Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Patriarchs on PaperA Critical History of Medieval Chan Literature$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Alan Cole

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780520284067

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520284067.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

Truth, Conspiracy, and Careful Writing

Truth, Conspiracy, and Careful Writing

A New Version of Huineng

(p.117) 5 Truth, Conspiracy, and Careful Writing
Patriarchs on Paper

Alan Cole

University of California Press

This chapter looks at three texts that reworked the figure of Huineng for new purposes: the Biography of the Great Master of Caoqi, the Platform Sūtra of the Sixth Patriarch, and the Record of the Dharma-Jewel through the Generations. What is particularly impressive about these three texts is that they take the trope of conspiracy and shift it from a direct charge leveled against the competition—Shenhui's strategy—and turn the accusation into an objective-looking history in which an invisible and omniscient narrator gradually gets the reader to “see” that a conspiracy has been perpetrated. Thus, each of these three “histories” reveals not only a new version of the Bodhidharma family but also how and why someone else's history came to be accepted into the public record. Hence, these narratives count as a kind of metawriting in which one of the key elements of the story is to show how someone else tried to write the Bodhidharma story.

Keywords:   Huineng, conspiracy, Shenhui, Bodhidharma family, Bodhidharma story

California Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.