Post by Doris McCraw
As I pondered this post I kept remembering the 1964 film, “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Bomb”. This political satire, by film maker Stanley Kubrick has one of the strangest titles of all time. It sticks with you long after you have seen/read it. The film, of course is in black and white and starred the great Peter Sellers. As a disclaimer, the film has nothing to do with this post, except for the title.
What this post does have to deal with the timeless book “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu. Written about 2500 years ago as a job application, according to one source, this book is a favorite of generals, world and business leaders. I have five copies of the book. I can hear you now, why five copies? The book has had many interpretations over the years, with each version offering a different take on the authors words. While each version has similarities, there are slight and sometimes major differences in the text.
There are five principal concepts. !. Moral Compass 2. Heaven 3. Earth 4. Commander 5. Regulation. Even the five listed here from the 2011 version by Janes Trapp are open to interpretation.
The first translation from Chinese, was into French in 1772 according the Wikipedia. English translations were in 1905 and 1911. However, there is argument as to the real original version. Just check the Wikipedia entry https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Art_of_War and you will see what all the fuss is about.
So how can one of my favorite books, written about the art of war, be relaxing? The fact that each version is interpreted, based on the particular ‘original’ the author used. The text itself is written in such a style that even the particular translation is open to the readers take on the words. If such an ancient text can have so many choices of translation, then life itself is not written in stone. We each take events and see them through the filter of our own experiences, ie. version. When that is understood, it makes it easier to relax and let people have their insights into life without trying to make them accept mine. That my friends is so relaxing. When I write my fiction and non-fiction, it is to pass along life as I perceive the stories to be, but my readers are free to see what they need to see in my work. So on that note, when you see the book “The Art of War”, think of me sitting back and relaxing reading whatever version I happen to have handy.
Doris McCraw specializes in Colorado and Womens History. She writes fiction under the pen name Angela Raines. Join her on facebook and her Amazon author page.
Coming Oct 19 – “Angel of Salvation Valley”, by Angela Raines
“NEVER HAD A CHANCE” , second in the Agate Gulch stories, in the Prairie Rose Publications “A COWBOY CELEBRATION” anthology http://amzn.to/1GzwJhw
HOME FOR HIS HEART the first in the Agate Gulch stories. http://amzn.to/1GJhpSu
Author Page: http://amzn.to/1I0YoeL