Author: Chandra Rajan
Translator: Chandra Rajan
Publisher: Sahitya Akademi
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8126014849
Kalidasa’s status as the major poet and dramatist in classical Sanskrit literature is unquestioned. Yet, whereas individual works of the poet have been translated, an edition containing an English translation of his collected works does not seem to have been undertaken, specially a rendering that combines fidelity to the text with readability in contemporary English. The three-volume edition planned by the Sahitya Akademi might well be the first translation into English of the Kalidasa-corpus in its entirety, thereby fulfilling a long-felt need and making these classics accessible to a much wider audience that at present.
All seven of the great poet’s works that are considered authentically his are being rendered into English verse (verse and prose in the plays) by Chandra Raja. Her critical introduction serves to place the text in their context and suggests ways of looking at them singly and as part of the oeuvre.
The first volume is devoted to the poems of Kalidasa. This second volume contains his plays.
Kalidasa’s knowledge of the human heart and his understanding of the complex play of human motivation, are profound. A keen observer of nature in all its varied aspects – he sees with a painter’s eye and speaks with a poet’s tongue- he is at the same time a learned writer who wears his enormous learning lightly and with grace. A mystic awareness of the transcendental combines in his works with a sensuous feeling for beauty in woman and nature, reflecting as it does the blend of the erotic and spiritual that characterizes Siva mythology. In all of his works he celebrates the values of the great civilization that he was heir to, but not without questioning as is made amply clear in the introduction.
Acknowledgements and Prefatory Remarks
Key to the Pronunciation of Sanskrit Words
Key to Prose Passages in the Plays
A Note on Texts and Translations
Notes to the Introduction
Notes to the Plays
I Kalidas's Dates
A Select Bibliography