Alain Danielou

Alain Danielou (1907-1994) came from a family well-known in the world of art and politics. From his youth, he was interested in philosophy and serious music. Later on, attracted in the course of travel on musicological studies by the civilization of India, he lived for twenty years in Benares, observing in his own life the rules and customs of the most orthodox Hindu society which had not, up till then, made any concession to the customs of the modern world. He was able to study philosophy and the books of traditional law. Later on, he had an academic career in India which took him first to teach as a professor at the University of Benares, then to direct the Center of Research and Bibliography at the Adyar Institute in Madras, and finally in 1956, he was named to the French Institute of Indology at Pondicherry. In 1959, he was recalled to the Ecole Française d’Extreme Orient in Paris, and from 1960, was advisor to the International Music Council at UNESCO, and director of the Institute for International Musical Studies in Berlin.

The Way To The Labyrinth

An authority on Hinduism and renowned for his directorship of the Institute of Comparative Music Studies in Berlin and Venice, Alain Daniélou is also an accomplished pianist, dancer, player of the Indian vînâ, painter, linguist and translator, photographer, and world traveler. To these attainments he has added The Way to the Labyrinth––as vivid, uninhibited, and wide-ranging a memoir as one is ever likely to encounter, now translated and published in English for the first time.…
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Theater by Merchant-Prince Shattan

Translated by Alain Danielou

Never before translated into English, the Manimekhalaï is one of the great classics of Indian culture. A second-century Tamil verse epic, it is a sequel to the Shilappadikaram (New Directions, 1965), which was also masterfully translated into prose by the acclaimed musician and scholar of Hinduism, Alain Daniélou. Rich with details of the period’s arts, customs, and religions, the Manimekhalaï provides an extraordinary picture of an age that suddenly comes back to life.…
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Shilappadikaram (The Ankle Bracelet)

Fiction by Prince Ilango Adigal

Translated by Alain Danielou

With a contribution by Prince Ilango Adigal

One of the great classics of Indian culture is the Shilappadikaram, or Lay of The Ankle Bracelet, a verse romance in the ancient Tamil language which is attributed to Ilangô Adigal, a Jain prince of the Third Century AD. This is a tale of wonders and misfortunes, of hapless mortals and capricious deities, of magic and heroism in a bright but also cruel world in which the law of Karma rules: “actions committed in past lives must always bear fruit.…
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Alain Daniélou is well-known to scholars in Oriental religion and linguistics. He is bound to become world famous as the author of a great autobiography, whose scenes and figures are of both the East and the West and whose psychology is conspicuously of our time. We are fortunate to have it in a faithful and eloquent translation.
—Jacques Barzun
Daniélou’s Tamil translation, which shows his knowledge of Indian music, provides us a scholarly work which can compare favorably with such literature as the English legend of Morte d’Arthur, the Germanic Nibelungenlied, and the French Chanson de Roland.
Choice (1965)
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