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Many Ramayanas: The Diversity of a Narrative Tradition in South Asia

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4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  47 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Throughout Indian history, many authors and performers have produced, and many patrons have supported, diverse tellings of the story of the exiled prince Rama, who rescues his abducted wife by battling the demon king who has imprisoned her. The contributors to this volume focus on these "many" Ramayanas.

While most scholars continue to rely on Valmiki's Sanskrit Ramayana as
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Paperback, 280 pages
Published August 29th 1991 by University of California Press (first published July 30th 1991)
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Harini Srinivasan
A great collection of essays by Ramayana scholars, brilliantly edited! If you are a Hindu steeped in the Ramayana, this will open your eyes to its cosmopolitanness, and if you have never read or heard of the Ramayana, you will want to read it for its universal and eternal appeal. The essay on why Lakshmana laughed is one of my favourites, as also A K Ramanujan's take on the subject. A book to buy, cherish, reread and pass on to kindred spirits!
Sarah
Aug 03, 2016 Sarah rated it it was ok
While this book was very informative, I struggled to keep interest while working through this book. Many of the articles were a little dry and didn't seem necessary. This to me is like writing a term paper or an article on something that everyone knows. Other than the few that did that, the rest were great. I really enjoyed "The Raja's New Clothes: Redressing Ravana in Meghanadavadha Kavya" the most. I suppose with a book like this that covers a variety of topics, it makes sense to not find all ...more
Priya Phadtare
May 04, 2013 Priya Phadtare rated it really liked it
Picked it up to read AK Ramanujan's controversial essay on '300 Hundred Ramayanas', which blew me away, but was also delighted to find several other essays which gave details about the several Ramayanas written by authors other than Valmiki. It is mind boggling to know that numerous and unheard of interpretation of the text exists pertaining to different historical periods and political scenarios (essay on EVR's exploits in South India is particularly interesting).
Krishna
Feb 07, 2012 Krishna rated it really liked it
Very good book; offers a different perspective on the Ramayana.

I did not know that there were so many differences between different Ramayanas. This book also explains how different local circumstances led to different "tellings".

Better, this book is available for free from UC Berkeley web site.
Claire S
Sounds fascinating, from a discussion on Sepia Mutiny about variety is Dussehra rituals, and what the struggle between Rama and Ravana signifies.
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Jan 25, 2016 Santosh Kumar rated it liked it
Good Read with great info. The chapter on Thailand part was bit boring but otherwise a good read.
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Richman's compilation is a nice set of lenses to place over the great epic.
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Paula Richman is a professor of Religion at Oberlin College.
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