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Among Tibetan Texts: History & Literature of the Himalayan Plateau by E. Gene Smith
Among Tibetan Texts : History & Literature of the Himalayan Plateau by E. Gene Smith


 
E. Gene Smith ran the Library of Congress' Tibetan Text Publication Project of the United States Public Law 480 (PL480) - an effort to salvage and reprint the Tibetan literature that had been saved by the exile community or by members of the Tibetan speaking communities of Sikkim, Bhutan , India, and Nepal. Smith wrote prefaces to these reprinted books to help clarify and contextualize the particular Tibetan texts: the prefaces served as rough orientations to a poorly understood body of foreign literature. Originally produced in print quantities of twenty, these prefaces quickly became legendary, and soon photocopied collections were handed from scholar to scholar, achieving an almost cult status. "Among Tibetan Texts" collects these essays, presenting them together for the first time.
The essays span a vast range of Tibetan literature, covering Buddhist texts from all lineages, histories, biographies, and literary arts. They provide historical context for the origins of the various traditions, with helpful lineage charts and overviews of the literature and the great figures that shaped those traditions. The impact of Smith's essays on the academic study of Tibetan literature has been tremendous, both for their remarkable ability to synthesize diverse materials into coherent accounts of Tibetan literature, history, and religious thought, and for the exemplary critical scholarship Smith brought- and continues to bring- to this field.


384 pages. Hardcover.
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