THE TAO OF THE WEST: WESTERN TRANSFORMATIONS OF TAOIST THOUGHT. By J. J. Clarke. London: Routledge Press, 2000. Pp. xi + 270; appendixes; indexes. Paper, $20.99, ISBN 0-415-20620-0.
This deservedly prize-winning book's stated aims are "to uncover the ways in which Daoism has entered Western consciousness, and to examine the methods by which ideas and texts from this ancient Chinese tradition have been selected, translated, interpreted, reconstituted and assimilated within the framework of modern Western thought" (5). The book consists of nine chapters: (1) 'The way that can be told': introduction; (2) 'The meaning is not the meaning': on the nature Daoism; (3) 'Cramped scholars': Western interpretations of Daoism; (4) 'The Great Clod': Daoist natural philosophy; (5) 'Going rambling without destination': moral explorations; (6) 'The transformation of things': the alchemy of life, sex and health; (7) 'The Way is incommunicable': transcendence; (8) 'The twitter of birds': philosophical themes; and (9) 'Journey to the West': by way of concluding.