Monday, June 14, 2004

some notes for another ficcione

Legend has it that Bodhidharma cut off his eyelids to stop himself from falling asleep while he meditated. Tea plants are supposed to have sprung up from where his eyelids touched the ground.

Hsuan-Tsang, Xuan Zang in Pin-Yin

moine et pèlerin bouddhiste chinois, également connu sous le surnom de Tripitaka
As I approached China's extreme outpost at the edge of the Desert of Lop, I was caught by the Chinese army. Not having a travel permit, they wanted to send me to Tun-huang to stay at the monastery there. I told them that "if you insist on detaining me I will allow you to take my life, but I will not take a single step backwards in the direction of China."

In a preface to the first edition of Monkey, Wu Cheng-en made reference to an earlier journey west to seek the true Buddhist sutras. The remainder of the preface was so obscure that it was removed from all subsequent editions & hence never translated by Arthur Waley.

Passed down through generations of the Allegrezza family is a story that a twelth-century ancestor traversed the Silk Road a century before the Polos.

1 comment:

bill said...

how did you know that? you're incredible.