Into the Twilight of Sanskrit Court Poetry
The Sena Salon of Bengal and Beyond
Publication Year: 2014
Published by: University of California Press
Title Page, Further Reading, Copyright, Dedication
Table of Contents
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For endless love and support I thank Nandini Chandra, and my teacher, dear friend, confidante, and surrogate mother, Minati Kar. Yigal Bronner read my dissertation with such dedication and profound engagement with every word that the present book really owes its birth to...
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At the turn of the twelfth century into the thirteenth, at the court of King Lakṣmaṇasena of Bengal, Sanskrit poetry showed profound and sudden changes: a new social scope made its definitive entrance into high literature. Courtly and pastoral, rural and urban, cosmopolitan and vernacular...
1. The Political Poetic of the Sena Court
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What was said about life in Sanskrit verse constituted a central fact of life; it referenced itself to lived reality even as it made itself a lived reality. Sanskrit kāvya, in anthology and epigraphy as well as in hosts of individual masterpieces, articulated as it was articulated by the ruling dynasties of...
2. Poetic Antigravity: Govardhana’s Āryāsaptaśatī
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Poetry at the sena court was both similar and different, continuous and discontinuous with earlier modes of literary practice. Govardhana— perhaps more than any other poet of this salon—displays discontinuity in the greatest relief. He also craft s a dazzling new metapoetic frame for it. He...
3. The Vernacular Cosmopolitan: Jayadeva’s Gītagovinda
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Jayadeva's Gītagovinda, Govinda [i.e., KṚṢṆA] in song, is an exceptional work of Sanskrit literature, in the dual sense of being uniquely celebrated and simply unique. The poem is a new genre unto itself, and for its time, almost unique in being so; it emerges in the medieval period twofold...
4. Vulgar Kāvya: Badu Candīdās's Śrīkrsnakīrttana
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pp. 89 -114
The Śrīkṛşṇakīrttana lies in one sense on the fringes of the literary. The work’s simple and repetitive songs betray its context of oral village performance, as does its extreme frankness about sexuality. Its language is local and colloquial, clearly related to the spoken dialect of the region where...
Conclusion: The Tropography of the Sena World
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I have attempted to trace the topography of a literary territory. The outline was not totally unknown, although we may have modified its boundaries slightly by suggesting the Sena salon outlived itself to some extent in the medieval world of Baḍu Caṇḍīdās, or by finding previously ignored...
Appendix A. The Complete Verses Attributed to the Sena Kings
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Appendix B. The Complete Verses Attributed to Govardhana (Not Found in the Āryāsaptaśatī)
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Appendix C. The Complete Verses Attributed to Jayadeva (Not found in the Gītagovinda)
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Appendix D. Gītagovinda-Śrīkrsnakīrttana Correspondences
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Page Count: 217
Publication Year: 2014