- Canadian Ideas
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Peter Harries-Jones .I have myself have published several books in the academic world, one of them short listed for a major Canadian non-fiction prize, and my wife, Rosalind Gill, has translated and published books written in French, has written short stories in English for major Canadian literary journals, and is about to publish a book of short stories set in Newfoundland. But our most unusual publishing enterprise was as joint editors of a Tai Chi manual. Part of the manual demonstrated in pictures and text one of the four main styles of Tai Chi, in this case Tai Chi Chuan or ‘hard’ (self-defense) Tai Chi. It covered how its 108 movements of bodily exercise relate to the more ancient texts of the I Ching; how the Wu family, who are the international organizers of this form of Tai Chi, had survived the Cultural Revolution in China, and how they moved to Canada. The manuscript arrived already translated into English but in several versions variously written about different periods of the history of the Wu family. Each of the parts of the book also had revisions of revisions. Putting it together required knowledge of the ‘form’ - the 108 movements that we had been trained in for some years - knowledge of how to put a book together, and knowledge of how to treat translated material that was inconsistent. The book, now known as ‘The Gold Book’ to Wu Tai Chi members, became available around the world, with particular success in Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, London . It was so successful that a second edition is to appear soon.