The Wisdom of Cheng-Yu
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A gorgeously illustrated and designed exploration of Eastern spirituality and culture through more than 80 proverbs drawn from Chinese philosophy. The sayings known as Cheng-yu, represented in four elegantly drawn Chinese characters, are comparable to proverbs or idioms in English, but each has a depth of meaning and linguistic color very unlike their English equivalents. Many are rooted in ancient Chinese culture, and make oblique references to poetry, philosophy, or history. Chinese Proverbs features a selection of the most famous and most interesting of the more than 5,000 Cheng-yu, including "beat grass warn snake" (give the game away, tip someone off) and "sorrowing army must win" (justice will prevail). Alongside each phrase is an accessible and inspiring explanation, its literal translation in English, what the particular calligraphic strokes symbolize, and its various uses.
Amber Books, 9781782747239, 96pp.
Publication Date: April 2, 2019
About the Author
James Trapp is the author of Chinese Characters: The Art and Meaning of Hanzi and has translated a new edition of Sun Tzu's The Art of War. A Chinese language graduate of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, he teaches Mandarin and is an Education Officer on the China Collection at the British Museum.