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Old 06-28-2005, 11:42 AM   #20
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
Re: doka of the day translator?

Peter A Goldsbury wrote:
2. If the text also embodies a 'code', known only to those who can crack the code, should the translation ALSO be a code-breaking device? Thus, to what extent should the translator make it known that that a particular phrase is REALLY a code word for something else entirely?
Peter, it dawns on me that you may be broaching the subject of whether someone "in the know" has any obligation to tell what he knows. You've touched on this idea somewhere before, so in case you're interested, let me give my views:

The subjects we're talking about are specifically the ki, kokyu, etc., subjects, not an unlimited field of information. The knowledge of how to do these things is spread across many martial arts, qigongs, neigongs, etc. I think that Stevens (using him as an example for this particular subject within the martial arts) could easily have indicated generalities without having spilled any beans, etc. If he is going to present an annotated translation, which he did, then yes I think he should divulge general information. In this case, I think it's pretty obvious that Stevens simply doesn't know the references and that's neither good nor bad.

This discussion is so general that I'm not sure we can glean all that much useable information from it. I did a quick Google for "qi of heaven" and had a number of hits (it might be worthwhile for people to look at some of the hits). One of the hits was Jarek Szymanski's excellent website with a portion on Zhang Nai Zhou (whose sayings the mythical Wang Tsung Yueh seems to have borrowed):

Notice once the translation begins it gets very explicit about how the qi is used and moved. However, if you don't understand what is meant by qi and jin (ki and kokyu, essentially) and how it works, what the "qi of heaven" is, etc., none of this will make any great sense. When you compare this explicit information with the very, very general terms involved in the Stevens translation of the doka, you can see that he, or any author in a similar situation, should have no problem and may have an obligation in revealing this limited but important information.


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