Clay Sanskrit Library Newsletter: June 08

Tomoyuki Kono tomo.kono at MAC.COM
Fri Jul 4 11:24:23 UTC 2008

Dear colleagues,

I would like to draw your attention to the latest issue of the Clay  
Sanskrit Library newsletter which includes information on newly  
published and forthcoming volumes.

You can view this newsletter in html format by following this link

and you can subscribe to the CSL mailing list to receive future  

(I apologise in advance for cross-posting.)

Tomoyuki Kono
Wolfson College


Clay Sanskrit Library Newsletter: June 2008
Welcome to the June 2008 Edition of the CSL Newsletter. This issue
brings news of our latest publications, with a fresh redesign (if you
can spot the differences). With the summer vacation season
approaching, we suggest books for your holidays, revealing the CSL top
ten sellers (just imagine how our compact books can be your ideal
companion at the beach.) Our website offers a wealth of resources,
packed with reviews, translators’ personal essays (“Insights”)
and volume excerpts for those who prefer to “try before you buy.”


New Volumes Now Available <#1>
CSL Top Ten Sellers <#2>
Book Reviews <#3>
CSL Photo Gallery <#4>
CSL Ramáyana Delights a “Child Genius” <#5>


Two new volumes of the “Maha·bhárata” are now available to
order: ‘Preparations for War’ (volume one), which contains a
fascinating philosophical passage, the Sanat·sujatíyam that
parallels the “Bhagavad Gita,” translated engrossingly by Kathleen
Garbutt, and Adam Bowles’s gripping conclusion of ‘Karna’
(volume two).

Patrick Olivelle’s “Life of the Buddha” includes an incisive
study which shows how Ashva·ghosha elegantly subsumed the mainstream
Brahmanical ideology within a Buddhist discourse.

Life of the Buddha
by Aśvaghoṣa OUT NOW
Patrick Olivelle

A poetic composition of the highest order, though the main aim is
not to entertain but to instruct, to present the Buddha’s teaching
as the culmination of the Brahmanical tradition. His wonderful
descriptions of the lovely bodies of the courtesans are ultimately
meant to show the transience of beauty.

Download excerpt

Read Translator’s Insights

Maha·bhárata Book Five: Preparations for War (volume one of two)
Kathleen Garbutt
Foreword by Gurcharan Das

At the beginning of “Preparations For War,” the Pándavas have
just completed their thirteen year exile, most recently having lived
in disguise and in humiliating service in Viráta’s city. The
Pándavas believe they have completed the terms of their exile, though
Duryódhana claims that they did not manage to live unknown for the
full thirteenth year, since Árjuna was recognized in the battle at
the end of the preceding book, “Viráta.” This first volume of
“Preparations For War” sees the Pándavas and Kurus gathering arms
for the coming war and making preparations to fight.

Download excerpt

Read Translator’s Insights

Maha·bhárata Book Eight: Karna (volume two of two)
Adam Bowles

“Karna” tells the events that occurred during the mighty hero
Karna’s two days as general of the Káurava army. The second volume
of “Karna” resumes on the war’s seventeenth and penultimate day.
This will be a momentous day for the Bhárata clans and especially for
a number of their most distinguished heroes, with some of the epic’s
most telegraphed events reaching their climax.

Download excerpt

Read Translator’s Insights

With so many volumes in our series, readers new to Sanskrit literature  
may wonder where to begin. The dilemma can be particularly pertinent  
with the “Maha·bhárata.” As Vaughan Pilikian writes in his  
concise introduction
<>, the  
“Maha·bhárata” “cannot be read like a normal book from
cover to cover, from beginning to end; one can and should begin
reading anywhere.” If the array of book excerpts
and Translators’ Insights
are not enough to help you make up your mind, you might be
interested to know what other people are reading by checking out the
*CSL top ten sellers*
<>, compiled by  
New York University Press.

It is not only conventional lovers of Sanskrit literature who have
been espousing CSL books. With an elegant, recently redesigned format
bound in a compact size and wrapped in a striking jacket, our books
can be the perfect fashion accessory and travel companion. A *recent
in the Daily Telegraph, a British national newspaper, features a CSL
volume in the hands of a renowned London chef.


For the second year running, *Pankaj Mishra* has named CSL as his
books of the year, this time in the Indian newsmagazine Outlook
, announcing that our publications “*promise to revolutionize our
sense of the Indian past: it is the greatest publishing project of
recent years*.” Read the article here

Buddhadharma <>
reviewed two works by Ashva·ghosha:

“Handsome Nanda,”
translated by Linda Covill (PDF)

“Life of the Buddha,”
translated by Patrick Olivelle (PDF)

The “Ocean of the Rivers of Story” (volume one)
was reviewed by David Elton Gay in Journal of Folklore Research

The “Epitome of Queen Lilávati”
is featured in the SOAS Centre of Jaina Studies Newsletter
. Read Richard Gombrich’s introduction, featured in Issue 3
(February 2008).

*Photo Gallery* <>
shows some of the people making the CSL happen. Send us your
favorite pictures of you with a CSL volume and we will be delighted to
post them on our site!

*“Child Genius”*
is a UK Channel 4 documentary which follows ten of Britain’s most
gifted children into adulthood.

One of the featured children, Michael Dowling, has an IQ of 170+ (off
the scale on the Stanford-Binet IQ test).
For his 13th birthday, Michael, a published novelist (he wrote his
first novel when he was 8), asked for and received a copy of
“Ramáyana Book Three: The Forest.”

The scene broadcast portrays Michael receiving the book to his
delight and his family referring to the book as a family favorite.

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