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

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

by Indira Viswanathan Peterson
     
 

ISBN-10: 0791456145

ISBN-13: 9780791456149

Pub. Date: 03/28/2003

Publisher: State University of New York Press

Indira Viswanathan Peterson provides an introduction to the Sanskrit court epic (mahaµkaµvya), an important genre in classical Indian poetry, and the first study of a celebrated sixth-century poem, the Kiraµtaµrjuniµya (Arjuna and the Hunter) of Bhaµravi. Sanskrit court epics are shown to be characterized both by formalism and a…  See more details below

Overview

Indira Viswanathan Peterson provides an introduction to the Sanskrit court epic (mahaµkaµvya), an important genre in classical Indian poetry, and the first study of a celebrated sixth-century poem, the Kiraµtaµrjuniµya (Arjuna and the Hunter) of Bhaµravi. Sanskrit court epics are shown to be characterized both by formalism and a deep engagement with enduring Indian values.

The Kiraµtaµrjuniµya is the earliest literary treatment of the narrative of the Paµn|d|ava hero Arjuna’s combat with the great god Siva, a seminal episode in the war epic Mahaµbhaµrata. Through a close analysis of the structural strategies of Bhaµravi’s poem, the author illuminates the aesthetic of the mahaµkaµvya 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 Kiraµtaµrjuniµya in relation to its historical setting and to renderings 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 Kiraµtaµrjuniµya are presented in poetic translation.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780791456149
Publisher:
State University of New York Press
Publication date:
03/28/2003
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
318
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures
Acknowledgments
1Introduction: The Study of the Sanskrit Court Epic1
2The Poetics of the Mahakavya7
3The Setting and Structure of the Kiratarjuniya21
4Prelude to Action: Epic Speech in Bharavi's Poem47
5The Debate between the Brothers: Logic, Rhetoric, and Politics in the Court Epic67
6Landscapes with Women: Bharavi's Descriptive Art89
7The Conundrum of the Warrio-Ascetic117
8The Theater of Combat139
9Wrestling with God: Rasa and Bhakti in the Kiratarjuniya161
A Note on the Translation Selections189
App. ADraupadi Rebukes Yudhisthira: Kir. I. 27-46191
App. BThe Journey of the Apsaras: Kir. VII. 1-40195
App. CArjuna's Combat with the Hunter: Kir. XVII. 1-64203
App. DThe Wrestling Match, Theophany, and Boon: Kir. XVIII. 1-19; 42-48215
List of Abbreviations221
Notes223
Bibliography269
Index289
Index of References to the Kiratarjuniya303

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