Danielou's French translation of the Kama sutra

Jean Fezas jean.fezas at wanadoo.fr
Thu Apr 3 09:44:38 UTC 1997

Dear Indologists,

	I am not to discuss A. Danielou's achievements in the field of musicology,
I really enjoyed some of the recordings he directed. As to his translation
of the kAma-sUtra [KS], I got it after the completion of my transcription
of the text (available since yesterday on the INDOLOGY site; if you have
any problem, commentary, critic or suggestions on this, please send them to
<jean.fezas at wanadoo.fr> [self-advertisement] ). At first glance I did not
miss much : 
	I think that a student who would translate the extremely simple sentence :
KS. 1.2.23 varam adya kapotaH zvo mayUrAt (Better a pigeon TODAY than a
peacock TOMORROW) by "Mieux vaut un pigeon à manger qu'un paon dans le
ciel" ("Better a pigeon to eat than a peacock in the sky" -- I don't know
[and don't want to know] how it was (re)translated in English --) should
decide to learn [another language than] sanskrit...
	I have no prejudice for or against sexual preferences, we, French, use to
say that "Tous les goûts sont dans la nature". I even committed a paper in
the Journal Asiatique about the regulations regarding "Perversion et
hiérarchie au Népal au XIXe siècle..." (JA.1983, 281-344), [some more
self-advertisement] but I would like to know the opinion of "genuine
indologists" [maybe they have more serious subjects to discuss than the
translation of the description of erotic practices] about, for instance,
Danielou's translation of  KS 2.8 "Le comportement viril des femmes et la
sodomisation des garçons" (sic!). 
	Critics  of Marcel Proust noticed that, in in the last volumes of "A la
Recherche du temps perdu",  almost everybody appears, often unexpectedly,
to share the author's preferences... But Proust was writing fiction,not
translating vAtsyAyana.



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