The Mahabharata, Volume 7: Book 11: The Book of the Women Book 12: The Book of Peace
James L. Fitzgerald
University of Chicago Press, Feb 15, 2003 - Poetry - 848 pages
What is found in this epic may be elsewhere;
What is not in this epic is nowhere else.
—from The Mahabharata
The second longest poem in world literature, The Mahabharata is an epic tale, replete with legends, romances, theology, and metaphysical doctrine written in Sanskrit. One of the foundational elements in Hindu culture, this great work consists of nearly 75,000 stanzas in eighteen books, and this volume marks the much anticipated resumption of its first complete modern English translation. With the first three volumes, the late J. A. B. van Buitenen had taken his translation up to the threshold of the great war that is central to the epic. Now James Fitzgerald resumes this work with translations of the books that chronicle the wars aftermath: The Book of Women and part one of The Book of Peace. These books constitute volume 7 of the projected ten-volume edition. Volumes 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10 of the series will be published over the next several years.
In his introductions to these books, Fitzgerald examines the rhetoric of The Mahabharatas representations of the wars aftermath. Indeed, the theme of The Book of Women is the grief of the women left by warriors slain in battle. The book details the keening of palace ladies as they see their dead husbands and sons, and it culminates in a mass cremation where the womens tears turn into soothing libations that help wash the deaths away. Fitzgerald shows that the portrayal of the womens grief is much more than a sympathetic portrait of the sufferings of war. The scenes of mourning in The Book of Women lead into a crisis of conscience that is central to The Book of Peace and, Fitzgerald argues, the entire Mahabharata. In this book, the man who has won power in the great war is torn between his own sense of guilt and remorse and the obligation to rule which ultimately he is persuaded to embrace.
The Mahabharata is a powerful work that has inspired awe and wonder for centuries. With a penetrating glimpse into the trauma of war, this volume offers two of its most timely and unforgettable chapters.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Other editions - View all
The Mahabharata, Volume 7: Book 11: The Book of the Women Book 12 ..., Part 1
James L. Fitzgerald
No preview available - 2003
Abhimanyu Arjuna army As´oka As´vattha¯man ascetic asceticism Asuras barbarians battle Belvalkar beneﬁts Bha¯rata Bhı¯ma Bhı¯s.ma bird body Br.haspati brahmins brother Buitenen bull chariot death dharma Dhr.tara¯s.t.ra difﬁcult Draupadı Dron.a Drupada Duryodhana earth elephants endnote enemies evil exalted father ﬁnal ﬁnd ﬁre ﬁrst ﬁve ﬂowers forest Ga¯ndha¯rı Gan˙ga Gods grief heaven honor Indra Janamejaya Jayadratha Karn.a Kaurava killed king’s kingdom kingship ks.atra ks.atriyas Kuntı Kurus Lawful Deeds learned Life-Pattern live lord Maha¯bha¯rata Manu Meritorious mind Na¯rada Nakula never Nı¯lakan.t.ha offering one’s pa¯da Pa¯n.d.avas Pandavas perform praise priests Proﬁt punishment Ra¯ks.asas Ra¯ma reading recite refers riches ritual rod of force Royal Splendor S´iva s´loka s´u¯dras sacriﬁce sacriﬁcial rites sacriﬁcial worship Sahadeva Sanskrit Sarvamedha seers sense signiﬁcant someone sons speciﬁc Sr.ñjaya stanza things tradition translation tree tris.t.ubh understanding Vais´am.pa¯yana vais´ya Vedas Vedic verse Vidura Vis.n.u Vya¯sa warriors wealth wise women word Yudhis.t.hira Yudhis.t.hira asks