(Last Updated on : 21-05-2011)
Somadeva (1035 - 1085) preserved lot of India's ancient folklore in the form of tales in verse. He is the son of Rama. He was the court poet to King Ananta of Kashmir. He wrote Kathasaritasagara in order to divert the troubled mind of Suryamati, a princess of Jalandhara. She was the wife of Ananta and mother of Kalasha. His work was after a considerable period of Ksemendra. Somadeva has one of his own composition that is divided into Tarangas. It is believed that Kalhana
was influenced in his choice of title for his account by Somadeva.
His Kathasaritasagara reveals that his efforts have not succeeded in producing a unified work. However its merit does not rest on construction. It was presented in an attractive, elegant, simple and unpretentious form. Several stories present a varied appeal, either as amusing or gruesome or romantic.
It is seen that he likes to conclude a tale with a different metre. He resists the temptation to indulge himself in word-plays and is content with the easy flow of the simple narrative. His denial is remarkable as he could have won repute as a poet in the elaborate style. There are many passages which reveal that simplicity is not inconsistent with ornament.
He borrowed the theme from an earlier work the Brihatkatha
("Great Tale") by the Sanskrit writer Gunadhya.
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