Bryn Hammond's Reviews > The Secret History of the Mongols the Secret History of the Mongols: A Mongolian Epic Chronicle of the Thirteenth Century a Mongolian Epic Chronicle of the Thirteenth Century

The Secret History of the Mongols the Secret History of the M... by Igor De Rachewiltz
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really liked it
bookshelves: website-widget, secret-history, steppe-history

My complaint with this edition of the Secret History -- unarguably the scholarly edition -- is how frequently, in the notes, he'll say 'this issue has been discussed by [insert names] so I won't comment on those lines of the text.' I'm an amateur Mongolist, at home, and for me, that's an intensely frustrating habit. It often means that this book in my hands is least useful on the most important passages - since these have most work done elsewhere (which may be less accessible and/or in other languages) that he simply refers you to.

I prefer the translation of Cleaves, if only perhaps for its greater art. Cleaves is also more literal, but at least, when IdR paraphrases, he gives us the 'lit.' meaning in the notes. As for the notes... I can't call them exhaustive, because of what he leaves out (see above). Detailed, although, I'd venture to say, more at home in language than in culture study. He does do interpretive work in his commentary, but for my part, I'm often in argument with him on interpretation. I can find him reductionist.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
January 10, 2012 – Shelved
October 26, 2012 – Shelved as: website-widget
May 1, 2013 – Shelved as: secret-history
August 19, 2018 – Shelved as: steppe-history

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