Revisiting Abhijnanasakuntalam: Love, Lineage and Language in Kalidasa's Nataka

 
9788125044192: Revisiting Abhijnanasakuntalam: Love, Lineage and Language in Kalidasa's Nataka

K lid sa s Abhijñ na kuntalam has an iconic status in the history of Indian literatures. It is a tale of love found, forgotten and restored between Du yanta, the hero king, and kuntal , an innocent maiden.

Bringing together linguists, literary critics, historians, Indologists and Sanskritists, Revisiting Abhijñ na kuntalam analyses the play as more than just a figment of imagination as a rich terrain for exploring links between culture, history and politics, as an interplay of memory, desire and languages. Divided into three sections, it focuses on the continuity as well as the change in the narrative of kuntal , locating it in contexts of class, caste, gender, patriarchy and monarchy.

The first section, The Biography of a Narrative , addresses the earliest appearance of the narrative in the epic Mah bh rata, its best known form Abhijñ na kuntalam as n Ôaka, and William Jones Orientalist interpretation of the play. It also critically examines the varied representations of the play in diverse forms such as art, theatre and cinema.

Contrary to popular perception today that kuntal is the central protagonist of Abhijñ na kuntalam, the second section, The Hero King , addresses how and why Du yanta is posited as the hero. It examines the representation of the king as the ideal in literature and its material reality in the context of the Gupta Period, the construction of kingship in different genres, and the politics of a courtly culture and patronage within which the articulation of the heroic king takes place.

The control of the womb is central to the reproduction of feudal and caste patriarchies. The third section, Of Love, Marriage and Family , deconstructs the politics of romantic love, marriage and motherhood in the play. The strategies of surveillance, regulation and control of sexuality by state and society as deployed in it are the focus of this section. The book thus looks into how the transactions within the play, whether dealing in love or land, through different languages, mark not only hierarchies of gender, caste and status, but also of spheres of influence and of knowledge. A rich storehouse of diverse perspectives, this volume would be invaluable to students and scholars of literature, culture studies, history, linguistics, and performance studies.

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About the Author:

Saswati Sengupta is Associate Professor, Department of English, Miranda House, University of Delhi.

Deepika Tandon is Associate Professor, Department of English, Miranda House, University of Delhi.

Review:

... [With] fascinating contributions from a multidisciplinary group of scholars from India and abroad ... [this book] opens Kalidasa s famous Sanskrit drama, Abhijnanasakuntalam, to a host of new insights and interpretations and stimulates much new thinking on its role as a seminal document for an understanding of traditional attitudes toward gender, class and power relations in pre-modern India.... --Robert P. Goldman, Professor of Sanskrit, Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley

... In this collection ... literary critics, Sanskritists and historians analyse ... the Abhijnanasakuntalam from multiple points of view. The book explores the mutation of the story into variant versions, their material and performative contexts, the ambivalences in the representations of an idealised king and the politics of romantic love, marriage and motherhood. [It] should prove indispensable to students of both literature and history. --Kunal Chakrabarti, Professor of Ancient History, Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

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Edited by Saswati Sengupta and Deepika Tandon
Published by Orient Blackswan (2011)
ISBN 10: 8125044191 ISBN 13: 9788125044192
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
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Vedams eBooks (P) Ltd
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Book Description Orient Blackswan, 2011. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Contents List of Figures Foreword by Romila Thapar Acknowledgements IntroductionSaswati Sengupta and Deepika Tandon Section one The Biography of a Narrative 1 The First Reading of Sakuntala A Window on the Original and the Second Reading by KalidasaAlf Hiltebeitel 2 Staging AbhijñanasakuntalamMandakranta Bose 3 The Celestial Fruit of Collected Virtues A Reading of William Jones? SacontalaShampa Roy 4Gani Sakuntal Racito Annasaheb Kirloskar?s Sangit Sakuntal as Marathi OperaUrmila Bhirdikar 5 The Making of Sakuntala The Erotica and the Paradox of RepresentationParul Dave Mukherji 6 Shakuntala on Celluloid The Framing of an Archetype in Colonial and Post-Colonial Hindi CinemaParul Bhardwaj Section two The Hero King 7 Seeing and Hearing Representations of Kingship in the Abhijnanasakuntalam and the Raghuvamsam of KalidasaKumkum Roy 8 When the King is the Subject The Play of Power in AbhijñanasakuntalamSaswati Sengupta and Sharmila Purkayastha9 Can Men Change Kalidasa?s Seducer King in the Thicket of Sanskrit PoeticsDavid L Gitomer 10 The Inarticulate Nymph and the Eloquent KingSomadeva Vasudeva 11 The King?s Companion The Vidusaka in AbhijnanasakuntalamC M Neelakandhan Section three  Of Love Marriage and Family 12 The Rejection of Sakuntala in the Mahabharata Dynastic ConsiderationsSimon Brodbeck13 A Royal Hunt for a Lineage Kshatriyas Apsarases and the Gandharva MarriageUma Chakravarti14 The Many Mothers of Abhijnanasakuntalam Constructing Celebrating and Confining MotherhoodDeepika Tandon 15 The Ring and the Amulet Love and Memory in Kalidasa?s AbhijnanasakuntalamMeera Sagar Contributors Bibliography IndexKalidasa?s Abhijnanasakuntalam has an iconic status in the history of Indian literatures It is a tale of love found forgotten and restored between Dushyanta the hero king and Sakuntala an innocent maiden Bringing together linguists literary critics historians Indologists and Sanskritists Revisiting Abhijnanasakuntalam analyses the play as more than just a figment of imagination as a rich terrain for exploring links between culture history and politics as an interplay of memory desire and languages Divided into three sections it focuses on the continuity as well as the change in the narrative of Sakuntala locating it in contexts of class caste gender patriarchy and monarchy The first section The Biography of a Narrative addresses the earliest appearance of the narrative in the epic Mahabharata its best known form Abhijnanasakuntalam as naoaka and William Jones? Orientalist interpretation of the play It also critically examines the varied representations of the play in diverse forms such as art theatre and cinemaContrary to popular perception today that Sakuntala is the central protagonist of Abhijnanasakuntalam the second section ?The Hero King? addresses how and why Dushyanta is posited as the hero It examines the representation of the king as the ideal in literature and its material reality in the context of the Gupta Period the construction of kingship in different genres and the politics of a courtly culture and patronage within which the articulation of the heroic king takes placeThe control of the womb is central to the reproduction of feudal and caste patriarchies The third section ?Of Love Marriage and Family? deconstructs the politics of romantic love marriage and motherhood in the play The strategies of surveillance regulation and control of sexuality by state and society as deployed in it are the focus of this section The book thus looks into how the transactions within the play whether dealing in love or land through different languages mark not only hierarchies of gender caste and status but also of spheres of influence and of knowledge A rich storehouse of diverse perspectives this volume would be invaluable to students and scholars of literature culture studies history linguistics and performance studies  348 pp. Bookseller Inventory # 98899

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2.

Saswati Sengupta; Deepika Tandon (Eds.)
Published by Orient Blackswan (2011)
ISBN 10: 8125044191 ISBN 13: 9788125044192
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)
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Book Description Orient Blackswan, 2011. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M8125044191

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