Reviews

The four-line long title is promising, the two-page bibliography luxuriant.  The content shows less forthcoming, though not deprived of richness.  The tackling of the subject can be summarised in one paragraph, except the long descriptions of the legend introduced from its Chinese and Persian sides.  One cannot criticise the absence of a literary analysis, since the literary meaning is not this article’s purpose.  The Chinese text was not read in its original version, and the question can be asked, for instance, as to the notation of the same word in Persian and in Pahlavi (p. 524):  Is it a choice of the author, or of the Bukharan ‘alim Danish (1826/7-97), the author of the Persian text?  The reader’s overall frustration comes from the lack of an analysis of the legend:  Its Persian side is dismissed in a couple of lines, its Chinese side reduced to an entertainment.  An analysis of these legends in their respective contexts should have been at the core of this otherwise well-documented study.  Besides, the paper evokes the ancient Iranian presence in the Chinese and Tibetan worlds, and beyond towards Cambodia, not forgetting conjunctions with the religious domain of Buddhism.  A little doubt persists as to the author’s handling of sometimes approximate etymologies.

Constance-Hélène Halfon-Michel, Paris
CER: I-6.2.B-520