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On the Art of War


Unfortunately, some of his notes and footnotes contain Chinese
characters; some are completely Chinese. Thus, a conversion to a
Latin alphabet etext was difficult. I did the conversion in complete
ignorance of Chinese (except for what I learned while doing the
conversion). Thus, I faced the difficult task of paraphrasing it while
retaining as much of the important text as I could. Every paraphrase
represents a loss; thus I did what I could to retain as much of the text
as possible. Because the 1910 text contains a Chinese concordance,
I was able to transliterate proper names, books, and the like at the
risk of making the text more obscure. However, the text, on the
whole, is quite satisfactory for the casual reader, a transformation
made possible by conversion to an etext. However, I come away from
this task with the feeling of loss because I know that someone with a
background in Chinese can do a better job than I did; any such
attempt would be welcomed.
Bob Sutton al876@cleveland.freenet.edu bobs@gnu.ai.mit.edu
——————————————————————————————
——- INTRODUCTION
Sun Wu and his Book —————————-
Ssu-ma Ch`ien gives the following biography of Sun Tzu: [1]
Sun Tzu Wu was a native of the Ch`i State. His ART OF WAR
brought him to the notice of Ho Lu, [2] King of Wu. Ho Lu said to him:
"I have carefully perused your 13 chapters. May I submit your theory
of managing soldiers to a slight test?" Sun Tzu replied: "You may."
Ho Lu asked: "May the test be applied to women?" The answer was
again in the affirmative, so arrangements were made to bring 180
ladies out of the Palace. Sun Tzu divided them into two companies,
and placed one of the King's favorite concubines at the head of each.
He then bade them all take spears in their hands, and addressed
them thus: "I presume you know the difference between front and
back, right hand and left hand?" The girls replied: Yes. Sun Tzu went
on: "When I say "Eyes front," you must look straight ahead. When I
say "Left turn," you must face towards your left hand. When I say
"Right turn," you must face towards your right hand. When I say
"About turn," you must face right round towards your back." Again the
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