Last year I spent three weeks working on a lame novel and then thought of a better story. In ten days, while sick for much of it, I wrote over 14,000 words toward a goal of 50,000.
Next month (National Novel Writing Month 2007
), I'm setting the odometer to 0, but picking my I Ching-based story up. I can write 50,000 words in November, especially since I already have a good sense of characters and my chapters are already laid out for me. You can watch my status
or sign up yourself and add me as a "writing buddy." When I got to the "Novel Title" section I figured Sixty Four Chapters About Eight People was a good choice. iTunes random comes in handy yet again.
I've got Huang's translation to use as a base in addition to Wilhelm's. Venerable though it is, some of Wilhelm's quirks were starting to get to me. For one, I found it hard to discern what he meant by key concepts like The Abysmal (water). Wilhelm also had sections I could tell were poorly translated because he used words (such as "God") for which I know ancient Chinese lacked an equivalent with the same philosophical baggage. Huang grew up in China and studied with an old I Ching master when the Communists had banned the book. He explains how the ancient ideograms represent the meaning of the hexagrams, explains senses of the words and a bit of their linguistic evolution, and mentions word choices from other notable authors (Wilhlem and Blofeld). His goal for the book (which took several years and 7 complete drafts) is to provide a faithful translation without interpretation and to provide the reader with an understanding of the gestalt of the hexagrams in addition to their meaning in isolation. I'm sure I'll have more to say about this edition by December, but you could certainly do worse than to buy a copy of The Complete I Ching: The Definitive Translation by the Taoist Master Alfred Huang
. (I do object to the term "Taoist Master," but I suppose it helps the book sell.)