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KALILA WA DIMNA, Vol. 2: - Fables of Conflict and Intrigue from the Panchatantra, Jatakas, Bidpai, Kalilah wa Dimnah and Lights of Canopus (KALILA AND DIMNA) by [Wood, Ramsay]
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KALILA WA DIMNA, Vol. 2: - Fables of Conflict and Intrigue from the Panchatantra, Jatakas, Bidpai, Kalilah wa Dimnah and Lights of Canopus (KALILA AND DIMNA) 2nd Edition, Kindle Edition


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Length: 245 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

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Product Description

•Kalila and Dimna• or •The Panchatantra• (also known in Europe since 1483 as •The Fables of Bidpai•) is a multi-layered, inter-connected and variable arrangement of animal stories, with one story leading into another, sometimes three or four deep. These arrangements have contributed to world literature for over 2000 years, migrating across ancient cultures in a multitude of written and oral formats. All our beast fables from Aesop and the Buddhist •Jataka Tales• through La Fontaine to Uncle Remus owe this strange, shape-shifting 'book' a huge debt.

In its original Arabic format, •Kalila and Dimna• (•The Panchatantra• being its Sanskrit precursor), ostensibly constitutes a handbook for rulers, a so-called 'Mirror for Princes' illustrating indirectly, through a cascade of teaching stories and verse, how to (and how not to!) run the kingdom of your life. In their slyly profound grasp of human nature at its best (and worst!) these animal fables, usually avoiding any moralistic human criticism, serve up digestible sage counsel for us all.

Based on his collation of scholarly translations from key Sanskrit, Syriac, Arabic and Persian texts, as well as the 1570 English rendition by Sir Thomas North, this is the first uncompromisingly modern re-telling in either the East or West for over 400 years. In Ramsay Wood's version the profound meanings behind these ancient fables shine forth as he captures a great world classic, making it fresh, relevant, fascinating and hugely readable.

His second volume of fables from •Kalila and Dimna•, picks up where the first, Fables of Friendship and Betrayal, left off - covering deceit, political skullduggery, murder, enemies, deadly monsters, kings, bees, princesses, monkeys, lions, crocodiles and how we all live and die together in peace or conflict. This is a book full of outrageously behaved animals and humans doing the most delightfully awful (yet sometimes gentle) things to each other. These are joyous, sad, amusing and sometimes brutal stories; their function being to educate both king and commoner alike in the ways of the world, the harsh realities that can often lurk beneath the surface of our cozy, everyday subjectivity.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1107 KB
  • Print Length: 245 pages
  • Publisher: Zirac Press; 2 edition (10 March 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007J6UJDG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #886,166 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars 10 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good quality production of classic tale 8 August 2016
By Jonathan Zartman - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This good quality production of classic tales justifies its enduring value by virtue of its multiple layers of meaning.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stories to Cherish 26 January 2012
By Chris - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Ramsay Wood's second volume from his planned trilogy of fables and stories derived from the Panchatantra is every bit as impressive as his first volume. These stories have been told and retold down through the centuries in a variety of languages and formats, but Ramsay's special gift has been to recast the fables in contemporary language that makes these tales truly vibrant for Western readers. They are a delight to read, and of course, they all contain a moral that is as appropriate to our modern world as it was in ancient times. One can only hope that the third volume will appear before long.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still love the stories but confusing to flip through 23 February 2012
By Flip - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I brought this book to a dinner party recently hoping to share a tale with the assembled crew. The audience seemed right, ranging from a two-year old to 59, with love of travel or animals or humanity. I looked and looked through the book and couldn't find a story was short enough to read aloud. If it was short, a story was a hinge or interlude between two other stories, and didn't stand alone.
Also while these sound like jatakas, are they real jatakas?
Regardless, fine job, and I'm glad to have this excellent book. Traditional tales made accessible to a modern mind are a treasure.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Storytelling 22 August 2013
By A. Hart - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
It says on the back of this book that it is essential reading for anyone interested in the masterpieces of world literature. It certainly is. Storytelling at it's best.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The First Modern Retelling in over 400 years 30 July 2012
By Aubrey Davis - Published on Amazon.com
Ramsay Wood has spent 30 years reviving Kalila and Dimna, an all but forgotten treasure of world literature. His second installment is as edgy, playful, and thought-provoking as the first. This Eastern classic is the most translated book in the world after the Bible. And yet these marvelous tales have been too often dismissed as trivial and childish. Wood has produced the first modern retelling in over 400 years.

Quirky, violent, deceitful, all too human animals populate this second collection of familiar and unfamiliar fables. Ostensibly intended to educate princes and commoners in ways of world, it uncovers the harsh realities that lurk beneath our comfortable everyday subjectivity. It even includes stories about how to learn from the tales themselves.

Its tales within tales structure reflects the constant flow of events and thoughts in our lives. It's easy to get lost and a shock to return to the frame tale, suddenly realizing what we've forgotten. It's like imagining we're awake when we've really been dreaming. Efforts to keep track of where we are and to hold these multilayered tales in our mental grip provide unparalleled opportunities to exercise our brains and allow meanings to reveal themselves in their own good time.

Wood concludes the book with two masterful essays. The first outlines the history of the tale and how this treasure trove of sophisticated teaching-stories posing as humble fables has so easily slipped over borders and been embraced by so many cultures.

The final essay was prompted by a challenge from a NASA Director to prove that story is a more effective medium for science outreach than technical writing. It details our limited conceptions of story together with an extended concept of its nature and value.

Highly recommended.

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