Tibet Literature

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The Tibetan literature originated from a broad but closed geographical environment of snow-covered Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and therefore features strong characteristics of the culture. It then developed and evolved during the process of integrating local traditional culture and external cultures, recording the cultural features and styles of the plateau and the spiritual world of the people living on the plateau.
With a history spanning over thousands of years, the Tibetan literature is rich in content. The book was edited in an innovative way that differs from the conventional style of compiling history of literature. From both diachronic and synchronic perspectives, the book comprehensively outlines and specifically introduces the Tibetan literature in two categories, namely oral literature and written literature. It extracts wisdom, insights, pure thoughts and awe from the historical Tibetan literary works, and continuously reflects the expanded spiritual world of Tibetan people indicated by the works and human feelings in pursuit for divinity. It shows the charm and importance of literature laced with strong characteristics of people living on the snow-covered plateau, aiming to base on the development history and representative works of the Tibetan literature to guide the readers in reviewing the history to get a better understanding of Tibet.
The book is a popular reading material written by a scholar engaged in studying Tibetan literature for common readers. Compared with related existing works, this book boasts a series of explorations and innovations in style, structure and narration and reflects flexible arrangement for the objects of study on Tibetan literature and the unique thoughts of the author on history of Tibetan literature.

About Author

Norbu Wangdan, deputy secretary general of the Association of Chinese Ethnology, member of the Council of Chinese Religion Study Association and director of the Council of Southwestern China Association of Ethnology, has published a number of works, including Artists, Text and Context: Tradition of Gesar Epic from Cultural Criticism Perspective, Tibetan Myths and Epics (in Tibetan) and The Wheel of Life: the Reincarnation of Living Buddha in Tibetan Buddhism.

Table of Contents
Chapter One
Tibetan Literature in the Age of Oral Tradition
Ⅰ. Natural and Cultural Literature Environment in the Age
of Oral Tradition
Ⅱ. Oral Tradition — the Cornerstone of Oral Literature
Ⅲ. Three Treasures in Tibetan Literature — Sgrung, Ldevu
and Bon
Ⅳ. Philosophical Expression of Tibetan Oral Literature:
Chapter Two
The Agglomeration of Tibetan Oral Tradition: Gesar
Ⅰ. Introduction
Ⅱ. Origins: Social and Cultural Context
Ⅲ. Singers of Fairy Tales
Ⅳ. Text and Its Evolution
Ⅴ. Conservation and Preservation
Chapter Three
Basic Types and Texts of Written Literature (Ⅰ)
Ⅰ. Tibetan as Medium for Written Literature
Ⅱ. The Translation of Buddhist Scriptures as the Beginning
of Written Literature Ⅲ. Buddhist Literature
Ⅳ. Historical Literature
Chapter Four
Basic Types and Texts of Written Literature (Ⅱ)
Ⅰ. Biographical Literature
Ⅱ. Terma Literature
Ⅲ. Poetry
Ⅳ. Novels
Ⅴ. The Collection of Letters
Chapter Five
The Literature Genres between Oral Language
and Written Language
Ⅰ. Religious Song
Ⅱ. Maxim
Ⅲ. Persuasion
Ⅳ. Tibetan Opera
Sample Pages Preview

Oral and written literature can be applied to analyze and study the origin and development of Tibetan culture if the emergence of Tibetan characters can be served as a way to split the ages of civilization and pre-civilization.
Although written records of Tibetan history only cover 1,300 years, Tibetans have been living for over 10,000 years. About 8,000 years without any characters had slipped by, including 31 kings before the reign of Songtsen Gampo. It is concluded that the records during the period were inherited orally, so did myths, legends and tales. The development track of Tibetan Literature can be divided into two patterns — oral and written traditions.

 Sample pages of Tibet Literature (ISBN:9787508537801) Sample pages of Tibet Literature (ISBN:9787508537801)
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