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Apparitions of the Self


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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix Preface xi Acknowledgments xvii Technical Note on Translation Policies xxi Abbreviations xxiv Introduction. The Secret Autobiographies of Jigme Lingpa 3 I. TRANSLATION A Word to the Reader 14 Dancing Moon in the Water 15 Dakki's Grand Secret-Talk 55 Notes to the Translation 63 II.BACKGROUND Chapter 1. Autobiography in Tibet 101 Chapter 2. The Outer Face: The Life of Jigme Lingpa 124 Chapter 3. Treasure Discoverer 145 Chapter 4. Master of Experience 182 III. READINGS Chapter 5. No-Self Self and Other Dancing Moons 2H Chapter 6. The Dakini Talks: On Gender, Language, and the Secret Autobiographer 243 Epilogue. Subjectivity without Essence 265 Appendix 1. The Autobiographies and Biographies of Jigme Lingpa 273 Appendix 2. Lists of the Former Lives of Jigme Lingpa 275 Appendix 3. Table of Episodes in the Secret Autobiographies of Jigme Lingpa 278 Notes 281 Bibliography 311 Tibetan Sources 311 Secondary Sources and Critical Editions 321 Interviews 338 Index 339

About the Author

Janet Gyatso is Associate Professor of Religion at Amherst College. She is the editor of In the Mirror of Memory: Reflections on Mindfulness and Remembrance in Indian and Tibetan Buddhism.


"It is only one of the many virtues of Janet Gyatso's Apparitions of the Self that it gives us, at last, a full portrait of a Buddhist saint in all his self-admitted complexity and ambiguity... Lucid and literate... Significant points to ponder, and subtle arguments to which to respond."--Journal of Asian Studies "Gyatso surveys this landscape from a host of perspectives, adding to her Buddhalogical expertise a sensitivity to literary theory and comparative studies. Her sharp intelligence and thorough consideration are evident on every page. This book will attract readers from as many disciplines as Gyatso herself so effectively musters."--Religious Studies Review "This exceptional volume combines concise and felicitous translation with clear commentary and insightful analysis... What lends considerable interest to this work is the comparison Gyatso ... makes between Tibetan literature and Western literary theory... [Apparitions of the Self] serves as a model of innovative scholarship."--Choice "In this ambitious book, Janet Gyatso breaks new ground in the field of cross-cultural comparisons of autobiography... Providing clear, poetic translations of very difficult material, Gyatso offers a glimpse into an unusual genre of autobiography... [She] has accomplished a difficult task at rendering the translations of Jigme Lingpa into clear, readable, English poetry and prose and elucidating their meaning in Western theoretical terms. Her use of Western theories of autobiographical self-representation and dissimulation shed valuable light on a heretofore impenetrable subject of Tibetan literature... This book provides an important contribution to Buddhist studies and to autobiographical studies."--The Journal of Religion

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