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Among Tibetan Texts

Among Tibetan Texts

History and Literature of the Himalayan Plateau

Edited by: Kurtis R Schaeffer / Foreword by: Jeffrey Hopkins
For three decades, E. Gene Smith ran the Library of Congress's Tibetan Text Publication Project of the United States Public Law 480 (PL480) - an effort to salvage and reprint the Tibetan literature that had been collected by the exile community or by members of the Bhotia 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.

These essays are collected here for the first time. The impact of Smith's research on the academic study of Tibetan literature has been tremendous, both for his remarkable ability to synthesize diverse materials into coherent accounts of Tibetan literature, history, and religious thought, and for the exemplary critical scholarship he brought to this field.
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  • Wisdom Publications | 
  • 400 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780861711796 | 
  • June 2001
List Price $39.95
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About the Author

E. Gene Smith

E. Gene Smith was born to a Mormon family in Utah and did his graduate work in Inner Asian Studies at the University of Washington in the early 1960s. He was fortunate to live with and receive teachings from Deshung Rinpoche, the great Tibetan polymath who landed in Seattle in this period. While living in Delhi during his thirty-year career in the Library of Congress, Smith organized the printing of rare Tibetan texts for distribution to U.S. libraries through the United States Public Law 480 program. After postings in Jakarta and Cairo, Gene returned to the U.S. in the late 1990s, where he served as acquisitions editor for Wisdom Publications for three years and founded the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center (TBRC), the world's most comprehensive collection of Tibetan literature, which is being made available electronically at tbrc.org. Smith passed away in 2010. A documentary about his remarkable life, Digital Dharma, was released in 2012.

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