M. Imre Galambos, lecturer à l’université de Cambridge, donnera une conférence le jeudi 11 mai 2017 de 12h à 14h, sur le thème :
Manuscripts of Chinese Educational Texts among China’s North-Western Neighbours
Lieu : bâtiment de la Sorbonne, 1 Rue Victor Cousin, 75005 Paris, EPHE, escalier E, 1er étage, salle Delamarre (059).
La conférence est donnée dans le cadre du séminaire mensuel « Diglossie, traduction intralinguale, réécriture, commentaire » de l’EPHE – SCRIPTA-PSL.
With the spread of Buddhism in East and Central Asia, the region developed a cultural and literary tradition, parts of which transcended political and linguistic boundaries. Within this common heritage the Chinese influence was particularly strong, and Chinese Buddhist literature commonly circulated beyond the frontier. Although most of this shared culture was Buddhist in content, there were also many other types of texts that found their way across the borders, including the classics, histories, dictionaries, military treatises or medical literature. One of the most interesting types of texts in this context are primers and other educational texts, which had typically been compiled in their original environment for the sake of teaching literacy skills and conveying basic cultural knowledge to children living in China proper. Some merely consisted of lists of characters so that children would learn how to write the most common ones, others also included didactic knowledge designed to educate in fundamental cultural values. Ironically, the earliest surviving copies of many of these texts—and, in fact, at times the only copies—come from sites that once belonged to China’s neighbours. Of these Korea and especially Japan are probably the riches sources for such material. Yet in this paper I am primarily interested in manuscripts preserved beyond the north-western frontier, most importantly among the Uighurs, Tibetan and Tanguts. In these cultures Chinese primers circulated both in their original language and in translation, which means that even decidedly culture-specific information could be used for teaching literacy skills in another language. Taken together, the rich body of Chinese educational material preserved in Central Asian languages demonstrates the enormous prestige of Chinese written culture along the Silk Road.