THE BHAGAVAD GITA by Eliot--Tr. Deutsch


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To compare translations of the Bhagavad Gita is to compare apples and oranges, since almost every English version has been intended to accomplish a purpose peculiar to itself. Edgerton's, for example, is intentionally literal, while Arnold's and Christopher Isherwood's translations are ""free."" Professor Deutsch's new rendition, similarly, is intended for a special audience; the students of philosophy and religion. From that standpoint, it is a unique and surprisingly readable version, with explanatory and terminological notes that go a long way toward dispelling the ambiguities and obscurities that generally plague the readers of more ""literary"" translations. The general introduction--discussing authorship, position, technique, terminology, etc., of the work--likewise is quite lucid and helpful. The four critical essays appended to this work, however, for all their scholarly acumen and pertinence (e.g., ""The Nature of Karma-Yoga,"" ""The Meta-Theological Structure"") are densely pedantic and require an enterprise and a span of attention that is rarely experienced beneath the level of jnana yoga. That consideration, nonetheless, is extrinsic to Deutsch's version of the Gita, which may be recommended as very likely the best, because the clearest, ""student's edition"" of the classic available in English today.

Pub Date: Nov. 11th, 1968
Publisher: Holt, Rinchart & Winston