New PDF release: A History of Indian Literature, Volume III: Classical

By Siegfried Lienhard; Jan Gonda (Edtior)

ISBN-10: 3447024259

ISBN-13: 9783447024259

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Extra info for A History of Indian Literature, Volume III: Classical Sanskrit Literature, Fasc. 1: A History of Classical Poetry, Sanskrit - Pāli - Prakrit

Sample text

If we wish to judge its effects on its time and on society, we must, however, not fall into the common error of thinking that it was the province solely of the rich and the socially privileged. On the contrary, it was a matter that concerned everyone with education, and its communicative and artistic aspects were directed precisely at these people. Kavya could also be enjoyed by the poor, but educated and well-read Brahman. Only in readers as highly educated as the poet himself could one expect to find complete understanding of the artistic quality of a literary text and the ability to subject it to a critical analysis.

We saw above how a certain description governed the choice of definite attributes as far as content is concerned, and, if we read carefully, we shall discover that the same desire for accuracy also regulates the choice of similes, words, attributes and their application. They are all selected with an eye to their suitability and should be attuned as closely as possible to the sense of a stanza or to the atmosphere of a longer passage, a chapter or, indeed, even of a whole kavya. In Sarga XXII of Bhatti's Rama poem, usually known as Bhattikavya, it is certainly not by chance, but by intention that Bhatti chooses the PraharsinI (rejoicing) metre for two passages.

V. M I R A S H I , Bhavabhuti: His Date, Life and Works, Delhi-VaranasiPatna 1974, p . 314. 36 S. " Ghanta-MSgha was also given his descriptive name with reference to a bold simile which evidently appealed strongly to his readers. In Sisup. IV, 20 he compares Mount Raivataka seen in the light of both the setting moon and the rising sun to an elephant. This in itself is the conventional simile; classical poetry frequently compares a mountain to a big grey elephant. " Observe here the reference to the sun as ahimaruci, "(having) a not cold light", a neologism contrasting with the name given to the moon, himadhaman, "place of cold".

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A History of Indian Literature, Volume III: Classical Sanskrit Literature, Fasc. 1: A History of Classical Poetry, Sanskrit - Pāli - Prakrit by Siegfried Lienhard; Jan Gonda (Edtior)


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