Experience with "Critical" edition of Kanjur and Tanjur

Paul G. Hackett ph2046 at COLUMBIA.EDU
Fri Sep 24 14:36:40 UTC 2010

Dear Jonathan,

    My experience with the Comparative (dpe bsdur ma) recension is  
that the quality is mixed.  The Bstan-'gyur, which was done first,  
seems to have more errors in it than the Bka'-'gyur.  In particular,  
if you look closely at the texts in the Bstan-'gyur, one of the first  
things that you'll notice are some inconsistencies with the endnotes  
... that is, for example, there will be pages with seven endnote  
markers, but only six corresponding endnotes, or vise versa.  There  
are, as well, the occasional inevitable typographic errors.  I have  
noticed some, and have talked with Gen Lozang Jamspal, who has  
identified several as well.
    In general, the editors appear to concentrated on content  
differences between texts in the different recensions and less so any  
stylistic differences (presence or absence of _shad_s, etc.).
    I think it is still a worthwhile collection to acquire, as they  
have clearly taken great pains to identify the, at times, substantial  
differences between some texts, and made a point of separating out  
radically different translations of texts that have been conflated in  
other catalogs.
     One thing to be aware of, however, is that there are serious  
errors in the tables of contents to some of the volumes such as  
duplicated numbering, mis-pagination, etc. (FYI, I have compiled a  
corrected catalog for this collection, which will be published shortly).

    On the whole, I would recommend it certainly as a starting place  
for anyone hoping to do their own critical editing of a text.


Paul Hackett
Assoc. Editor, Tengyur Translation Initiative
Columbia University

Quoting Jonathan Silk <kauzeya at gmail.com>:

> dear Colleagues,
> I'm wondering if some of you who have had a chance to actually look into the
> editions of the Kanjur and Tanjur published by the China Tibetology
> Publishing House would be willing to share your opinion of these volumes. I
> do not expect them to be critical, but I wonder if they are good enough to
> be useful, or if in fact one is just as well off, if not better, simply
> going to a xylograph (such as Derge).
> I have the memory, from having seen a volume from the Tanjur years ago, that
> they have not internally analyzed the texts, even by paragraphing. Is this
> correct?
> What sort of argument could one make for purchasing a set?
> Many thanks,
> Jonathan Silk
> --
> J. Silk
> Instituut Kern / Universiteit Leiden
> Leiden University Institute for Area Studies, LIAS
> Johan Huizinga Building, Room 1.37
> Doelensteeg 16
> 2311 VL Leiden
> The Netherlands

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