No-Gate Gateway

The Original Wu-Men Kuan

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Translator(s): 
David Hinton
  • Boulder, CO: 
    Shambhala
    , February
     2018.
     168 pages.
     $16.95.
     Paperback.
    ISBN
    9781611804379.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Kenneth J. Valencich forthcoming.

Description

A monk asked: “A dog too has Buddha-nature, no?” And with the master’s enigmatic one-word response begins the great No-Gate Gateway (Wu-Men Kuan), ancient China’s classic foray into the inexpressible nature of mind and reality. For nearly eight hundred years, this text (also known by its Japanese name, Mumonkan) has been the most widely used koancollection in Zen Buddhism—and with its comic storytelling and wild poetry, it is also a remarkably compelling literary masterwork. In his radical new translation, David Hinton places this classic for the first time in the philosophical framework of its native China, in doing so revealing a new way of understanding Zen—in which generic “Zen perplexity” is transformed into a more approachable and earthy mystery. With the poetic abilities he has honed in his many translations, Hinton brilliantly conveys the book’s literary power, making it an irresistible reading experience capable of surprising readers into a sudden awakening that is beyond logic and explanation.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

David Hinton, through his many translations of classical Chinese poetry, has earned wide acclaim for creating compelling contemporary poems that convey the actual texture and density of the originals. He is also the first translator in over a century to translate the four seminal masterworks of Chinese philosophy: the Tao Te Ching, Chuang Tzu, the Analects, and Mencius. He has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, numerous fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and both of the major awards given for poetry translation in the United States: the Landon Translation Award from the Academy of American Poets, and the PEN Translation Award from the PEN American Center.

Keywords: 

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