THE RAMAYANA by Aubrey -- as told by Menen


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Menen's wit and knowledge are here turned on the life of Prince Rama as told by Valmiki 2500 years ago and the resulting duet, with Menen's personal commentary on Rama's story, is something of a specialty. His introduction explains how and why he decided to restore this from the Brahmin version; the text follows Rama's necessity to go into exile, where his education began. For he, his wife, Sita, and his brother, the warrior, Luxmun, come to the home of Valmiki who, in his racy parables, indoctrinates the young prince against the moral and political concepts of the times. In the stories of the wily sage, the locust, the four jealous fishermen, the stone woman, there is much for Rama to understand, while in the fight against the neighboring king, Ravan, there is much to experience. For Sita is taken by Ravan (quite willingly) and when Rama frees her, there are other problems. Returning to the throne, Rama is forced to have her prove she is untouched by Ravan by an ordeal of fire and this is accomplished to the satisfaction of all and the reunion of the royal pair. As always alerted to ""moral obesity"", Menen's astringent touches to this age old Indian story offer some civilized truths and wry humor and add a humanity to an austere classic.

Pub Date: Sept. 10th, 1954
Publisher: Scribner