krainaksiazek poetry and prayer the power of the word ii 20106125

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Cracow Indological Studies XV. History and Society as Depcted in Indian Literature and Art. Part II. ¦RAVYA. Poetry & Prose - 2829811161

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Cracow Indological Studies XV. History and Society as Depcted in Indian Literature and Art. Part II. ¦RAVYA. Poetry & Prose Księgarnia Akademicka Sp. z o.o.

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IntroductionThe present volume of Cracow Indological Studies contains articles addressing different issues pertaining to a broadly formulated subject Histoiy and Society as Described in Indian Literature and Art. Its first part (Cracow Indological Studies, vol. 14) was devoted to visual and performing arts, as obviously the interpretation of sculptures, paintings, objects of craft as well as film art cannot be neglected while searching for pieces of information providing a better insight into the ancient and modern histoiy of India. The articles presented in the second part use literary sources in order to examine diverse aspects of the past and present. Similarly to the first part, which contains in its subtitle the Sanskrit word drsya-‘what should be looked at’-and in this way brings together the varied phenomena which can be described by this term, starting from ancient Indian theatrical art and finishing with modem Indian cinematography, the present volume’s subtitle also refers to the indigenous Indian theory of literature, using the Sanskrit word sravya or ‘what should be listened to’, ‘what is worth listening to’. This term covers both poetry and prose compositions. The authors of this particular volume bring manifold literary works, among them also scientific treatises and scriptures, which ‘should be listened to’ to readers’ attention and analyse them in order to have a better understanding of Indian society and culture. The essentially plural identity of Indian literature is represented in this volume by the pan-Indian Sanskrit literary tradition, Hindi literary culture encompassing the North of India and the most important and ancient among the South Indian Dravidic literatures, namely Tamil writings. The specialists explore a great number of issues: the relations between writing, history and ideology, gender, class, changing sensibilities, discourse and language-to name only a few.The opening article by Tiziana Pontillo introduces the fascinating question of asceticism as a permanent life choice. The authoress quotes Raghuvamsa passages regarding renunciation as a praiseworthy act rather than an obvious course of life. She focuses on two relevant passages from the Buddhacarita: one of them presents Buddha’s father, whose lineage probably did not observe the brahmanic varna- srama system, however wishing that his son would go successively through prescribed stages of life and not renounce the world too early. Indeed, Asvaghosa’s work reflects the socio-religious conflict between the brahmanic inclusivistic theory of four ordered stages of life and the Buddhist encouragement to renounce the world (here the latter path is unusually called arsamarga). The article elaborates also on the term suksma dharma, interpreting it as an ‘uncertain common dharma path’, constituting the point of departure for both, the true Buddhist dharma and the brahmanic srauta reform.The next paper, “Political Metaphors in the Mahakavya. The Conceptual Metaphor THE STATE IS THE HUMAN BODY in Magha’s Sisupala- vadha”, authored by Anna Trynkowska, applies cognitive linguistics methods in order to study the metaphor. The selected stanzas concern politics, a subject which appears prominently in Sanskrit court poems, and the conceptual metaphor under discussion is “the state is the human body”. Trynkowska shows it in the relevant passages of Magha’s poem entitled Sisupalavadha. Perhaps it is not surprising that the majority of examples provided by Magha focus on the condition of the state and its stability. The fitness of the human body is mapped onto political stability and the power of functional elements of the state. Political enemies are conceptualized here in terms of diseases, causing an inappropriate condition of the human body. There are also stanzas naming these dangerous diseases, consumption being referred to most frequently. Trynkowska presents the set of mappings used in these metaphors, specifying the categories in the source domain (the human body, its structure and condition as well as the causes of an inappropriate condition of the body and their remedies) and the corresponding functional elements of the state in the target domain. The proposed method of analysis sheds more light on the structure of such stylistic devices and helps in a better understanding and noticing of their specific features.The epic poem which Tomasz Winiarski discusses is the famous Raghuvamsa by Kalidasa. The author has identified a very interesting passage in its sixteenth canto (verses 4-24), which presents a dying capital city in a very specific way. The main stress is on the role of the female characters in the description. Step by step Winiarski introduces the reader into the sophisticated technique implied by Kalidasa, namely the process of deconstructing/reconstructing the image of the city, a subtle play between reality and illusion, the past and present, light and darkness. The images stereotypical and characteristic of kavya literature are put into an unusual context and combined in unusual ways. As Winiarski points out, taking kavya works as the source of knowledge “may be deceptive if one wants to know what the physical reality and the form of a city was”, but “it is a valid and maybe the only source to answer the question of what it meant for Indians of that time. (...) the way urban life was rendered in stories and poetry was, and still is, a way to fully understand what the city was, how to be a part of it, and how to preserve its existence and meaning.”The following two papers deal with the Sanskrit historiography in South India.Rajendran Chettiarthodi examines the Musikavamsa, a poem written in the 11th century by Atula, as an example of sanskritization of regional history. Choosing Sanskrit as his medium and the mahakavya as a form of expression Atula made an attempt to enhance the prestige of his patron, king Srikantha of the Musika dynasty ruling over North Kerala (...)

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