his textual reconstruction he chose not to publish the translation which was part of the PhD dissertation from which his book was taken (A Translation of the Shen Tzu Fragments, vol. 3 of unpublished dissertation, U. Washington, Seattle). As a result, the recovered Shen Dao text has so far been available only to those who can read classical Chinese.
In this translation I have used Thompson’s edited text (inserting some of his suggested emendations) and have generally followed Thompson’s interpretations, noting the cases where I have disagreed with Thompson. The greater part of the Shen Dao corpus is unproblematic and can be straightforwardly translated. There are also a number of passages which are difficult only because of a single obscure word or phrase, but Thompson has satisfactorily decided most of these cases. (more…)