Stairway to Heaven: A Journey to the Summit of Mount Emei

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SUNY Press, 1.1.2006 - 294 sivua
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Located in a remote area of modern Sichuan province, Mount Emei is one of China s most famous mountains and has long been important to Buddhists. Stairway to Heaven looks at Emei s significance in Chinese history and literature while also addressing the issue of sense of place in Chinese culture.

Mount Emei s exquisite scenery and unique geographical features have inspired countless poets, writers, and artists. Since the early years of the Song dynasty (960 1279), Emei has been best known as a site of Buddhist pilgrimage and worship. Today, several Buddhist temples still function on Emei, but the mountain also has become a scenic tourist destination, attracting more than a million visitors annually.

Author James M. Hargett takes readers on a journey to the mountain through the travel writings of the twelfth-century writer and official Fan Chengda (1126 1193). Fan s diary and verse accounts of his climb to the summit of Mount Emei in 1177 are still among the most informative accounts of the mountain ever written. Through Fan s eyes, words, and footsteps and with background information and commentary from Hargett the reader will experience some of the ways Emei has been constructed by diverse human experience over the centuries.
 

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James M. Hargett is Professor of Chinese at the University at Albany, State University of New York.

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