The Ramayana: A Shortened Modern Prose Version of the Indian Epic
A sweeping tale of abduction, battle, and courtship played out in a universe of deities and demons, The Ramayana is familiar to virtually every Indian. Although the Sanskrit original was composed by Valmiki around the fourth century BC, poets have produced countless versions in different languages. Here, drawing on the work of an eleventh-century poet called Kamban, Narayan employs the skills of a master novelist to re-create the excitement he found in the original. A luminous saga made accessible to new generations of readers, The Ramayana can be enjoyed for its spiritual wisdom, or as a thrilling tale of ancient conflict.
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Each edition includes:
• Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play
• Full explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play
• Scene-by-scene plot summaries
• A key to famous lines and phrases
• An introduction to reading Shakespeare’s language
• An essay by an outstanding scholar providing a modern perspective on the play
• Illustrations from the Folger Shakespeare Library’s vast holdings of rare books
Essay by Susan Snyder
The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., is home to the world’s largest collection of Shakespeare’s printed works, and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe. In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year, the Folger offers a full calendar of performances and programs. For more information, visit www.folger.edu.
About the Author
William Shakespeare was born in April 1564 in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon, on England’s Avon River. When he was eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway. The couple had three children—their older daughter Susanna and the twins, Judith and Hamnet. Hamnet, Shakespeare’s only son, died in childhood. The bulk of Shakespeare’s working life was spent, not in Stratford, but in the theater world of London, where he established himself professionally by the early 1590s. He enjoyed success not only as a playwright, but as an actor and shareholder in an acting company. Sometime between 1610 and 1613, Shakespeare is thought to have retired from the stage and returned home to Stratford, where he died in 1616.
“To quietly persevere in storing up what is learned, to continue studying without respite, to instruct others without growing weary–is this not me?”
Confucius is recognized as China’s first and greatest teacher, and his ideas have been the fertile soil in which the Chinese cultural tradition has flourished. Now, here is a translation of the recorded thoughts and deeds that best remember Confucius–informed for the first time by the manuscript version found at Dingzhou in 1973, a partial text dating to 55 BCE and only made available to the scholarly world in 1997. The earliest Analects yet discovered, this work provides us with a new perspective on the central canonical text that has defined Chinese culture–and clearly illuminates the spirit and values of Confucius.
Confucius (551-479 BCE) was born in the ancient state of Lu into an era of unrelenting, escalating violence as seven of the strongest states in the proto-Chinese world warred for supremacy. The landscape was not only fierce politically but also intellectually. Although Confucius enjoyed great popularity as a teacher, and many of his students found their way into political office, he personally had little influence in Lu. And so he began to travel from state to state as an itinerant philosopher to persuade political leaders that his teachings were a formula for social and political success. Eventually, his philosophies came to dictate the standard of behavior for all of society–including the emperor himself.
Based on the latest research and complete with both Chinese and English texts, this revealing translation serves both as an excellent introduction to Confucian thought and as an authoritative addition to sophisticated debate.
New in the Harper Perennial Modern Chinese Classics series, Border Town is a classic Chinese novel—banned by Mao’s regime—that captures the ideals of rural China through the moving story of a young woman and her grandfather. Originally published in 1934 by author Shen Congwen, this beautifully written novel tells the story of Cuicui, a young country girl who is coming of age in rural China in the tumultuous time before the communist revolution.