[INDOLOGY] Schwab's English translation

Lyne Bansat-Boudon Lyne.Bansat-Boudon at ephe.psl.eu
Sat Jun 26 19:21:33 UTC 2021

Dear colleagues,

A few additional informations.

The first chair of Sanskrit in West was created in Paris, in 1835, at College de France. Its first holder was Antoine-Léonard de Chézy (de 1815 à 1832). Entire Europe came to Paris for learning Sanskrit, including Bopp and Schlegel. Eugène Burnouf (1832-1852) succeeded Chézy, followed, after some time, by Edouard Foucaux, Sylvain Lévi and the rich lineage he contributed to found.

With Chézy, talented self-taught scholar, we are still in the infancy of a new science. It is nevertheless the first stone on which French Indology builds itself, which the help of the École pratique des hautes études, at the 4th et 5th sections, created, respectively, in 1868 and 1886. Indian studies are from the outset represented there, with the chair of “Langue sanscrite”, thanks to the joint magisterium of Hauvette-Besnault and Abel Bergaigne.

Disciple of Bergaigne, Lévi succeeds him and trains young scholars (indologists and linguists) as Jules Bloch, Paul Pelliot, Alfred Foucher, Louis Finot, Nadine Stchoupak, Paul Demiéville, Louis Renou, Emile Benveniste, Paul Mus, Armand Minard, Jean Filliozat, to name only a few among the members of Lévi’s first cercle of disciples.

Among them, in 1917-1918, K. A. Subrahmanya Iyer, who will be the famous specialist of Bhartr̥hari, and Raymond Schwab, the future author of La Renaissance orientale, who presents the life and work of Anquetil-Duperron in Lévi’s seminar, at the 4th section of the École pratique des hautes études, in 1935.

Would you be interested in further details, you could take a look to my contribution to the collective volume edited by Jean-Luc Fournet : «  Sylvain Lévi, arpenteur des savoirs et du monde », dans Jean-Luc Fournet (dir.), Ma grande église et ma petite chapelle. 150 ans d’affinités électives entre le Collège de France et l’ École pratique des hautes études, coll. « Passage des disciplines », 27 novembre 2020, 978-2-7226-0548-0 ; URL (texte intégral) : https://books.openedition.org/cdf/10259

With best wishes,


[cid:8E90FAFD-609F-4D7A-9393-D17E94D59596 at home]

Le 25 juin 2021 à 23:52, Rosane Rocher via INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info<mailto:indology at list.indology.info>> a écrit :

Dear colleagues,

It strikes me that I ought to have given some reason for my abrupt warning against the English translation of Raymond Schwab's Oriental Renaissance. Let me quote the introductory paragraph of the review I gave it back in 1988:

"Scholars interested in the East-West intellectual encounter will welcome the publication of an English translation of Raymond Schwab's "La Renaissance Orientale", a book that, though 34 years old, has not been replaced. A look at the contents of this handsome volume reveals useful added features, such as an alphabetical and updated bibliography and a fuller and more readable index. A thorough perusal of the English translation, however, turns elation into disappointment. Not only was Schwab's difficult, poetic French occasionally beyond the powers of the translators, their lack of familiarity with Indian culture and Anglo-Indian history not infrequently led them astray."

Examples are given in the core of the review. The full text can be found in Orientalistische Literaturzeitung 86.4, 1988, coll. 471–473.


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