A Carnival of Parting (Paperback)
The Tales of King Bharthari and King Gopi Chand as Sung and Told by Madhu Natisar Nath of Ghatiyali, Rajasthan
University of California Press, 9780520075351, 392pp.
Publication Date: January 19, 1993
Three introductory chapters and an interpretive afterword, together with an appendix on the bard's language by linguist David Magier, supply A Carnival of Parting with a full range of ethnographic, historical, and cultural backgrounds. Gold gives a frank and engaging portrayal of the bard Madhu Nath and her work with him.
The tales are most profoundly concerned, Gold argues, with human rather than divine realities. In a compelling afterword, she highlights their thematic emphases on politics, love, and death. Madhu Nath's vital colloquial telling of Gopi Chand and Bharthari's stories depicts renunciation as inevitable and interpersonal attachments as doomed, yet celebrates human existence as a "carnival of parting."