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Sakuntala: Texts, Readings, Histories [NOOK Book]

Overview

The figure of Sakuntala appears in many forms throughout South Asian literature, most famously in the Mahabharata and in Kalidisa's fourth century Sanskrit play, Sakuntala and the Ring of Recollection. In these two texts, Sakuntala undergoes a critical transformation, relinquishing her assertiveness and autonomy to become the quintessentially submissive woman, revealing much about the performance of Hindu femininity that came to dominate South Asian culture. Through a careful analysis of sections from Sakuntala ...

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Sakuntala: Texts, Readings, Histories

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Overview

The figure of Sakuntala appears in many forms throughout South Asian literature, most famously in the Mahabharata and in Kalidisa's fourth century Sanskrit play, Sakuntala and the Ring of Recollection. In these two texts, Sakuntala undergoes a critical transformation, relinquishing her assertiveness and autonomy to become the quintessentially submissive woman, revealing much about the performance of Hindu femininity that came to dominate South Asian culture. Through a careful analysis of sections from Sakuntala and their various iterations in different contexts, Romila Thapar explores the interaction between literature and history, culture and gender, that frame the development of this canonical figure and a distinct conception of female identity.

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Editorial Reviews

India Today

Through a timeless character of legend and literature, we are allowed a ringside view of our most fascinating cultural—and gendered—history.

Telegraph

Thapar shows how it is possible to express complex ideas, rooted in philosophy and hermeneutics, without recourse to jargon. This book is a frontrunner for the prize of the best book on Indian history.

Hindu

As fascinating as Sakuntala's journey is Thapar's retelling of it and her careful assumption of the role of a literary detective.

Hindustan Times

Thapar's wide-ranging essays and monographs make a strong case for the urgency to historicize traditions and highlight the changing meanings of texts and oral cultures.

Biblio

A virtuoso feat of historical and cultural analysis.

Religions of South Asia - Saswati Sengupta

Professor Thapar's book is not only significant in uncovering the historical impulses, often multiply driven, that empower certain readings or receptions of the story but also gives us in the process many of those forgotten stories

Hindu

As fascinating as Sakuntala's journey is Thapar's retelling of it and her careful assumption of the role of a literary detective.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231527026
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 1/22/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 272
  • File size: 20 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Romila Thapar specializes in early Indian history and is professor emeritus at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Her best known works are Ashoka and the Decline of the Mauryas, From Language to State, Interpreting Early India, and Time as a Metaphor of History: Early India.

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Table of Contents

Preface
1 Preliminaries 1
2 The Narrative from the Mahabharata 10
3 The Abhijnana-sakuntalam of Kalidasa 44
4 Popular and high culture as historical parallels 170
5 Adaptations: another popular tradition and its role in another court 189
6 Translations: Orientalism, German romanticism and the image of Sakuntala 197
7 Translation: colonial views 218
8 Sakuntala from the perspective of middle-class nationalism 238
9 Conclusion 257
Endnotes 263
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