René Daumal

René Daumal, best known for his novel Mount Analogue, unfinished at his death in 1944 (other works in English include A Night of Serious Drinking, The Power of the Word and You’ve Always Been Wrong) was an autodidact, a non-academic Sanskritist. Following youthful hallucinatory experiments with poet Roger Gilbert-Lecomte (Black Mirror) and initial instruction in Sanskrit with Réne Guénon, he embarked on a solitary study surpassing his teacher and formulated his own Sanskrit dictionary La Langue Sanskrite: grammaire, poesie, theatre, facsimile edition Ganesha Press, 1985.  He was secretary to Uday Shankar, whose troupe presented the aesthetic canons of India, in performance for the first time in the West, in Paris and New York, 1931-1933. Daumal translated essential texts on Sanskrit composition and the first chapter of Bharata Natya Sastra, one of the world’s earliest treatise on the Dramatic Arts, ca 4th century. He wrote numerous essays on Sanskrit poetics and their relation to spiritual practice, the first to recognize the value of these texts for the artists and social and cultural dynamics of the 20th century. In 1982, these French translations translated by Louise Landes Levi and were were published by New Directions with title RASA,  knowledge of the self, (Subtitle) Essays on Indian Aesthetics and Selected Sanskrit Studies. After that the title was brought back to print in a limited edition with Shivastan and now released again, in it’s third edition, with Cool Grove Press. 

Other titles by Louise Landes Levi