Tony Duff

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Tony Duff

Post by philji » Fri Apr 11, 2014 8:17 pm

Can anyone give their option of any of Lama Tony Duff's translations of dzogchen and other texts. Please keep the conversation free from gossip, unfounded criticism. I simply want your personal views and reviews of his translations. they are quite pricey and I wonder if they are worth reading?

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Re: Tony Duff

Post by Kelwin » Fri Apr 11, 2014 10:04 pm

I'm not a fan. He has translated some of the most amazing texts, and apparently does it very accurately, so that's a good thing. However, to me, his work doesn't seem the have the flow (blessing?) that other translators have. Also, he often spends a lot of time in the introduction explaining how other translated the same text incorrectly.
'I will not take your feelings seriously, and neither will you' -Lama Lena

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Re: Tony Duff

Post by pemachophel » Sat Apr 12, 2014 12:44 am

As a one-time professional translator myself, I understand and appreciate Lama Tony's methodology of denotative translation. His work deserves to be better and more widely appreciated for its linguistic accuracy. However, realistically, I doubt it ever will. It just is not user-friendly enough. IMO, it simply doesn't read well. If you know (some) Tibetan, I think it's useful to compare what Lama Tony has done with the original. If you don't, no amount of praise from others is going to sell you on his work. I've been down this road myself and it doesn't lead to widespread appreciation or use. I also agree that Lama Tony's arguments about the superiority of his approach are off-putting.

Just my two cents. I have no axe to grind with Lama Tony personally. As I say, his approach does, I think, have scholarly merit. However, the end users of these materials are overwhelmingly not scholars.

Pema Chophel པདྨ་ཆོས་འཕེལ

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Leo Rivers
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Re: Tony Duff

Post by Leo Rivers » Sat Apr 12, 2014 1:10 am

You know, I took refuge April 16th 1986 and a different Lama blew through LA like a rock band every weekend, gave a rare hue of yidam, empowered a group of 5 to 10 to be his sangha and meet in the weekends in a living room, collected cash for his home monestary and moved on like a Rock Band to retun every year to do the same. I saw piety and pretty pillows and Grateful Dead joss sticks piled like cloud banks on either side as a local celebrity did a kind of stand up warm up before the Talk or the Wang and after the body gaurds hustle the principle to the armored limo everybody wandered around comparing the moment he laughed like the moment between the flash and the thunder and then compare Master Moments like Lama trading Cards.

I don't care if guy is a little up front. Harsh even. It takes forever to get good at translating and too many people think dharma texts should pander to their aaesthetics the way movies and TV do. This fellow is brisk and let's say, self confident, and the gentle heart at Kalvinka is a lot easier to like. Yet both are leaving the Dharma in better shape to survive than it was before they did their thing.

I left LA for Oregon after 3 years and a little under 60 wangs, (Some major mass transmissions). But I was done with that Theater. Here, every dirt road leads to someone cranky as me. Nobody mistakes me for a saint or sweetheart. But it's easier to be an angel. Someone stalls in the intersection and you get out there and help push them.

ps: i bet people who want to read those 2 Maitreya texts will find their way to them. You can go to Barnes and Noble and find Dharma written at the level of a Psychology Today article on sex and self-esteem, (is tricycle still going?)

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