Post Script on The Importance of Genre: A Poetic Scandal in Contemporary Buddhist Literature

After posting about the literary scandal caused by last year’s publication of The First Free Women by Weingast, I received a wonderful email from Bhikkhu K. He directed me to two websites that may be of interest to readers of this blog.

1. Sutta Central has full and complex translations of every verse in the Therīgāthā (Verses of the Elder Nuns). The original Pāli verses are given and translations by various authors and in a variety of languages are offered. Below is a picture of the links given to translations and original versions of the first verse in the Therīgāthā. This is quite a remarkable resource!

2. Bhikkhu K. has set up a comprehensive website entitled firstfreewomen.org that has so many resources regarding the Therīgāthā and Weingast’s “reimagining.”

The site has links to essays that provide a full background to the publication and follow on discussions and concerns. It has suggestions for actions you can take to voice your concerns about Shambhala’s publication and their handling of the situation.

Most important to this issue are side by side comparisons of Therīgāthā verse translations by scholars like K.R. Norman’s with Weingast’s “reimagining”, followed by commentary regarding the differences between the versions. This is an unparalleled resource and should not be overlooked by Buddhists or by scholars of Buddhist literature, Buddhist poetry, women in Buddhism, Buddhist monasticism, I could go on. See for yourself in the screenshot below from firstfreewomen.org.

Thank you Bhikkhu for bringing all of this to my attention!

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