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"Baital Pachisi or Vetala Panchvimshati ("Twenty five tales of Baital") or Vikram and The Vampire is a collection of tales and legends from India. It was originally written in Sanskrit. Like Arabian Nights, it is a set of tales, within a frame story.
According to Isabel Burton, the Baital Pachisi "is the germ which culminated in the Arabian Nights, and which inspired the "Golden Ass" of Apuleius, Boccacio's "Decamerone," the "Pentamerone," and all that class of facetious fictitious literature.".
The story revolves around the semi-legendary King Vikram, identified as Vikramaditya (c. 1st century BC). Vikram promises a tantric sorcerer (Vamachara) to bring him the Baital (or Vetala in Sanskrit), a huge vampire. Baital hangs on a tree and inhabits and animates dead bodies. Vikram faces many difficulties in bringing the Baital to the tantric. A series of Hindu fairy tales are strung on this frame story, which typically include the following sequence:
-The Baital agrees to accompany the Vikram, provided the latter does not speak.
-The Baital tells Vikram a tale in which one or more characters' behaviour seems to be awkward or unjust.
-The Baital concludes the tale with a question about the character's behaviour, which is actually a cleverly-disguised riddle about righteousness and/or politics.
-Vikram answers and succeeds in justifying the character's behaviour.
-As Vikram speaks, violating their agreement, the Baital flies back to the tree." (Quote from wikipedia.org)
Table of Contents:
Publisher's Preface; Preface; Preface To The First (1870) Edition; Introduction; The Vampire's First Story. In Which A Man Deceives A Woman; The Vampire's Second Story. Of The Relative villany Of Men And Women; The Vampire's Third Story. Of A High-minded Family; The Vampire's Fourth Story. Of A Woman Who Told The Truth; The Vampire's Fifth Story. Of The Thief Who Laughed And Wept; The Vampire's Sixth Story. In Which Three Men Dispute About A Woman; The Vampire's Seventh Story. Showing The Exceeding Folly Of Many Wise Fools; The Vampire's Eighth Story. Of The Use And Misuse Of Magic Pills; The Vampire's Ninth Story. Showing That A Man's Wife Belongs Not To His Body But To His Head; The Vampire's Tenth Story. Of The Marvellous Delicacy Of Three Queens; The Vampire's Eleventh Story. Which Puzzles Raja vikram; Conclusion
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Book Description Forgotten Books, 2008. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1605065714