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Tibetan Literary Genres, Texts, and Text Types

From Genre Classification to Transformation

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Edited by Jim Rheingans

The papers in Tibetan Literary Genres, Texts, and Text Types deepen our knowledge of Tibetan literature. They not only examine particular Tibetan genres and texts (pre-modern and contemporary), but also genre classification, transformation, and reception. Despite previous contributions, the systematic analysis of Tibetan textual genres is still a relatively undeveloped field, especially when compared with the sophisticated examinations of other literary traditions.
The book is divided into four parts: textual typologies, blurred genre boundaries, specific texts and text types, and genres in transition to modernity. The introduction discusses previous classificatory approaches and concepts of textual linguistics. The text classes that receive individual attention can be summarised as songs and poetry, offering-ritual, hagiography, encyclopaedia, lexicographical texts, trickster narratives, and modern literature.
Contributors include: Franz-Karl Ehrhard, Ruth Gamble, Lama Jabb, Roger R. Jackson, Giacomella Orofino, Jim Rheingans, Peter Schwieger, Ekaterina Sobkovyak, Victoria Sujata, and Peter Verhagen.

Rewriting Shangri-La

Tibetan Youth, Migrations and Literacies in McLeod Ganj, India

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Heidi Swank

In Rewriting Shangri-La: Migrations and Everyday Literacies among Tibetan Youth in McLeod Ganj, India, Heidi Swank examines differing histories of migration and exile through the lens of everyday literacies. The youth on whom this ethnography focuses live in a community that has long been romanticized by Tibetans and non-Tibetans alike, positioning these youth to see themselves as keepers of a modern day Shangri-la.
Through this ethnography - based on a decade of research - Heidi Swank suggests that through seemingly mundane writings (grocery lists, text messages, etc.) these youth are shifting what Shangri-la means by renogotiating important aspects of life in this Tibetan community to better match their lived - not romanticized - experiences as exiles in rural India.

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Paolo Santangelo

Although the preface says that the tales in this collection of supernatural stories should not be taken seriously and just aim to dispel boredom, Zibuyu is a work with different reading levels, which allows to uncover several deep trends, taboos and fantasies of late imperial intellectual circles. Disgust, surprise and laughter are constantly evoked, by continually attracting and repulsing the reader.
Yuan Mei’s approach guides the reader to an adventure in the dangerous recesses of the self. It is a sort of allegoric fantastic reflection on the relative and polyphonic essence of human beings, the multiplicity of selves from psychological perception, and a challenge to the traditional biographical and historical perspective for the unreliability of destiny. Dreams, madness, delusions and other extreme cognitive and affective conditions, abnormal events, gods and spirits, and the dark world of death lead to a reversal of perspective and destroy the Apollonian vision of the social-centered Confucian orthodoxy.
With introduction, translation and comments.