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Myths And Legends Of India
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Myths And Legends Of India

by William Radice
Edition: 28-Jun-2002
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Product Details:

Format: Paperback
Pages: 784 pages
Publisher: Penguin Books India
Language: English
ISBN: 9780670049370
Date Added: 2008-09-06
Search Category: Lawbooks


Somadeva’s Kathasaritsagara, the Epics, the Puranas, as well as folklore are among the sources of India’s long tradition of storytelling. Down the ages, they have nourished creative expression, from Tulsi’s Ramayana and Michael Madhusudan Dutt’s Megnadvadh Kavya to Salman Rushdie’s Stories of Haroun and Tharoor’s Great Indian Novel. The present selection represents the author’s explorations of this rich and ancient offering.

In this book Radice brings together his own retellings and other translations of 132 best-loved and popular myths, legends and folktales. Besides Hindu narratives, included are a number of Muslim, Buddhist, Jain, Syrian Christian and tribal tales. Stories of ‘The Churning of the Ocean’, ‘Draupadi’s Svayamvara’, ‘The Seduction of Ahalya’ flow along with those of the ‘The Blind Fakir’, ‘St Thomas’ Arm’ and ‘Buddha and the Tigress’. The tales offer a kaleidoscope of living India, with its commonly-held beliefs of vast eras or yugas, the stages of life, tapas, rebirth and nirvana, besides a celebration of eroticism.

Aware of the essentially oral nature of India’s story-telling tradition, Radice shows how popular performers make stories come alive by appending some embroidery, jokes, drama, and suspense to them. In these retellings he tries to feel his way into the stories chosen and to convey in English some of these emotions and humour of the original.

Combining scholarly rigour with masterly narration, Myths and Legends of India is a brilliant collection. Doubtless, it will be loved by readers of all ages, anywhere, for a long, long time.

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