Looking to understand the classical book meditations by Marcus Aurelius? Then meditations:a new translation by Gregory Hays is the book for you!
In this review,I will take you through what it is,a brief summary of the book, cost and my thoughts about the book.
I will try all my best to give you every single detail about this book and if by any chance i do not tackle one of the things you really wanted,you can as well ask in the comments area and i will be happy to help you out .
Lets now get started on meditations: a new translation book review:
Name : Meditations: A new translation
Author: Gregory Hays
Best Place to Buy: www.amazon.com
Genre: Self Help Book
Publisher: Modern Library
Publication Date : May 6, 2003
What It is
This book is a translation of the work of the emperor Marcus Aurelius.
In Gregory Hays’s new translation the first in thirty-five years Marcus’s thoughts speak with a new immediacy.
In fresh and unencumbered English, Hays vividly conveys the spareness and compression of the original Greek text. Never before have Marcus’s insights been so directly and powerfully presented.
With an Introduction that outlines Marcus’s life and career, the essentials of Stoic doctrine, the style and construction of the Meditations, and the work’s ongoing influence, this edition makes it possible to fully rediscover the thoughts of one of the most enlightened and intelligent leaders of any era.
Gregory Hays is associate professor of classics at the University of Virginia. He maintains an annotated bibliography of Fulgentius the Mythmaker.
What the Book Talks About
The book simply is a translation of the original book to help you as a reader understand the book on a deeper level.
The Meditations is basically Marcus’s personal journal. It’s a record of thoughts that is carefully composed, but it was never intended for a wider audience.
Originally, it wasn’t organized into the books, chapters, and sections we see today when we open any edition of the work. In fact, it can be hard to locate particular discussions within the Meditations, since they aren’t necessarily grouped thematically .
It is a book of short sayings, varying from a sentence or two, to a long paragraph. It’s not organized but certain ideas keep popping up throughout, indicating that he thought them the most important for him (and therefore us) to understand and incorporate into the way we live.
The first book of Meditations consists of Marcus thanking the people who had a positive influence on his life, with a focus on those who instilled in him traits characteristic of a good Stoic.
These include valuing reason above all else, not being absorbed by petty things, limiting passions and desires, sober decision-making followed by firm commitment to the choice made, honesty and never being secretive, cheerfulness in the face of obstacles, and avoiding superstition and the influence of sophistry.
The character traits he lists throughout this first book include many examples worth following and ought to be paid close attention to.
Below are some of the lessons from the book:
You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.
Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.
The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.
Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.
Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.
If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.
When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love.
Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together,but do so with all your heart.
The best revenge is to be unlike him who performed the injury.
The soul becomes dyed with the colour of its thoughts.
It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.
If someone is able to show me that what I think or do is not right, I will happily change, for I seek the truth, by which no one was ever truly harmed. It is the person who continues in his self- deception and ignorance who is harmed.
There is a lot more in this book for you ,my advise to you is to get a copy and discover more since i cannot possibly put out everything discussed in the book here.
The best Meditations translation is by Gregory Hays.
He writes in modern plain English and understands how to make Marcus’s words concise and fluid. It is highly recommended you first read the Hays translation.
He thinks different translations reflect different aspects of the original, like looking at a sculpture from various angles (you can’t see all sides at the same time).
He was deliberately trying to move away from the rather stodgy feel of some earlier translations, which he thinks make Marcus sound too much like a sage.
He wanted to reflect the fact that this is a text compiled for his own use, not with any expectation of other readers. He’s writing memorandum for himself, not handing down wisdom-with-a-capital-W.
About where he sourced his translation for this book:
The Vatican assisted him but with the Meditations he wasn’t working directly from original manuscripts.
He used several modern editions of the Greek text, of which the most recent is by the German scholar Joachim Dalfen.
There’s an old but still very helpful commentary on the Greek text by A.S.L. Farquharson. He also consulted other translations for specific passages.
There are a number of cases where the text has become confused in the process of copying and different scholars and translators have reconstructed the original in different (sometimes very different) ways.
On why themes and metaphors are repeated in the book,hays thinks repetitions give us clues to the things that Marcus found especially difficult or troublesome.
The way he keeps coming back to certain images or points suggests that he found them helpful, but also that he needed reinforcement on those points.
Things like not giving in to anger, not being afraid of death–those are things that he seems to have really struggled with.
Best Place to Buy The Book
The best place I recommend you buy the book is on Amazon. The price there is fair and according to my research, it is the most trusted online store at the moment. It will also be very convenient for you to buy there if you were planning to do more online shopping today.
This is a great book to help you understand the meditations of Marcus Aurelius on a deeper level.
Feel free to leave in your comments as well
as your questions.
I hope you found this review useful to you.