I have recently become aware that my world view is excessively Eurocentric. What are some of the best works / authors on east Asian history that don't completely focus on the last two centuries?
The origin of Sanskrit is not Arabic. Arabic was for a long time just a language spoken by the relatively small amount of people living in the arabian peninsula.
There is evidence that Sanskrit, Persian and several European languages are descendant languages of one or several closely related indo-iranian/indo-aryan tongues spoken by those from the Caucasus's and the areas to the NW of the Caspian sea. Sanskrit was transmitted to india by migrants from these areas long before 1000 bc which is itself long before arabic was ever popularized outside of the arabian peninsula.
To clarify in this post I should have said that the migrants brought to India with them a language closely related to sanskrit and one that no doubt contained many sanskrit words but its likely that this language did not develop into proper sanskrit until after these migrants had been living in india for a short while. Nevertheless the point still stands.
no there isn't anything wrong but 1) OP may not be of European descent and 2) even if they were it can be interesting and helpful to learn about different perspectives on history and the world in general.
I know how you feel, brah
India's two epics (a bit like the Iliad and Odyssey, but way longer) are an endless wealth of interest that Westerners still haven't woken up to.
The Ramayana is a good place to start, as it's shorter and the narrative has fewer digressions.
Once you've read that, the Mahabharata is pretty much the best possible introduction to Indic civilization, and continues to resonate into the present. Cannot recommend enough.
Both epics, incidentally, have very good/faithful retellings by Ramesh Menon. His versions are a good place to start.
That's just India (which has thousands of other texts as well). China's classical bedrock seems to be the four (or five) great classic novels, the most famous of which is Journey to the West. Still haven't read any (more of a South Asia specialist), but I've always been intrigued.
For an Indo-Islamic example there's the Dastan-e-Amir-Hamza (adventures of Amir Hamza), which is a gorgeous fantasy equal to anything in the Arabian Nights.
What translations and works would you recommend for starting Buddhist literature? I know Easwaran is good for Hindu literature, but I've read his translation of the Dhammapada was quite freely done, and his introduction was inaccurate and new-agey (discussing Jesus and Einstein, somehow relating them to Buddhism) .
Is this a good starter? https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/209576.In_the_Buddha_s_Words
Only just getting into the Buddhist/Pali side of things myself, but the Jatakas are very fun and accessible from what I've seen. They're allegorical tales of the Buddha in previous (often non-human) births.
As for which translations Amazon reviewers are usually pretty helpful
Their toilet situation is a pile of shit, it's true.
But part of the problem is the caste-socialization that anyone working in sanitation is inherently unclean. That plus the development problems in rural India.
Regardless though, what the fuck does toilet success have to do with a discussion of literature? You're veering dangerously close to ethnocentric poppycock here.
India has a huge western influence in its modern literature. Just look at giants like Tagore, Vikram Seth, Arundhati Roy, Khuswant Singh. Read a book!
Indo-Iranian *is* an Indo-European language.
>THE ORIGIN OF SANSKRIT IS ARABIC
No, Arabic is an Afro-Asiatic language. It's not directly related to Sanskrit.
Yeah, you're right, the language that closely related to Sanskrit was its precursor, Proto-Indo-European.
Still not sure why you said Indo-European was an oxymoron.. that's literally what they call the precursor language to languages like Celtic, Latin, Greek, and Sanskrit.
Annihilation of Caste by B.R Ambedkar
Poetry and Writings of Rabindranath Tagore
Contemporary favourites - Arundhati Roy & Vandana Shiva.
>Looking like we have a from assume down the road, Pakistan when bank bunch of money, outskirts anyway around not just in there out of try and burn grand I'm a well new thing, fuck you.