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The Tale of King Suratha and its Literary reception: Texts and Translations from the Surathotsava and the Durgāvilāsa

Author:

Bihani Sarkar

Abstract

This article is a companion piece to 'Licence and Faithfulness: Taking liberties with kathā in classical Sanskrit poetry and aesthetics' (Journal of Indological Studies, Kyoto University, Nos. 26-27 (2014-2015). It contains the texts and the first English translations of the tale of King Suratha from two mahākāvyas, the Surathotsava by Someśvaradeva and the Durgāvilāsa by Rāmakṛṣṇa. A full literary and historical analysis of these texts and their illumination of the issue of poetic licence and its implicitly free, creative and subversive nature is to be found in the other article. The Surathotsva and the Durgāvilāsa together exemplify the literary heritage of the Devīmāhātmya a Purāṇic work treated as scripture containing the archetype of the Suratha story. The tale of the king contained in these mahākāvyas diverges in many ways from the scriptural source, but most prominently in a new emphasis on Suratha as nāyaka, the swashbuckling hero whose exploits showcase heroic prowess, adventure, daring and kingly glory. In these stories we see Suratha tempted by gorgeous women, create cities out of magic and preside over spectacular courts as Dharma personified. 


How to Cite: Sarkar, B., 2018. The Tale of King Suratha and its Literary reception: Texts and Translations from the Surathotsava and the Durgāvilāsa. Asian Literature and Translation, 5(1), pp.146–266. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18573/alt.36
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Published on 05 Nov 2018.
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