Welcome to the May edition of the Clay Sanskrit Library Newsletter. In this Spring issue we are proud to announce the release of four new volumes, including the two plays by Harsha, to mark the Spring Festival (Vasantotsava)! These great books will be followed in the summer by another four volumes. We are also pleased to present more downloads on our website, and links to some recent reviews we have received.
The twists and turns in King Harsha’s two plays about a lady are guaranteed to intrigue every reader. Translation of the famous epic of the Maha·bhárata is in full swing with two new volumes available this spring. We also offer the first volume of the monumental narrative of the Ocean of the Rivers of Story. Of course, excerpts from all these volumes are available on our website and you can also read translators’ personal accounts of their volumes in their insights pages.
The Ocean of the Rivers of Story (volume one of nine) by Somadeva
Sir James Mallinson
Download excerpt Read Translator’s Insights
These four volumes are scheduled for August 2007. You can also read some of the translators’ Insights on these volumes.
“Friendly Advice” by Nārāyaṇa & “King Víkrama’s Adventures”
“Friendly Advice” combines numerous animal fables with human stories. In one tale an intrusive ass is simply thrashed by his master, but the meddlesome monkey ends up with his testicles crushed. This volume also contains the compact version of “King Víkrama’s Adventures,” thirty-two popular tales about a generous emperor, told by thirty-two statuettes adorning his lion-throne.
Handsome Nanda by Aśvaghoṣa
Nanda has it all—youth, money, good looks and a kittenish wife who fulfils his sexual and emotional needs. He also has the Buddha, a dispassionate man of immense insight and self-containment, for an older brother. When Nanda is made a reluctant recruit to the Buddha’s order of monks, he is forced to confront his all-too-human enslavement to his erotic and romantic desires.
Read Translator’s Insights
Maha·bhárata Book Nine: Shalya (volume two of two)
In one of the most famous passages in the “Maha·bhárata,” Dur·yódhana, the heroic but flawed king of the Káuravas, meets his end when he is dishonorably defeated in battle by his arch enemy, Bhima. Framing a fascinating account of the sacred sites along the river Sarásvati, the duel poignantly portrays the downfall of a once great hero in the face of a new order governed by Krishna, in which the warrior code is brushed aside in order to ensure the predestined triumph of the Pándavas.
Read Translator’s Insights
Rama’s Last Act by Bhavabhūti
Sheldon I. Pollock
“Rama’s Last Act” by Bhava·bhuti is counted among the greatest Sanskrit dramas. The work at once dramatizes the “Ramáyana”—it is one of the earliest theatrical adaptations of Valmíki’s epic masterpiece—and revises its most intractable episode, the hero’s rejection of his beloved wife. Human agency in the face of destiny, the power of love, and the capacity of art to make sense of such mysteries are the themes explored in this singular literary achievement of the Indian stage.
Mint (Hindustan Times Media Company): “Finally, Sanskrit in Your Pocket: This hardback version of Kalidasa's Shakuntala is for the erudite as well as the lay reader” (HTML). Read the article (and resulting discussion) on the review author’s blog, The Middle Stage.
Review of “Much Ado About Religion” on Amigos-Word (HTML): “This Clay Sanskrit Library edition is an attractive dual-language volume, with the Sanskrit transliterated in Roman script facing the English translation, and includes a useful introduction as well as editorial notes.” Read the article on the review author’s blog, Amigos-Word.
Read “Into the Fray,” a new introduction to the Maha·bhárata written by Vaughan Pilikian.
We have a new page listing all current and future CSL volumes in Sanskrit alphabetical order.
You can read what customers and reviewers have been writing about us on Feedback page.
We have a new book extras page which provides text-critical notes to the Sanskrit text of The Birth of Kumára (Kumārasaṃbhava). This is a corrected and expanded version of the notes in the printed edition (pp. 348–50).
Another new book extras page lists emendations to the Sanskrit text and some text-critical notes which are not included in the printed edition of Maha·bhárata Book VIII: Karna (volume one of two).