This volume is the first attempt to offer a panoramic historical overview of South Asian classical poetry, especially in Sanskrit. Many of the essays in this volume are the first serious studies of the great masterpieces of South Asian literature. Moreover, the book as a whole captures the millennium-long developmental logic of kavya literature by identifying a series of critical moments of breakthrough and innovation-that is, moments when the basic rules of composition and the aesthetic and poetic goals underwent dramatic change, allowing the tradition to reinvent itself. Individual sections thus focus on the beginnings of kavya literature and Kalidasa's creation of what came to be its classical form; the new poetic model that emerged from the intense competition and conversation of Bharavi and Magha in the middle of the first millennium; the extended revolutionary period in Kanauj, where Bana and his successors reconceived the meaning and practice of Sanskrit poetry; and the no less transformative period at the beginning of the second millennium, when poets of genius such as Sriharsa were active in the context of India's nascent vernacularization.
The scope of the volume extends beyond Sanskrit to early modern Hindi, and beyond the subcontinent and the Himalayas to Java and Tibet, where kavya found a new home and continued to evolve. A general introduction proposes a theoretical framework for the study of this immense literary tradition in terms of its continuous self-reinvention.
Gary Tubb is Chair and Professor, Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations, Division of the Humanities, the University of Chicago.
Acknowledgements ; Introduction: Yigal Bronner, David Shulman, Gary Tubb ; I. KALIDASA AND EARLY CLASSICISM ; 1. Waking Aja: David Shulman ; 2. Baking Uma: Gary Tubb ; 3. On Beginnings: Introductions and Prefaces in Kavya: Herman Tieken ; II. THE DEVELOPING MAHAKAVYA ; 4. Pace and Pattern in the Kiratarjuniya Peter Khoroche ; 5. The Conquest of Cool: Theology and Aesthetics in Magha's Sisupalavadha: Lawrence McCrea ; 6. Kavya with Bells On: Yamaka in the Sisupalavadha: Gary Tubb ; 7. A Constant Flow of Pilgrims: Kavya and the Early History of the Kakawin:Tom Hunter ; III. THE MASTERS OF PROSE ; 8. The Nail-Mark That Lit the Bedroom: Biography of a Compound: Yigal Bronner ; 9. Bana's Death in the Kadambari: Herman Tieken ; 10. Persons Compounded and Confounded: A Reading of Bana's Kadambari: David Shulman ; 11. On Bana's Boldness: Gary Tubb ; IV. THE SONS OF BANA ; 12. Something New in the Air: Abhinanda's Ramacarita and Its Ancestry: Gary Tubb ; 13. "The Plays of Bhavabhuti": Gary Tubb ; 14. The Poetics of Perspective in Rajasekhara's Young Ramayana: Lawrence McCrea ; 15. Murari's Depths: David Shulman ; V. POETS OF THE NEW MILLENNIUM ; 16. The Poetics of Ambivalence: Imagining and Unimagining the Political in Bilhana's Vikramankadevacarita: Yigal Bronner ; 17. Putting the Polish on the Poet's Efforts: Reading the Karnasundari as a Reflection on Poetic Creativity: Phyllis Granoff ; 18. Shadows: Charles Malamoud ; 19. Indian Kavya Poetry on the Far Side of the Himalayas: Translation, Transmission, Adaptation, Originality: Dan Martin ; VI. REGIONAL KAVYAS ; 20. Sakalya Malla's Telangana Ramaya?a: The Udara-Raghava: David Shulman ; 21. The Classical Past in the Mughal Present: The Brajbhasha Riti Tradition: Allison Busch ; 22. Poetry and Play in Kavikarnapura's Play within the Play: Gary Tubb ; 23. Modernity in Sanskrit Viswanatha Satyanarayana's Amrta-sarmistam Velcheru Narayana Rao ; 24. A Distant Mirror: Innovation and Change in the East Javanese Kakawin; Tom Hunter ; 25. Notes on Contributors ; Index
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