Mahabharata A Shortened Modern Prose Version of the Indian Epic

ISBN-10: 022605165X

ISBN-13: 9780226051659

Edition: 2013

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Description: The Mahabharata tells a story of such violence and tragedy that many people in India refuse to keep the full text in their homes, fearing that if they do, they will invite a disastrous fate upon their house. Covering everything from creation to destruction, this ancient poem remains an indelible part of Hindu culture and a landmark in ancient literature.Centuries of listeners and readers have been drawn to The Mahabharata, which began as disparate oral ballads and grew into a sprawling epic. The modern version is infamously long, and at more than 1.8 million words—seven times the combined lengths of the Iliad and Odyssey—it can be incredibly daunting.Contemporary readers have a much more accessible entry point to this important work, thanks to R. K. Narayan’s masterful translation and abridgement of the poem. Now with a new foreword by Wendy Doniger, as well as a concise character and place guide and a family tree, The Mahabharata is ready for a new generation of readers. As Wendy Doniger explains in the foreword, “Narayan tells the stories so well because they’re all his stories.” He grew up hearing them, internalizing their mythology, which gave him an innate ability to choose the right passages and their best translations.In this elegant translation, Narayan ably distills a tale that is both traditional and constantly changing. He draws from both scholarly analysis and creative interpretation and vividly fuses the spiritual with the secular.  Through this balance he has produced a translation that is not only clear, but graceful, one that stands as its own story as much as an adaptation of a larger work.

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Book details

List price: $17.00
Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 2/12/2016
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 216
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.50" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.770
Language: English

R. K. Narayan was born on October 10, 1906 in Madras, Brtitsh India. He graduated from Maharaja College of Mysore with a B.A. degree in 1930. All of his many novels take place in Malgudi, an imaginary town in southern India that serves as a kind of "golden mean", neither a large, impersonal city nor an obscure, isolated village, through which Narayan explores the dilemmas of modernization. For example, The Bachelor of Arts is the story of a sensitive youth caught in a conflict between Western ideas of love and marriage instilled in him by his education and the still-traditional milieu in which he lives. Malgudi is a microcosm of modern India, and throughout Narayan's novels, which span more than 50 years of India's growth, we can watch Malgudi's inhabitants evolve in precisely the same way that their hometown does. Narayan's wit and literary skill have made him a favorite with readers all over the world. He died of typhoid in 1939.

Wendy Doniger is the Mircea Eliade Professor of the History of Religions in the Divinity School and a professor in the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations and the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. She is the author of numerous books, including, most recently, The Woman Who Pretended to Be Who She Was.

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