TOUSSAINT, Gustave-Charles

TOUSSAINT, Gustave-Charles. Rennes 11.1.1869 — Paramé 12.10.1938. French Colonial Servant and Tibetan Scholar. Son of a civil servant, school and law studies in Rennes. Served in New Caledonia (1893-95) and Pondichéry (1895-97), then juge suppléant in Tananarive, from 1913 procureur général in Hanoi, 1917-22 on diplomatic mission in Beijing and Shanghai, then again in Hanoi, finally président de tribunal (cour français) in Shanghai (1927-34). In 1934 retired from the last office and lived in Paris. During his years in Madagascar he was capable of making long travels in India and Central Asia, in China, where he also liver long periods in Beijing, to Mongolia and various parts of China. Once he even visited Greenland. Died suddenly in his native Bretagne. During an early journey in the confines of Tibet he achieved the manuscript of the Padma Thangyig, the translation of which became his scholarly magnum opus, in fact his only scholarly work, though without any critical apparatus. Married, one son.

Publications: “Le Padma Than Yig”, BEFEO 20:4, 1920, 13-56 (transl. of chapters 1 & 12-22); other chapters translated in JA and Études Asiatiques, complete as Padma Than Yig, le dict de Padma. Traduit du tibétain. 540 p. Bibl. de l’Inst. des Hautes études chinoises 3. P. 1933.

with F. W. Thomas & J. Bacot: Documents de Touen-houang relatifs à l’histoire du Tibet. 1940-46.

Three collections of poetry, i.al. Miroirs de Goule. 1934 (poems).

Sources: J. Bacot, JA 231, 1939, 125f., supplemented from Member-lists of Soc.as. 1909, 1924, 1929, 1934; French Wikipédia with photo.

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