Sunday, May 30, 2010

Achilles, Duryodhana, Hitler et al.

[Epic of the Day Indian Express M Veerappa Moily Sat May 29 2010 
Abridged translations often fail to capture the nuances and the emotions of all the characters. An unabridged translation of the Mahabharata is therefore welcome and it is surprising that Bibek Debroy, who is known more as an economist (though I have personally known him as one interested in law reform), should have embarked on this venture. It is another matter that he has already translated the Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas and the Gita.] [Sarama and Her Children: The Dog in Indian MythThe Rig Veda (Great Epics of India)]

In 2009, India’s largest English language publisher Penguin released CEO-turned-philosopher-at-large Gurcharan Das’ examination of the epic, The Difficulty of Being Good. While the book received mixed critical response, it was a runaway bestseller that surpassed most pre-launch expectations. Now, Penguin has followed that up with what can easily be described as one of the most ambitious Mahabharat projects of the 21st century in India. The publisher will bring out a 10-volume unabridged translation by well-known economist Bibek Debroy of the epic based on the Critical Edition compiled at the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute in Pune.] 

I was thinking about Achilles and suddenly the Duryodhana character from Mahabharath came to my mind, they both share something in common. Achilles heel and Duryodhana's thigh are more or less the same story. ...]

as a child i heard the story of duryodhana's thigh, and as i grew older, achilles and his association with the heel was something one read about and wondered. One tends to think very respectfully about folks after whom things are named. But Achilles was different. And Duryodhana still needs to have a thigh muscle named after him, I should think.]

Hitler and His God: The Background to the Hitler Phenomenon (2010) by Georges Van Vrekhem is the right mythology for the modern times. [TNM]

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