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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS It is difficult to state with any certainty when it was that I actually began work on this book because I first read and translated some of these poems and stories as long ago as 1980 while conducting research for a doctoral thesis. The project might well have taken another eight years to reach fruition had the British Academy not granted me a three-year research fellowship in Nepali in 1987. It is to that illustriousbody that I am most deeply indebted. I must also record my gratitude to innumerable members of staff at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London and particularly to Dr. David Matthews,who first taught me Nepali; to Professor Christopher Shackle, who encouraged me to maintain my involvement in this field; and to Dr. Ian Raeside, present head of the Department of Indology, who kindly agreed to host my fellowship. The British Council and the Research Committee of the School were extremely generous in their support of visits to Nepal iri 1987 and 1988. My thanks also to Dr. Nicholas Allen of Oxford University; to Professor J. C. Wright and Professor Lionel Caplan of SOAS for their help with some obscure mythological references; and to Dr. John Whelpton for helping me to unravel some of the historical background to these texts. I have of course received an enormous amount of help from friends and colleagues in Nepal. Chief among these has been Mr. Abhi Subedl, who helped me to make many invaluable contacts in Kathmandu; spent long hours reading through the translations, often in consort with the authors themselves; and showed me great-hearted kindness in Nepal— earthquakes and monsoons notwithstanding. The assistance and hospitality of Mr. Peter Moss, the British Council's Representative in Nepal, are also gratefully acknowledged. The enthusiasm for this project exxv xvi ACKNOWLEDGMENTS pressed by Mohan Koirala, Banlra Giri, Kedar Man Vyathit, Parijat, Siddhicharan Shreshtha, Bishwabimohan Shreshtha, Chuda Mani Bandhu , Ballabh Mani Dahal, Krishna Bhakta Shreshtha, Dayaram Sarnbhava , Bijay Malla, Krishna (Chandra Singh Pradhan, Achyutaraman Adhikarl, and many other members of Kathmandu's literary community has been the single greatest spur to its completion. They are, alter all, the true authors of this book. My sincere thanks to Lynne Withey and Betsey Seheincr at the University of California Press and copyeditor Jan Kristiansson for the meticulous way in which they prepared this book for publication. Finally, I must record my greatest debt of all: that which 1 owe to my dear Lucy, who has given me love and support and acquiesced gracefully to my long absences. To her I dedicate this book. ...


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