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Echoes of EnlightenmentThe Life and Legacy of Sonam Peldren$
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Suzanne M. Bessenger

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190225278

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190225278.001.0001

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Composing the Life of Sönam Peldren

Composing the Life of Sönam Peldren

(p.57) 2 Composing the Life of Sönam Peldren
Echoes of Enlightenment

Suzanne M. Bessenger

Oxford University Press

Chapter Two engages the Life of Sönam Peldren text in close literary analysis, examining its multiple authorial voices and the intriguing references to acts of writing described in the text. This chapter contends that although the text purports to be the written record of a cohesive Life orally composed and narrated by a single author, it is more likely a multi-authored document, composed over time, that reflects an evolving articulation of the saint’s identity. This chapter engages the model of literary analysis presented by Hildegard Diemberger in her work on the Life of Chökyi Drönma, and closes with a discussion of both the remarkable similarities and significant differences between the Lives of these two exceptional women who share the distinction of being remembered as emanations of Dorjé Pakmo.

Keywords:   Sönam Peldren, Chökyi Drönma, Dorjé Pakmo, authorial voice, literary analysis

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