[INDOLOGY] Bookworm quotation

Witzel, Michael witzel at fas.harvard.edu
Thu Dec 19 16:42:07 UTC 2019

Dear Taylor,

this is not an answer to your question, but on a related note:

Some decades ago, a colleague told me that he wondered about the many birds in a South Indian manuscript library — until he noticed that they were eating the bookworms...

Similarly, in our 40 decades long Nepal German Manuscript Preservation Project (now at: https://www.manuscript-cultures.uni-hamburg.de/index_e.html), tired of specifying damages by hand, I finally printed on our catalog cards:
“damaged by worms, rats, fire, water” — and crossed out the items that did not apply...



On Dec 17, 2019, at 9:33 PM, McComas Taylor via INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info<mailto:indology at list.indology.info>> wrote:

Dear Colleagues,

I once read somewhere words to the effect that the most ardent consumer of Sanskrit manuscripts was His Majesty the Bookworm. Does this ring a bell? Can anyone help me locate a reference for this?

Please reply off-list.

Thanks in advance,


McComas Taylor
Associate Professor
Reader in Sanskrit
College of Asia and the Pacific
The Australian National University
WSC Website<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.wsc2021.com.au&d=DwMFAw&c=WO-RGvefibhHBZq3fL85hQ&r=tFXzIbyKS2C0TpVqKsMrj46qwsAermBN5wzaDe51So0&m=7IwFYwBDVQFt_UZCCxGc18jrhh-4kCNFr1HwRg8KGlI&s=Ao4KwVkPHRCtGcX7D18DBjvKcYaQJ_G3nSxm3LLXCPU&e=>| McC Website<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__sites.google.com_site_mccomasanu_&d=DwMFAw&c=WO-RGvefibhHBZq3fL85hQ&r=tFXzIbyKS2C0TpVqKsMrj46qwsAermBN5wzaDe51So0&m=7IwFYwBDVQFt_UZCCxGc18jrhh-4kCNFr1HwRg8KGlI&s=jRQthpXhD8VZbQEZfrJm7UNUFE0oKk3zIh9qgZkqoxI&e=>
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Michael Witzel
Wales Prof. of Sanskrit, Dept. of South Asian Studies, 1 Bow Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
ph. 1 - 617 496 2990
witzel at fas.harvard.edu<mailto:witzel at fas.harvard.edu>

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