Conférence SFEMT jeudi 21 février 2013 David Pritzker

Dans le cadre du Cycle de conférences en études tibétaines organisé par la Société Française d’Études du Monde Tibétain (SFEMT), nous avons le plaisir de vous inviter à la conférence de David Pritzker :

« Canopy of Everlasting Joy: the historiography of an early Tibetan text. » 

Jeudi 21 février 2013 de 17h30 à 19h30

Maison de l’Asie, Grand Salon

22 avenue du Président Wilson, 75016 Paris.

Métro Iéna / Boissière / Trocadéro

Canopy of Everlasting Joy: the historiography of an early Tibetan text.

This previously unknown manuscript, recently found by me in West Tibet, is a fascinating new addition to the study of early Tibetan texts, as well as the study of the historiographic development of Tibetan historical writing. This text contains a number of archaic orthographic and paleographic features more closely related to documents found in the Dunhuang archive than to those texts produced in the time of the phyi-dar (later dissemination). The manuscript is therefore a historically liminal document that offers unique insight into the written production of historical narrative and power at that time. In terms of its literary historiographic importance, a close study of the document’s narrative sections, its archaic terminology, and overall teleology, reveal that the author was drawing on manuscripts or oral traditions not accessible to later monastic historians. The combination of all these features— its codicology, paleography, orthography, as well as a  stemmatic reconstruction— places this manuscript in the rare company of only a handful of other known texts of the time, all of which have been foundational to our understanding of the history of Tibetan historical writing.

In this paper I will present a physical description of the manuscript as an archaeological object. Secondly, following on from a general codicological description, I shall point out some of the manuscript’s ortho-paleographic qualities, while providing a few exemplary passages of the text’s poetic prose and archaic style. Thirdly, I will offer a preliminary textual analysis and provide a brief outline of the manuscript’s general contents. To conclude I shall offer a preliminary contextualization of the manuscript along with outlining a methodology for further analysis.

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