The Ocean of the Rivers of Story (Volume 1)

556 pages

March, 2007

ISBN: 9780814788165

Subjects:

Literature

Part of the Clay Sanskrit Library series

Authors

All books by Somadeva

Sir James Mallinson translates and edits Sanskrit literature full time for the JJC Foundation, co-publishers (with NYU Press) of the Clay Sanskrit Library.

All books by James Mallinson

Soma·deva composed his “Ocean of the Rivers of Story” in Kashmir in the eleventh century CE. It is a vast collection of tales based on “The Long Story,” a now lost (and perhaps legendary) repository of Indian fables, in which prince Nara·váhana·datta wins twenty-six wives and becomes the emperor of the sorcerers. There are tales within tales within tales. By turns funny, exciting, or didactic, they illustrate points within the narrative or are told simply to provide entertainment for the protagonists. Its twenty thousand plus verses are written in simple but elegant Sanskrit and it has long been used as an introductory text for students of the language.

Co-published by New York University Press and the JJC Foundation

For more on this title and other titles in the Clay Sanskrit series, please visit http://www.claysanskritlibrary.org

Reviews

  • “The books line up on my shelf like bright Bodhisattvas ready to take tough questions or keep quiet company. They stake out a vast territory, with works from two millennia in multiple genres: aphorism, lyric, epic, theater, and romance.”

    —Willis G. Regier, The Chronicle Review

  • “No effort has been spared to make these little volumes as attractive as possible to readers: the paper is of high quality, the typesetting immaculate. The founders of the series are John and Jennifer Clay, and Sanskritists can only thank them for an initiative intended to make the classics of an ancient Indian language accessible to a modern international audience.”

    The Times Higher Education Supplement

  • “Published in the geek-chic format.”

    BookForum

  • “The Clay Sanskrit Library represents one of the most admirable publishing projects now afoot. . . . Anyone who loves the look and feel and heft of books will delight in these elegant little volumes.”

    New Criterion

  • “Very few collections of Sanskrit deep enough for research are housed anywhere in North America. Now, twenty-five hundred years after the death of Shakyamuni Buddha, the ambitious Clay Sanskrit Library may remedy this state of affairs.”

    Tricycle

  • “Now an ambitious new publishing project, the Clay Sanskrit Library brings together leading Sanskrit translators and scholars of Indology from around the world to celebrate in translating the beauty and range of classical Sanskrit literature. . . . Published as smart green hardbacks that are small enough to fit into a jeans pocket, the volumes are meant to satisfy both the scholar and the lay reader. Each volume has a transliteration of the original Sanskrit text on the left-hand page and an English translation on the right, as also a helpful introduction and notes. Alongside definitive translations of the great Indian epics—30 or so volumes will be devoted to the Maha·bhárat itself—Clay Sanskrit Library makes available to the English-speaking reader many other delights: The earthy verse of Bhartri·hari, the pungent satire of Jayánta Bhatta and the roving narratives of Dandin, among others. All these writers belong properly not just to Indian literature, but to world literature.”

    LiveMint