[INDOLOGY] Kathāsaritsāgara 1.1.10-11

jacob at fabularasa.dk jacob at fabularasa.dk
Sun Apr 6 12:55:54 UTC 2014

Dear list,

In trying to learn something or other about the source of Somadeva's 
"Kathāsaritsāgara" as stated by the author himself, I (like others 
before me) am struggling with the exact meaning of verses 1.1.10-11:

"yathā mūlaṃ tathaivaitan na manāg apy atikramaḥ /
granthavistarasaṃkṣepamātraṃ bhāṣā ca bhidyate //

aucityānvayarakṣā ca yathāśakti vidhīyate /
kathārasāvighātena kāvyāṃśasya ca yojanā //"

I translate as follows:

"Just like the root (text), just so (is) this; (there is) no passing 
over, however slight [i.e. nothing has been left out]; and the language 
is changed [abbreviated? versified? translated?] only for the sake of 
the throwing together [i.e. abridgment] of the vastness of the book; /

and the preservation of the propriety and sequence is maintained as far 
as possible without destroying the flavor of the story, and (so too) the 
arrangement of the partition [individual parts?] of the poem. //"

I am especially unsure about the intention of "bhidyate" in the second 
line, and "kāvyāṃśasya" in the fourth line.

Any suggestions would be most welcome!


Jacob Schmidt-Madsen
Teaching Assistant
Department of Indology
University of Copenhagen

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