Author: William Radice
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0670049379
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.
William Radice combines 112 of his wonderful retellings with vivid selections from P. Lal’s ongoing transcreation of the Mahabharata. In parallel with the major Hindu myths, he includes legends and folktales from Muslim, Buddhist, Jain, Syrian Christian and tribal sources. His twenty extracts from the Mahabharata, with their clear introductions, powerfully evoke its epic span.
Somadeva’s Kathasaritsagara, the Epics, the Puranas, legends, folktales – al have fed into India’s long tradition of story-telling. Down the ages, they have nourished creative expression, from Tulsi’s Ramayana and Michael Madhusudan Dutt’s Megnadbadh Kabya to Salman Rushdie’s story of Haroun and Shashi Tharoor’s Great Indian Novel. The present collection represents the author’s exploration of this rich and ancient offering.
Stories such as The Churning of the Ocean, Draupadi’s Svayamvara and The Seduction of Ahalya flow along with The Blind Fakir, St Thomas Arm and the Buddha and the Tigress. All in all, the book is a kaleidoscope of living India, with the vast eras or yugas, the stages of life, tapas, rebirth and nirvana that are her common heritage, together with a joyous celebration of eroticism.
Aware of the essentially oral nature of India’s story-telling tradition, Radice never forgets that popular performers make stories come alive by adding embroidery, jokes, drama, and suspense. In his retellings, he feels his way into the stories fully and imaginatively, conveying in English their emotions and humour.
3.Legends and Folk-Tales
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