von: Larre, C./Rochat de la Vallée, E.

The Extraordinary Fu

The Extraordinary Fu

2003, 221 pages

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The Extraordinary Fu von Larre, C./Rochat de la Vallée, E.

Claude Larre's visionary understanding of the philosophical and cultural background of classical Chinese medicine and Elisabeth Rochat's thorough knowledge of the Chinese medical classics provide a unique insight into the foundations of Chinese medicine.
Part of the Chinese Medicine From The Classics series.
Larre C.

Claude Larre sj (1919-2001)
was a French sinologist. After taking a degree in Law at the Sorbonne, he entered a Jesuit Seminary at the age of 20. He spent five years in China at a very turbulent point in its history (1947-52), finally leaving for Hongkong when all foreign priests were expelled. He returned to France to study Chinese Philosophy at the Sorbonne. In 1957 he left for what was to be a nine year stay in Vietnam, first as Director of the Jesuit School for Vietnamese Language and later as Professor of Oriental Philosophy at the universities of Saigon and Dalat. His links with Vietnam lasted throughout his life, in his dedication and support for Vietnamese refugees in France. On his return to France, he pursued further Chinese studies at the Sorbonne culminating in his doctorate in Philosophy and Sinology. His dissertation was on Huainanzi chapter 7, Jing Shen Xun, A Commentary on Jingshen. In 1971, he founded the Ricci Institute in Paris, a centre for research on the Chinese language and civilisation. The last ten years of his life were focussed especially on the production of the Grand Ricci Dictionary of the Chinese Language, the largest dictionary of Chinese into any European language. It was finally published a month after his death, in seven volumes. In 1977 he made a translation of Laozi's Daodejing, returning to the same subject with a new translation in 1994. In 1981 he wrote Les Chinois. His specific publications on Chinese medicine (some co-authored) include the Survey of Chinese Medicine, The Way of Heaven (Suwen chapters 1 and 2), Rooted in Spirit (Lingshu chapter 8) and Suwen chapters 1-11. With Elisabeth Rochat he has also co-authored translations and commentaries on Zhuangzi and Huainanzi, and presented a study of the Mawangdui funeral banner. With the founding of the European School of Acupuncture, in Paris, in 1976, he began a period of teaching on Chinese philosophy, Chinese language and traditional Chinese medicine in various countries in Europe, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States.

Rochat de la Vallée, E.

Elisabeth Rochat de la Vallée, Jahrgang 1949,
ist eine international anerkannte Autorin, die sich im Bereich der TCM einen Namen gemacht hat. Dabei hat sie mit Autoren wie Larre und Dr. Jean Schatz zusammengearbeitet und interessante Werke erschaffen. Ihre Bücher sind in Französisch und Italienisch veröffentlicht worden, ebenfalls in Englisch.

Elizabeth Rochat de la Vallée, born in Paris in 1949,
studied philosophy, literature and classics at the Paris University where she completed her Masters degree in Classics and in Philosophy then in Chinese.

Self-description: When I was 20, I met Claude Larre s.j. while he was working on his PhD thesis on the Huainanzi and translating the Laozi. As a result of his influence, I began to study Chinese, working with him on Chinese classical texts. I also studied modern Chinese with a native speaker and spent a year in Taiwan to further my studies. In the early 1970's, Father Larre met Dr. Jean Schatz, a western physician with an interest in oriental medicine He was an acupuncturist with a special interest for the classical medical texts. At this time I embarked on a study of Chinese medicine, and together with Dr. Schatz and Father Larre, began the first study group of the classical medical texts in Paris. This lead to the founding of the European School of Acupuncture in Paris in 1976. From this common work, Father Larre, Dr. Schatz and myself co-authored A Survey of Chinese Medicine, published in 1979 (English translation published in 1986). Under the auspices of the Ricci Institute in Paris, Father Larre and I offered lectures, seminars and conferences on Chinese classical thought; this teaching was given not only in Paris and other French cities, but also in several European countries and shortly in America. We also published numerous booklets on the seminal texts of Chinese medicine and philosophy. In the mid 1980's, I began to accompany Father Larre on his teaching engagements in both the UK and the US. Father Larre's subtle understanding of the background culture and philosophy and my knowledge of the medical texts combined to produce a unique teaching team. I continue to teach worldwide, working with both medical and philosophical Classics. I was lucky enough to find good friends and partners to work with, such as Sandra Hill for the editing and publication of books in English through Monkey Press, Peter Firebrace for teaching in London with Orientation; Ken and Jessica Rose in the US with whom I co-founded the Three Spring Institute, and many others in different countries and languages. (See here for details and links). I do think that a real knowledge of the Chinese vision of life is useful not only to understand Chinese medicine from a scholarly point of view, but also to deepen one's practical approach and clinical skill. It is the reason why I always read, translate and explain texts which present a precise pathology and its diagnosis treatment or a reflexion on the nature and meaning of human life or anything in the between. I like and value the Daoist approach of life, especially Zhuangzi and Laozi, while remaining a Christian.
I also worked closely with Father Larre on the Grand Ricci dictionary, completing the first publication two volumes of single characters in 1999. The complete work of seven volumes was finally published, under my direction, just before Father Larre's death in 2001. This awesome achievement is a testament to an inspiring collaboration which lasted over 30 years.

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