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The Manual of Prudence: 400 Years of Worldly Wisdom [Paperback]

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Item description for The Manual of Prudence: 400 Years of Worldly Wisdom by Baltazar Gracian...

Although this book was written approximately 500 years ago, it forms the basis for many of the books of advice and guidance that have been written over the centuries. More than 300 homilies, sayings, thoughts, and pieces of advice are included, covering topics such as conduct, thinking, knowledge, art, and people's relationships with the world around them. Other topics include not revealing one's Achilles heel, not being in a hurry to believe, not being overly sweet, and identifying one's bad days.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Astrolog Publishing House
Pages   318
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 5.5" Height: 8"
Weight:   0.85 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Apr 1, 2004
Publisher   Astrolog Publishing House
ISBN  9654941945  
ISBN13  9789654941945  

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1Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Psychology & Counseling > General
2Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Psychology & Counseling
3Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Self-Help > General
4Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Self-Help > Personal Transformation
5Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Epistemology
6Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Ethics & Morality

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Manual of Prudence: 400 Years of Worldly Wisdom?

Watered down "The Art of Worldly Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian"   May 3, 2008
The Manual of Prudence: 400 Years of Worldly Wisdom

What a disapointment when I received this watered down version of that extraordinary book by Baltasar Gracian "The Art of Worldly Wisdom" which I own.



GET "The Art of Worldly Wisdom" by Baltasar Gracian
excellent book  Jan 24, 2008
This is an excellent book. But it is essentially the same as "The Art of Worldly Wisdom". Just a different translation.
A Wonderful Book!  Aug 5, 2007
Gracian is one of my favorite philosophers, and this translation and presentation is one of the most accessible I have ever read. It is a nice book to give as a gift, to introduce readers to Gracian.
Wonderful Modernized Translation, yet Poetic -- Great for Young Readers  May 3, 2007
This wonderfully accessible translation by Juan de Aragon is a very readable translation that is certain to be the first choice if you intend on giving Baltasar Gracian y Morales's Oraculo Manual y Arte de Prudencia (literally, Oracle Manual & The Art of Prudence) to young readers. I own and have read the four major translations of Gracian y Morales's text, as well as a Spanish edition, and must admit that there is no perfect definitive translation. The problem of translation commences with the title of the book and the author's full Spanish name --both are curtailed by all four major English language translators who should have been cognizant of "Gracian's" full Spanish surname. The back jacket of Juan de Aragon's translation also calls Gracian [y Morales] a "Spanish philosopher" and thereby glosses over a very important point. Gracian y Morales was a Spanish Jesuit priest, not just a philosopher. As a consequence, Gracian y Morales's "practical wisdom" that often gainsays the virtuous teachings of the church is not gratuitous blasephemy, but must be compared to Gracian y Morales's more conventional teachings, e.g. aphorism 300: Always be virtuous. This is a very distinct aphorism than an earlier aphorism that advises the reader to find escape goats to ward off the full blow of an enemy's attack. Joseph Jacobs' translation (The Art of Worldly Wisdom)is the most poetic translation and contains a wonderful introductory article. It is in many ways the best translation that will be difficult to be superceded. Next in line is Christopher Maurer's translation (The Art of Worldly Wisdom: A Pocket Oracle), which sometimes is clearer, but sometimes less clear. I have used both Jacobs' and Maurer's translations in the classroom when teaching "wisdom literature" in literature classes. Martin Fischer's translation (The Art of Worldly Wisdom) was the first English translation I read, and although it is less clear than Jacobs' and Maurer's in many instances, it is also often clearer in other instances. And therein lies the problem: each translation has its merits, but there is no one best translation! Here is what I recommend. If you are buying this book for a very young reader or someone who is not an advanced reader of English --someone between 10 and 18, or a foreign born reader of English -- Juan de Aragon's Manual of Prudence would be the translation to buy...first. Then I would recommend Jacobs' translation for its literal and poetic virtues, and then Maurer's for alternative translations. Juan de Aragon's Manual of Prudence contains a few misleading translations. For example, in aphorism 7 "Do Not Surpass Others Above You" (the original Spanish is "Excusar victorias del patron" or literally, "Excuse the victories of the patron (master)"), Juan de Aragon presents a questionable translation when he writes " matters of intelligence, nobody, especially not kings and sovereigns, will negate you." It is clear in reading the other English translations and the Spanish original (e.g. Emilio Blanco's Spanish-language edition published by Debate Editorial) that the the goal of the aphorism is for the reader to learn not to surpass/negate someone above him in station and thereby inadvertently insult him/her and earn his/her wrath. Juan de Aragon's translation tries to be literal, but errs in implying that the reader will not be negated/surpassed by kings and sovereigns. All other translations of Gracian y Morales's wonderful text avoid this problem. It is clear that the master, and not the reader, is the one who is not to be outshined. (Juan de Aragon's translation is clear about this elsewhere in his translation of the same aphorism, but obscures the point in that particular section of the aphorism.) Nevertheless, there are many instances where Juan de Aragon's translation is superior. So there is no one definitive translation available. In addition, Juan de Aragon's Manual of Prudence must be lauded for being the most readable of translations, since the author knowingly sacrificed literalness for readability, without sacrificing a pleasing poetic quality and profound wisdom lessons that shine brightly in de Aragon's translation. Kudos to de Aragon for an outstanding and necessary contributation to the study of The Oracle Manual & The Art of Prudence by Baltasar Gracian y Morales.

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