Monday, August 4, 2008

Tales of the Golden Corpse: Tibetan Folk Tales

Translator: Sandra Benson

First line: Once upon a time in a small village in Tibet there were seven brothers.

Why you should read this book: This new translation of an ancient collection of Tibetan folklore tells of the hapless boy, Daychodsangbo, charged with bringing a gold and turquoise corpse home to his master, who can use it to redeem the boy's sins and usher in a new age of peace and prosperity, if only the boy can make the journey home without speaking. Unfortunately, the corpse, Ro Ngoedrup Chen, is a trickster and a storyteller, and every time it fools its captor into responding to a wonderful and magical story, its flies away back to the graveyard. Using this frame device, the book recounts the twenty-five astounding tales the corpse uses to distract the boy until he finally reaches the end of his journey.

Why you shouldn't read this book: You're a member of the Chinese communist party actively seeking to stamp out every vestige of Tibetan culture.

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