Zhuangzi glossary



Big knowledge, which recalls 1:01, is 閑閑 xiánxián, a reduplicative meaning, literally, "idle, idle." Small knowledge is 閒閒 xiánxián, which means the same thing. In fact, the two characters are variants, which means they are considered interchangeable. In this context, though, one would expect them to contrast. But in connection with the discussion of big and small knowledge in 1:01, we also might wonder if it is possible to tell the difference between them. Since 閑 xián also has the meaning of "enclosure," and in order to suggest a difference within similarity, I went with "unbounded," which has the connotation of unencumbered, and "unbound," with the connotation of "unhinged."