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  • Print publication year: 2012
  • Online publication date: February 2013

Foreword by Richard W. Lariviere

Summary

Don Davis has done scholars a great favor. He has collected together in one place much of the work of one of the bright lights of American academia. Prof. Ludo Rocher is a member of the American Philosophical Society, former President of the American Oriental Society, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the American Institute of Indian Studies. All significant distinctions in an important career. But what is most compelling, most distinctive, and most enduring about Prof. Rocher's career are two things: (1) his broad, comprehensive, and always rock-solid contributions to our understanding of classical India and (2) his generous, tireless, and effective mentoring of generations of students. Many of the most important Indological positions in the country are held by Prof. Rocher's students. Don Davis is part of that paramparā and he has given us the great gift of a reprinting of work whose collective impact has moved Indology forward steadily and consistently for more than 50 years. Those of us who continue to rely on dog-eared and heavily marked up copies of these articles and who have sent students hither and yon to make new copies are grateful for this service.

Future generations of students and scholars will more easily understand the impressive breadth and depth of Rocher's work as a result of this collection. Their value and their validity endure. They are superb examples of what Davis refers to as the “philological particular.” The focus and the technical mastery represented by these articles are what give coherence to such breadth of scholarship. We are fortunate to have this collection, but this collection’s real impact will be on future generations of scholars who will as a result be more likely to be able to access this important work. Many of the journals that Rocher published in are not available electronically, and the half-life of Festschriften is diminished by the increased dependency of libraries on electronic collections.