Translating Taoism

Danish. The American author Ursula Le Guin published a free English translation of the Daodejing, the philosophical foundation ofTaoism, the Daodejing, and that translation was then translated into Danish. In this essay, I first review the strange and beguiling world view that emerges from the Daodejing, and then ask what it might mean to translate this text according to its own principles. I suggest that Le Guin’s version, while elegant, diverges from those principles, as she justifies her poetic choices by setting up strict binaries and hierarchies.

“Hvilken vej til Vejen?” (“Which way to The Way?”), Weekendavisen (10 February 2023). Link.