the name or, more likely, pen name of the author of one of the most significant works of ancient Indian drama—the Sanskrit play The Little Clay Cart (Russian translation, 1956). No reliable information about Sudraka exists, although he is referred to as a legendary king in many old works of literature and folklore. It is usually assumed that the play was written no earlier than the fourth century and no later than the eighth.
The main characters of The Little Clay Cart are city dwellers; the everyday life and mores of an ancient Indian city are described with considerable accuracy, a rare feature for ancient Indian literature. The play skillfully combines romantic and political themes. It also expresses contempt for the caste system and contains elements of social satire. The Little Clay Cart has a dynamic, dramatically powerful plot with tragic scenes alternating with comical, lyrical, and farcical ones. The play is well known in India, as well as in Europe (including the USSR) in numerous translations and stage productions.
WORKSGlinianaia povozka. [Foreword and notes by V. S. Vorob’ev-Desiatovskii.] Leningrad, 1956. (Translated from Sanskrit and Prakrits.)
REFERENCESSerebriakov, I. D. Ocherkidrevneindiiskoi literatury. Moscow, 1971.
Bhat, G. K. Preface to Mrcchakatika (The Little Clay Cart). Ahmedabad,1953.