A New Translation of the Bhagavad Gita

Dipak Bhattacharya dbhattacharya2004 at YAHOO.CO.IN
Tue Jun 10 00:29:30 EDT 2008


Noted the information on your transl. of the Bhagavadgiita. Thanks! Didn't  we meet Leiden in 2002?Wish you the best.Sincerely
  D.Bhattacharya

George Thompson <gthomgt at COMCAST.NET> wrote:
  Dear List,

Even though the Spring semester is only a month behind us, and Summer is 
still not quite yet upon us [at least officially] here in the USA, many 
of us are already being asked to submit book orders for next Fall's 
classes. I'd like to call the List's attention to my new translation of 
the Gita, to be published by Farrar Straus & Giroux, a distinguished 
literary publisher, this summer [ apparently in August]. It will be 
published in an inexpensive paperback edition aimed at students in 
courses that many of us teach. I have translated it with our students 
very much in mind. I have used my translation with my own students for 
the past year and a half and I think that it has been more effective 
than any of the previous translations that I have used.

The galleys of this edition have been circulated among Sanskritists, 
Indologists, Historians of Religion, Classicists, poets, and Comparative 
Literature specialists. The feedback from them has been very encouraging.

Let me call your attention to the June 12, 2008 issue of the New York 
Review of Books. In that issue, on page 4, facing the Contents page, is 
a full page advertisement from Farrar Straus & Giroux celebrating their 
forthcoming summer reading list. It culminates with a photo of my book's 
cover [with a lovely image of Krishna that the art historian Anna 
Dallapiccola generously recommended to us], and this blurb from 
Stephanie Jamison:

"George Thompson brings his fine-tuned sense of poetic language and his 
deep knowledge of the Indian -- especially Vedic -- religious tradition 
to this fresh and vigorous new translation of a foundational text."

On the back cover of the book will be this comment from Victor Mair 
[whose popular translation of the Tao Te Ching makes very interesting 
connections between the Gita (and yoga) and Taoist thought]:

“With this elegant, new rendering of The Bhagavad Gita, George Thompson 
has achieved the seemingly impossible: his translation is accurate, yet 
readable; written in crisp, straightforward prose, but filled with 
poetic brilliance; accompanied by a learned introduction and valuable 
commentary, both of which are informed by profound Indological 
scholarship that illuminates rather than intimidates. In short, this is 
a gem that will be appreciated by anyone who wishes to familiarize 
himself or herself with one of the world's greatest religious and 
philosophical classics.”

- Victor H. Mair, Professor of Chinese Language and Literature, 
Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of 
Pennsylvania

I have just learned that the right to publish this translation in India 
has been proposed by the publisher Macmillan India, although the date 
for publication in India is still to be determined.

Anyone who is interested in looking at a sample of this translation, or 
its introduction, in order to determine its usefulness in the classroom 
should feel free to contact me. I can send pdf files of any sections of 
the text that may interest you.

This message has been sent to a handful of email lists. I apologize to 
anyone who may receive it more than once. I trust that this book notice 
does not offend any list ethics regarding book notices. If it does 
offend, then please accept my apologies and delete it.

George Thompson


       
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