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Text as FatherPaternal Seductions in Early Mahayana Buddhist Literature$
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Alan Cole

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780520242760

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520242760.001.0001

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Conclusion: A Cavalier Attitude Toward Truth-fathers

Conclusion: A Cavalier Attitude Toward Truth-fathers

(p.327) Conclusion: A Cavalier Attitude Toward Truth-fathers
Text as Father

Alan Cole

University of California Press

The chapter appraises the study of Buddhist texts, bringing up several arguments on the narrative analysis, literary strategies, and basic impression they make. The conclusion of this study shows compelling evidence for reading each of these Mahayana texts as texts. Since the texts are rife with plot, seduction, and text–reader contracts, the content should be treated apart from their overall narrative agendas. Important texts were written within the self-conscious sense that textuality took over traditional forms of Buddhist paternity in a manner which provided a kind of promiscuous paternity that could be enjoyed through the reading experience itself. Most modern readers have been intent on seeing these Mahayana sutras as basically oral, honest, unmotivated works, while the author had been interested in appreciating the work that went into producing that impression.

Keywords:   Buddhist texts, narrative analysis, literary strategies, textuality, promiscuous paternity

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