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Collected Papers, vol. 2.

This volume is the second in an anticipated three-volume set, which will reprint in chronological order the articles of K. R. Norman. In this volume are collected articles from the years 1977 to 1983, numbered as 31 through 52. The articles have been reset and not simply photographically reproduced and the author has added references to later articles on the same subjects. Therefore, this collection performs a double service, not only of assembling the original essays in a more accessible and convenient form, but also of enhancing their utility by correcting typographical errors and by providing a uniform format for footnotes and abbreviations, an abbreviation list, an index verborum of Old and Middle Indo-Aryan, and brief postscripts indicating related articles in the collection. Also included in the reprinted articles are references to the original place and date of publication and notation of the original pagination in angled brackets. The articles here span the main, interrelated areas of the author's work--Pali, Middle Indo-Aryan studies, and Asokan inscriptions--and include many articles of immeasurable value also to those in Buddhist and Jaina studies. While an outward connection between the articles is provided by the common linguistic material, an inner organic connection can also be felt in the common masterful method, demonstrated even in those articles with a more general scope. In this method, conclusions are suggested only after exemplary philological work: stimulated by a particular problem and guided by an impressive and surefooted textual erudition, Norman sifts for answers from an accumulation of closely and carefully considered readings.

For those less familiar with Norman's work or wishing to check their bibliographies, a topical list of the articles in this volume may be useful. Here, four articles treat Asokan inscriptions: (33) "Middle Indo-Aryan Studies XII (The recensions of the Asokan Rock Edicts)," (35) "Notes on the so-called 'Queen's Edict' of Asoka," (50) Asokan sila-thambha-s and dhamma-thambha-s," and (52) "Notes on the Ahraura version of Asoka's First Minor Rock Edict." Four articles have a narrower focus on grammatical or word studies: (36) "Magadhisms in the Kathavatthu"; (37) "Two Pali Etymologies," (41) "Middle Indo-Aryan Studies XV (Nine Pali etymologies)," (43) "Four etymologies from the Sabhiya-sutta." Though many of the preceding articles examine linguistic matters of concern to Buddhism, Buddhist topics are treated explicitly in nine articles: (31) "The Buddha's view of devas," (34) "The role of Pali in early Sinhalese Buddhism," (38) "The language in which the Buddha taught," (42) "The dialects in which the Buddha preached," (44) "Devas and Adhidevas in Buddhism," (45) "Notes on the Vessantara-jataka," (46) "Dhammapada 97: a misunderstood paradox," (48) "A note on atta in the Alagaddupama-sutta," (49) "The Four Noble Truths," (51) "The Pratyeka-Buddha in Buddhism and Jainism." In addition to some of the preceding, notably (51), Jaina materials are examined in: (32) "Kaviliyam: a metrical analysis of the eighth chapter of the Uttaradhyayana-sutra"; (39) "Kriyavada and the existence of the soul"; (40) "Middle Indo-Aryan Studies XIV (Three notes on the Uttarajjhayana-sutta)." Finally, there is a short historical contribution: (47) "The Pali Text Society: 1881-1981."

Among those articles treating issues of broader interest, (38) "The language in which the Buddha taught" merits continuing notice by a wide audience. Here, addressing a question of long duration in Buddhist studies, Norman proposes "that the Buddha used a number of closely related dialects when preaching." Norman adds that the mixture of forms and dialects in the early collected and edited teachings is in part attributable to the fact that the original material was not in the same dialect. A later version of this important article, (42) "The dialects in which the Buddha preached," expands the support for this conclusion through a new interpretation of the key canonical evidence, the phrase sakaya niruttiya. Article (51), "The Pratyeka-Buddha in Buddhism and Jainism," merits special attention as a paradigm of the discoveries that can be made by applying the philological method to an important doctrine. Through diligent examination of the textual and linguistic evidence, Norman not only retraces the doctrinal history of the pratyeka-buddha, but also uncovers philological evidence for an overlaid and forgotten earlier form and meaning of the concept (as "pratyaya-buddha ... 'one awakened by an external cause'"). A similar model of close textual examination that discloses fresh insights into the long familiar is offered by the study, (49) "The Four Noble Truths."

All those interested in the topics mentioned above welcome this project of collecting the scholarly articles of K. R. Norman and hope for its successful continuation. The editors of the Pali Text Society must be congratulated for their decision to honor K. R. Norman by making his indispensable and invaluable studies available to a wider audience in such an attractive and accessible format.
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Author:Cox, Collett
Publication:The Journal of the American Oriental Society
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jan 1, 1993
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