Design and Rhetoric in a Sanskrit Court Epic: The Kiratarjuniya of Bharavi

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Albany 2003 Hardcover First Printing Very Good 0791456137. Small 4to 9"-11" tall; 306 pages; Glossy Illustrated Boards; No Dust Jacket; Book Tight; Text is clean no markings ... seen. Read more Show Less

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The Kiratarjuniya is the earlist literary treatment of the narrative of the Pandava hero Arjuna's combat with the great god Siva, a seminal episode in the war epic Mahabharata. Through a close analysis of the structural strategies of Bharavi's poem, the author illuminates the aesthetic of the mahakavya genre. Peterson demonstrates that the classical poet uses figurative language, rhetorical devices, and structural design as the primary instruments for advancing his argument, the reconciliation of heroic action, ascetic self-control, social duty, and devotion to God. Her discussion of the Kiratarjuniya in relation to its historical setting and to rendering of this epic episode in literary texts and temple sculpture of later periods reveals the existence of complex transactions in Indian civilization between the discourses of heroic epic and court poetry, political ideologies and devotional religion, Sanskrit and the regional languages, and classical and folk traditions. Selections from the Kiratarjuniya are presented in poetic translation.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791456132
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2003
  • Pages: 306
  • Product dimensions: 6.02 (w) x 9.48 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Indira Viswanathan Peterson is Professor of Asian Studies at Mount Holyoke College. She is the author of Poems to Siva: The Hymns of the Tamil Saints and editor of Indian literature for The Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces, Expanded Edition.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures
1 Introduction: The Study of the Sanskrit Court Epic 1
2 The Poetics of the Mahakavya 7
3 The Setting and Structure of the Kiratarjuniya 21
4 Prelude to Action: Epic Speech in Bharavi's Poem 47
5 The Debate between the Brothers: Logic, Rhetoric, and Politics in the Court Epic 67
6 Landscapes with Women: Bharavi's Descriptive Art 89
7 The Conundrum of the Warrio-Ascetic 117
8 The Theater of Combat 139
9 Wrestling with God: Rasa and Bhakti in the Kiratarjuniya 161
A Note on the Translation Selections 189
App. A Draupadi Rebukes Yudhisthira: Kir. I. 27-46 191
App. B The Journey of the Apsaras: Kir. VII. 1-40 195
App. C Arjuna's Combat with the Hunter: Kir. XVII. 1-64 203
App. D The Wrestling Match, Theophany, and Boon: Kir. XVIII. 1-19; 42-48 215
List of Abbreviations 221
Notes 223
Bibliography 269
Index 289
Index of References to the Kiratarjuniya 303
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