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The Yogin and the Madman: Reading the Biographical Corpus of Tibet's Great Saint Milarepa

Andrew Quintman

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Paper, 336 pages,
ISBN: 978-0-231-16415-3
$35.00 / £24.00

November, 2013
Cloth, 336 pages,
ISBN: 978-0-231-16414-6
$105.00 / £72.50

Tibetan biographers began writing Jetsun Milarepa’s (1052–1135) life story shortly after his death, initiating a literary tradition that turned the poet and saint into a model of virtuosic Buddhist practice throughout the Himalayan world. Andrew Quintman traces this history and its innovations in narrative and aesthetic representation across four centuries, culminating in a detailed analysis of the genre’s most famous example, composed in 1488 by Tsangnyön Heruka, or the “Madman of Western Tibet.” Quintman imagines these works as a kind of physical body supplanting the yogin’s corporeal relics.

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About the Author

Andrew Quintman is assistant professor in the Department of Religious Studies at Yale University.

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