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Santarasa and Abhinavagupta’s Philosophy of Aesthetics

J L Masson (Author) M V Patwardhan (Author)

The present study grew out of a much larger work that the authors are presently completing. We have both been long interested in Sanskrit literary criticism. Professor Patwardhan has taught the Dhvanydloka and the Rasagangadhara over a period of fifteen years to students in Fergusson College. Mr. Masson has translated and annotated the Dhvanyaloka and the first chapter of the Locana for his Ph. D. thesis at Harvard. When we met we discovered a deep mutual interest in Abhinavagupta's Locana, the greatest Indian work on aesthetics, but a text so difficult that even the Pandits hesitate to teach it in the pathasalas. We began meeting twice a week for 3-4 hour sessions to read and discuss textual difficulties in the Locana. We soon found that we shared nearly identical views on the major problems in this work. Gradually most of the textual mysteries began to yield up their secrets, and we decided to translate the entire Locana as a joint work. The section on santarasa was originally to have been an appendix to this three-volume annotated translation.But we found that so many issues in the Locana had a direct bearing on the problem of siintarasa that it really required a more extensive and separate treatment. Especially in reading the santarasa passage in the Abhinavabharati, a text of notorious difficulty, we found that our readings in the Locana were a great help to its elucidation. It is primarily as an aid to understanding this santarasa passage of the Abhinavabharati that we are publishing the results of our research. We regard this as an introduction to our translation of the Dhvanyiilokalocana which will be published along with the Dhvanyaloka in the Harvard Oriental Series. It is a pleasant duty to thank those who have helped us: Mr. Masson first read the Dhvanyiiloka with the late Professor L.Renou in Paris, who maintained a lively interest in Sanskrit literary theory and urged on him the necessity of doing serious work in this field. Professor V. Raghavan was kind enough to read with him daily the fourth Uddyota with the Locana. His pioneering work, "The Number of Rosas," and his magnum opus, "Bhoja's Sngaprakasa" provided much of the stimulus for writing the present volume. Professor D. H. H. Ingalls read Mr. Masson's translation of the first and fourth Uddyota of the Dhvanyaloka and made many valuable suggestions on method which we have followed here. Mr. Masson also wishes to thank his old friends, Professor B. K. Matilal of the University of Pennsylvania, and Professor K. Bhattacharya of the Centre Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris, for stimulating discussions over the past years on many of these very topics. Several Pandits of the Deccan College have always been very happy to discuss many of the issues with us. We wish to thank especially Dr. V. W. Paranjpe and Pandit Srinivasashastri for their help. Mr. R. P. Goldman from the Sanskrit department of the University of Pennsylvania helped us to clarify many of our ideas on Sanskrit and general literature while reading the entire work in manuscript. We wish also to thank Mr. J. Losty of the Sanskrit Department at Oxford University for reading' through the work and making numerous corrections in the English text, and for his pointed questions. Mr. Masson wishes to thank the A. I. I. S. for a fellowship from 1968-69 which made this study possible by supporting his research, during which time the present work was published .. It is a great pleasure to thank our good friend Dr. S. D. Joshi for his constant encouragement. Dr. R. N. Dandekar kindly accepted the work for publication in the B. O. R. I. Oriental Series for which we are grateful. We wish to thank Dr. V. Raghavan, whose work in Sanskrit poetics is well-known to all scholars in the field, for writing the foreword to this volume.

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Bibliographic information

Title Santarasa and Abhinavagupta’s Philosophy of Aesthetics
Format Hardcover
Date published: 31.12.1985
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
length 204p., 9.5 X 6.5cm.