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Themes in this Issue of INNER ASIA

Themes in this Issue of INNER ASIA Inner Asia 1 (1999): 1–2 Reprinted 2008 © Global Oriental Ltd Themes in this Issue of INNER ASIA Westerners who do not know Mongolia and Mongols well may imagine them through a series of stereotypes. One of these is that Mongolian culture is sim- ply the ‘folk culture’ of nomads and warriors and that their literature therefore consists of age-old genres, such as ballads or archaic oral epics. This is doubly mistaken. As a matter of fact, Mongolian literature is (and has been) both varied and sophisticated, and as a matter of perspective, to see Mongolian literature as ‘timeless’ or ‘traditional’ is to ignore its historicity and more generally to deny coevalness to the Mongolians. It is therefore appropriate that the new journal Inner Asia should start with the splendid piece by Christopher Atwood on the early 20th century poet Saichungga. Atwood shows how modern Inner Mon- golian poetry arises from and contributes to the historical consciousness of its time. Saichungga, he argues, had both ‘an intense commitment to modernity as a project of economic and mental transformation and a deep reverence for the primordial images he constructed as symbols of Mongol nomadic existence’. Atwood thus demonstrates how http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Inner Asia Brill

Themes in this Issue of INNER ASIA

Inner Asia , Volume 1 (1): 1 – Jan 1, 1999

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 1999 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1464-8172
eISSN
2210-5018
DOI
10.1163/146481709793646456
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Inner Asia 1 (1999): 1–2 Reprinted 2008 © Global Oriental Ltd Themes in this Issue of INNER ASIA Westerners who do not know Mongolia and Mongols well may imagine them through a series of stereotypes. One of these is that Mongolian culture is sim- ply the ‘folk culture’ of nomads and warriors and that their literature therefore consists of age-old genres, such as ballads or archaic oral epics. This is doubly mistaken. As a matter of fact, Mongolian literature is (and has been) both varied and sophisticated, and as a matter of perspective, to see Mongolian literature as ‘timeless’ or ‘traditional’ is to ignore its historicity and more generally to deny coevalness to the Mongolians. It is therefore appropriate that the new journal Inner Asia should start with the splendid piece by Christopher Atwood on the early 20th century poet Saichungga. Atwood shows how modern Inner Mon- golian poetry arises from and contributes to the historical consciousness of its time. Saichungga, he argues, had both ‘an intense commitment to modernity as a project of economic and mental transformation and a deep reverence for the primordial images he constructed as symbols of Mongol nomadic existence’. Atwood thus demonstrates how

Journal

Inner AsiaBrill

Published: Jan 1, 1999

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