More oil on the fire?

gruenendahl gruenen at MAIL.SUB.UNI-GOETTINGEN.DE
Wed Jan 10 07:46:05 UTC 2007

On 9 Jan 2007 at 21:06, Jonathan Silk wrote:

> At the risk of putting more oil on an already 
> raging fire (...) 
> I might just mention a perhaps 
> interesting book which sits almost entirely 
> unread on my shelf:
> Christopher Hale, Himmler's Crusade: The True 
> Story of the 1938 Nazi Expedition into Tibet 
> (Bantam)
> The above, of course, may have nothing whatsoever to do with German Indology...

[I haven't quite made out yet what the predominant view on this debate is: "boring to 
death" or a "raging fire", notions I find mutually exclusive - and equally irrelevant. 
The same applies to other such "flattering metaphors", by the way.]

I'd be at a loss to come up with anything that could be less qualified to contribute to 
the present issue than what Jonathan Silk chanced to pick up in a "very quick 
glance" at a "book almost entirely unread". By the way, it revisits what is familiar 
territory at least to those who take notice of similar (not always scholarly) 
publications in German, too (just a hint, in case someone is short of more titles to 
throw at me) - but they probably didn't give the "true" story, as the rather boastful 
title implies. Jonathan Silk himself seems to have at least a faint sense of this 
remoteness, shrouded in exquisite irony, of course.

Jonathan Silk didn't impart whether he now expects me to enter into a discussion 
with him. Therefore let me make it clear that I have no intention to take up such 
random hints at books unless they include a precise reference ("chapter and verse") 
to material considered relevant to (who saw it coming first?):
the connection between indology and "the disastrous ideology of the 'pure Aryan 

"A very quick glance" at an "interesting book (...) almost entirely unread" - that 
about says it for standards of academic debate, and I thank Jonathan Silk for 
making this clear.

Reinhold Grünendahl


Dr. Reinhold Gruenendahl
Niedersaechsische Staats- und Universitaetsbibliothek
Fachreferat sued- und suedostasiatische Philologien
(Dept. of Indology)

37070 Göttingen, Germany
Tel (+49) (0)5 51 / 39 52 83
Fax (+49) (0)5 51 / 39 23 61
gruenen at

In English:

GRETIL - Goettingen Register of Electronic Texts in Indian Languages

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