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

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Explores the earliest literary treatment of Arjuna's combat with the great god Siva, providing an introduction to the Sanskrit court epic.“Peterson proves that it is possible and fruitful to approach mahakavya such as ‘Arjuna and the Hunter’ through the aesthetic values it embodies. She succeeds in making one of the greatest works of literature accessible and meaningful to non-specialists, as well as useful for teachers of South Asian culture and religion.” — History of Religions
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791456149
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 306
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (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

2. The Poetics of the Mahakavya

3. The Setting and Structure of the Kiratarjuniya

4. Prelude to Action: Epic Speech in Bharavi's Poem

5. The Debate between the Brothers: Logic, Rhetoric, and Politics in the Court Epic

6. Landscapes with Women: Bharavi's Descriptive Art

7. The Conundrum of the Warrior-Ascetic

8. The Theater of Combat

9. Wrestling with God: Rasa and Bhakti in the Kiratarjuniya

A Note on the Translation Selections

Appendix A. Draupadi Rebukes Yudhisthira: Kir. I. 27-46

Appendix B. The Journey of the Apsaras: Kir. VII. 1-40

Appendix C. Arjuna's Combat with the Hunter: Kir. XVII. 1-64

Appendix D. The Wrestling Match, Theophany, and Boon: Kir. XVIII. 1-19; 42-48

List of Abbreviations




Index of References to the Kiratarjuniya

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