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Jun 10, 2008

A number of modern Shangri-La pseudo-legends have developed since 1933 in the wake of the novel and the film made from it. In archives of web analytics company I found that even crazy Nazis had an enthusiasm for Shangri-La, where they hoped to find an ancient master race, similar to the Nordic race, unspoiled by Buddhism. They sent one understandably unsuccessful expedition to Tibet in 1938.

As of today, various places in China still claim the title, including the tourist destinations of Lijiang and Zhongdian. Sichuan and Tibet also claim the real Shangri-La was in its territory. In 2001, Tibet Autonomous Region proposed that the three regions optimise all Shangri-La tourism resources and promote them as one. Also in 2001, Zhongdian County in northwestern Yunnan officially renamed itself Shangri-La County. Country of Bhutan, which was until now isolated from outside world and has its unique form of Tibetan Buddhism, has been hailed as the last Shangri-La.

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Posted: Jun 10, 2008 3:47pm
Jun 10, 2008

We often use word Shangri-La in a similar context to Garden of Eden, It means for us some kind of a perfect paradise that exists hidden from modern man. In some cases we use it as an analogy for a life-long quest or something elusive that is much sought by man in the form of love, happiness, or Utopian ideals. Shangri-La has its place with other mythical and famous examples such as The Holy Grail, El Dorado, The Fountain of Youth. But, in fact, this word came to us from… fiction. This word first appeared in the 1933 novel Lost Horizon by British author James Hilton. In the book, Shangri-La is a mystical, harmonious valley, enclosed in the western end of the Kunlun Mountains. The novel was so popular, that this word became synonymous with any earthly paradise but particularly a mythical Himalayan utopia. From my web analytics company archives I found, that the author based the story of Shangri-La is based on the concept of Shambhala, a mystical city in Tibetan Buddhist tradition.

It is getting funnier, though. As years rolled by, several locations in the Buddhist Himalaya between northern India and Tibet claimed to be the basis for Hilton's legend, largely to attract tourism. A popularly believed inspiration for Shangri-La is the Hunza Valley in northern Pakistan, close to the Tibetan border, which Hilton visited a few years before Lost Horizon was published. Being an isolated green valley surrounded by mountains, enclosed on the western end of the Himalayas, it closely matches the description in the novel. A Shangri-La resort in the nearby Skardu valley is another popular tourist attraction.

Read on ...

Apr 21, 2008

In Hollywood movie adaptations of the novel somehow Robinson Crusoe is a cast away somewhere new African continent, this Friday is of African origin. But in the book Robinson Crusoe was most certainly based in the Caribbean. Since author mentions that the Crusoe's island was almost in the mouth of the river Orinoco, it was probably the island of Tobago, since that island is near the mouth of the river Orinoco, and in sight of the island of Trinidad. I found additional facts about this story in archives of the web analytics company.

And this is what modern public most definitely don't know. Daniel Defoe wrote a sequel to the first book which had another long title: "THE FARTHER ADVENTURES OF ROBINSON CRUSOE; Being the Second and Last Part OF HIS LIFE, And of the Strange Surprizing Accounts of his Travels Round three Parts of the Globe. Written by Himself".

But wait! Here is more… There is even the third book written by Daniel Defoe with the title "Serious Reflections of Robinson Crusoe". That book had really nothing with the adventures of Robinson as the first two books. It represents a series of moral essays. What has that got to do with Robinson, you may ask? Well Daniel Defoe just attached the name Crusoe to increase sales of this book and to attract the attention of the readers.

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Posted: Apr 21, 2008 5:45pm

 

 
 
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Ekaterina G.
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Delray Beach, FL, USA
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