Thursday, June 04, 2020

Tibetan Histories, a New Website

Warning: The new edition of Tibetan Histories is on its way very soon. I hope it can be a freely downloadable ebook.  So please don't be surprised if one or two of the links supplied here don't work for you. New links will be provided when the 2nd edition goes up, I promise you. (Dec. 22, 2020)

I'm tickled to announce that the 2nd edition is now up for download at BDRC website. See the announcement by clicking here. (Feb. 10, 2021)

I was struggling with it until just a few minutes ago, but now I believe it is all there. I opened one of those new websites that Google supplies for free. As today is the eve of Saga Dawa I wanted to release it on this most auspicious day celebrating the Buddha. The website is the same kind I used for Tibetan Vocabulary, so there weren’t many surprises. Only this time I believe I succeeded in getting it all in one piece, without dividing it up.

What did surprise me on the day I first initiated the website was a visit from a very colorful bird with a distinctive song that descends like it’s running down a long staircase of sound, a Bee Eater. I had scarcely seen this rara avis before, and never outside my window. At first I thought I was seeing a Kingfisher, so I had to hit the reference books. Since then I’ve been hearing its song from time to time, unable to see where the sound is coming from. This could answer a question some people are bound to ask about the header photo you will see if you go to visit the new website.

While everything is already there, there are some more cosmetic types of formatting fixes that still need doing. So you might come back and have a look later on. I plan to work on it from now on online, rather than offline, so it’s likely to evolve by starts and jumps over the years that remain to me. I especially hope to integrate the add-in sections (marked off by bullets as you will see) into the main entries. That will take some time and effort.

Meanwhile I trust I can trust you to pass along the link to anyone you might think is interested in this kind of thing. I have a hope that non-specialists will read the newly added introductory survey of Tibetan historical literature, aimed at anyone who is curious enough to want an overview of what’s out there. I should have written this for the published book that came out over two decades ago. The late Anthony Aris wrote a clause in the contract so that the ownership of the copyright returned to my own hands in 2017, so no problems there. I don’t imagine the introduction by his brother Michael Aris was part of the bargain, so I haven’t included it.

Well, here it is. If you have comments and suggestions, I’d be glad to hear them in the comments section. If you don’t want your comment to be posted, just say so and I won’t post it. Or, if you know my email address you can write to me that way. So, anyway, here you go, just tap on it a time or two for quick results.

Tibetan Histories

  • I've sometimes dreamed about making available a Tibetan-letter version of it — that would make it simpler for many Tibetans to use — and had a few nibbles from interested persons. I'm physically no longer able to do all the keyboard work it would entail, so if you have any ideas let me know. An unrelated dream: I've thought to make this into a website with links directly to online resources, in particular texts of the works that are cataloged in it.

PS: I've stopped trying to edit online, but I do commit myself to 
making it into a real book (or e-book) during the year 2020.
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