A2: Books

On his blog There Is No Gap, Karl Pohrt posts his conversation with Donald Lopez, a University of Michigan professor, Buddhist scholar and author of “The Tibetan Book of the Dead: A Biography.” Pohrt poses this question: “My first encounter with ‘The Tibetan Book of the Dead’ was in the late 1960s when I saw a stack of copies in a bookshop on State Street. I noticed that it was published by Oxford University Press, one of the oldest and most prestigious academic presses in the English speaking world. The Oxford imprint carries a certain caché, and I assumed it was legitimate. When I finished your book I was reminded of Dostoyevsky’s remark that Don Quixote was the saddest book he’d ever read. Cervantes says Don Quixote’s ‘brain dried up’ because he believed everything he read. The lesson is that whatever the reputation a text has, we should always read it critically. Is ‘The Tibetan Book of the Dead’ a fraud?[Source]