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Book Details
Five And Twenty Tales Of The Genie [Vetalapancavinsati]
Author: Sivadasa, Trans.By Chandra Rajan
ISBN: 9780144000456
Binding: Paper Back
Publishing Year: 1995
Publisher: Penguin
Number of Pages: 254
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INR 600.00
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About Book
There are no biographical details available for Sivadasa, the author of Vetalapancavinsati. From a careful reading of the text, however, we can glean the following facts: Sivadasa was a man of great learning, even erudition; he wrote primarily for a certain type of reader—well-educated, cultivated men-about-town with a keen interest in the fine arts and beautiful women. Sivadasa’s text is often humorous; he is gently critical and takes a shot at pomposity, pretentiousness and sanctimonious hypocrisy. He poses problems that tease the reader into thought, making his work more than just a retelling of an ancient body of tales. The genie tells Vikramaditya twenty-four tales, each of which ends with a riddle. These stories of beautiful princesses, intrepid courtiers and courageous monarchs present situations which Vikramaditya is likely to face as a king and he is required to find solutions, almost as though he were dispensing justice in his own court. With each answer, Vikramaditya displays immense wisdom and a perfect knowledge of dharma (the law), proving that he is indeed the ideal monarch he is reputed to be. The twenty-fifth tale in the collection is the epilogue of the narrative. Five-and-Twenty Tales of the Genie (Vetalapancavinsati) is believed to have been set down by Sivadasa sometime between the eleventh and the fourteenth centuries CE though there is no historical evidence of this. The name Sivadasa could well be a nom de plume.
About Author
There are no biographical details available for Sivadasa. Chandra Rajan studied at St Stephen's College, Delhi, and at the University of Western Ontario, Canada.
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