Author: Romila Thapar
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Release Date: 2011-04-12
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 would come to dominate South Asian culture. Through a careful analysis of sections from Sakuntala and their various iterations in different contexts, Romila Thapar explores the interactions between literature and history, culture and gender, that frame the development of this canonical figure, as well as a distinct conception of female identity.
Author: Brenda Deen Schildgen
Release Date: 2017-03-02
Genre: Literary Criticism
Featuring leading scholars in their fields, this book examines receptions of ancient and early modern literary works from around the world (China, Japan, Ancient Maya, Ancient Mediterranean, Ancient India, Ancient Mesopotamia) that have circulated globally across time and space (from East to West, North to South, South to West). Beginning with the premise of an enduring and revered cultural past, the essays go on to show how the circulation of literature through translation and other forms of reception in fact long predates modern global society; the idea of national literary canons have existed just over a hundred years and emerged with the idea of national educational curricula. Highlighting the relationship of culture and politics in which canons are created, translated, promulgated, and preserved, this book argues that such nationally-defined curricula were challenged by critics and writers in the wake of the Second World War.
Author: Ruby Lal
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2013-02-18
Genre: Family & Relationships
In this eloquent history, Ruby Lal traces the lives of nineteenth-century Indian women in their transition from girlhood to maturity. In the north Indian patriarchal environment, women's lives were dominated by prescriptive household chores and domestic duties. What the book reveals, however, is that women in the early nineteenth century experienced greater freedoms, playfulness, and creativity than their counterparts in the more restricted colonial world at the end of the century.
Author: Carl Olson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2015-03-03
Throughout the history of Indian religions, the ascetic figure is most closely identified with power. A by-product of the ascetic path, power is displayed in the ability to fly, walk on water or through dense objects, read minds, discern the former lives of others, see into the future, harm others, or simply levitate one's body. These tales give rise to questions about how power and violence are related to the phenomenon of play. Indian Asceticism focuses on the powers exhibited by ascetics of India from ancient to modern time. Carl Olson discusses the erotic, the demonic, the comic, and the miraculous forms of play and their connections to power and violence. He focuses on Hinduism, but evidence is also presented from Buddhism and Jainism, suggesting that the subject matter of this book pervades India's major indigenous religious traditions. The book includes a look at the extent to which findings in cognitive science can add to our understanding of these various powers; Olson argues that violence is built into the practice of the ascetic. Indian Asceticism culminates with an attempt to rethink the nature of power in a way that does justice to the literary evidence from Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain sources.