Ursula Le Guin is my literary hero. Her translation of the Chinese classic, ‘Lao Tzu Tao Te Ching, A Book About the Way and the Power of the Way’ is my bible and if I was allowed only one book to take with me to a desert island it would be that one.
In the introduction she writes that her father introduced her to this book and marked chapters he would like to have read at his funeral. She also marked chapters to have read at her funeral. (How I wish I knew which ones they are). My mother also chose chapters to read out at her funeral and so I did. And I have done the same because this book in its simplicity speaks to the soul.
Ursula Le Guin ends her introduction by saying that there have been many translations of the Tao Te Ching but –
“I wanted a Book of the Way accessible to a present-day, unwise, unpowerful, and perhaps unmale reader, not seeking esoteric secrets, but listening for a voice that speaks to the soul. I would like that reader to see why people have loved the book for twenty-five hundred years. It is the most lovable of all the great religious texts, funny, keen, kind, modest, indestructibly outrageous, and inexhaustibly refreshing. Of all the deep springs, this is the purest water. To me, it is also the deepest spring.’
If you are interested in purchasing the book, here is the link https://www.shambhala.com/lao-tzu-tao-te-ching-896.html
You can read her introduction in full in the photos below.
Vale Ursula Le Guin