Ardhakathanak: A Half Story

Ardhakathanak: A Half Story

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Banarasidas charms us with his transparency and frankness, revealing as much of himself as possible. And he punctuates the fast-flowing narrative of his life every now and then to muse on the nature of human existence. The result is an astonishing account that is more modern than medieval in tone, and free of formulaic conventions and stylized ornamentation. At the end of his 'half story', Banarasidas becomes as intimate to us as an old friend. We know the ups and downs of his life almost as well as we know our own and we come to identify with his intellectual and spiritual struggles, and perhaps even share them. Rohini Chowdhury provides an elegant English translation in free verse. The book also includes a scholarly, insightful introduction by Rupert Snell.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 360 pages
  • 130 x 196 x 22mm | 299.37g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0143100548
  • 9780143100546
  • 1,754,878

About Banarasidas

Banarasidas was a poet, philosopher and merchant. He had no precedent in literature or tradition that might have inspired him to write his life's story or guided him in his task.His motivation to write his story was simple: 'Let me tell my story to all.' Completed in the winter of 1641, in Agra, Ardhakathanak is the first autobiography in an Indian language. Rohini Chowdhury has published several books for children including a novel and a short story collection. Her interests include translation, mathematics and history. She lives in London and is currently working on a historical examination of pre-colonial India. Rupert Snell taught at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. His research interests include poetics and aesthetics in pre-modern Hindi; and poetry in Braj Bhasha and Awadhi dialects. He is now Professor, South Asia Institute, University of Texas at Austin.
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Rating details

23 ratings
4 out of 5 stars
5 39% (9)
4 35% (8)
3 17% (4)
2 4% (1)
1 4% (1)
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