The Nine-Eyed Agate: Poems and Stories (Studies in Modern Tibetan Culture)

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9780739128756: The Nine-Eyed Agate: Poems and Stories (Studies in Modern Tibetan Culture)
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The Nine-Eyed Agate seeks to break stereotyped images of Tibet and Tibetans inside the PRC today, and in the diaspora, by presenting an outstanding personality who survived childhood during the Cultural Revolution, then going on to lead a rich and somewhat controversial career within the PRC. As a free-wheeling, restless traveller in samsara (the cycle of existence), Jangbu has explored every corner of the Tibetan plateau with a view to understanding the culture and history of his people, their plight, and the key issues that Tibet faces today. Widely read in world literature through Chinese translation he has traveled around the world, attending international poetry meetings and film festivals, taking part in university conferences and developing his passion for film. This rich diversity is reflected in his poems and prose, the subject matter ranging through eternal themes such as love and betrayal, fantasy and 'magical realism', mystical flight and biting social satire. His poetry is experimental, presenting a panorama of styles with examples in modern free-verse, classical Indo-Tibetan metrical poetics (though this is rare), and more characteristically, in the dense "obscure" poetry of the post-Cultural Revolution years in China (1980s onwards), for which Jangbu is particularly well known. His work is often semi-autobiographical, written in a "docu-fictional" mode, announcing Jangbu's growing fascination for the screen.

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About the Author:

Heather Stoddard is a professor and head of Tibetan studies at the National Institute for Oriental Languages & Civilisations in Paris.

Review:

"The Nine-Eyed Agate is a great illustration of the free style poetry that dominates the Tibetan literary scene today. The author, Chenagtsang Dorje Tsering, alias Jangbu, is one of the most celebrated and talented writers of his generation. His poetry and prose has been wonderfully rendered into English by Heather Stoddard, a leading expert in the field of Tibetan literature and history. The book is illustrated with Jangbu’s sketches which, in addition to the poet’s own preface and the translator’s introduction, add great value to this unique publication.” (Nicolas Tournadre, author of the Manual of Standard Tibetan)

The Nine-Eyed Agate is a fascinating, inspiring collection of poems and short stories by Jangbu, one of the most original and creative voices on the Tibetan artistic and cultural scene today. In times when maps of Tibet are being drawn and redrawn in numerous ways by multiple actors, Jangbu opens a door to the intimate reaches of his Tibet and his Tibetan self, using radically contemporary language, expression and content. Remarkably translated by Heather Stoddard, this book is not only a must for everyone interested in modern Tibetan literature and culture; it should definitively be on the bookshelves of all those interested in poetry and art, or simply of anyone captivated by the countless marvelous possibilities of creation and recreation. (Lara Maconi, INALCO, Paris)

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