Alai’s The Mountain Stairway: A Grassroots Conception of Tibet

Abstract

It seems that the current literature regarding Tibet is quite impoverished as a true cultural indicator of the region and its people. The West writes of Tibet as an exotic solution to its own malaise, or as the last refuge of Hermetic wisdom. The Han Chinese have used Tibet as a muse and as an antidote to materialism. The current literary criticism brushes over cultural and stylistic concerns to cut right to politics. In every case, Tibet as a cultural concept is simply used to complement something external to it, to stand in contrast to something else. The Tibetan writer Alai specifically rejects these negative and meaningless definitions of Tibet.

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Duckler, D., 2010. Alai’s The Mountain Stairway: A Grassroots Conception of Tibet. ASIANetwork Exchange: A Journal for Asian Studies in the Liberal Arts, 17(2), pp.94–119. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/ane.211
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David Duckler (Bard College)

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