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The Winged Form: Aesthetical Essays on Hindustani Rhythm

 
Sushil Kumar Saxena (Author)
Synopsis

This collection of essays, a thoroughly revised and enlarged version of its first earlier edition (1979), is a pioneering treatment of the Hindustani rhythm in the way of contemporary (Western) aesthetics. It seeks, on the one hand, to determine and distinguish the meaning of such key words as laya, matra, bol, theka, sama, and layakari, and, on the other hand, to seize the details and aesthetic semblances of live rhythm as they appear to contemplation.

Some wider aesthetical questions have also been addressed in this book. How, if at all, can rhythm be regarded as an autonomous art? What are the elements of its winged form, and how can it yet appear steadfast and virtually motionless? Is it proper to speak of the art of rhythm as symbolic in its significance or as expressive in some distinctive way? Or, can it be said to ‘embody’ what it signifies?

Insofar as rhythm is fast becoming a vital subject of aesthetic reflection in the West today, the book also seeks to weigh the conflicting views of two modern aestheticians, Susanne K. Langer and Philip Alperson, against the theory and practice of Hindustani rhythm.

Every lover of this specific genre of rhythm stands to benefit from a reading of this book. It would prove to be of value also to those who are interested in Kathak dance, for no other classical dance of India depends so manifestly on rhythm.

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About the author

Sushil Kumar Saxena

A former Professor of Philosophy at the University of Delhi, where he started the teaching of philosophical aesthetics in 1964, Dr. Sushil Kumar Saxena has actively related this contemporary way of looking at the arts to Hindustani music and Kathak dance in the form of published essays and books spanning a period of more than 35 years. His first book, however, was on metaphysics. Entitled studies in the distinction of being the second Indian (after Dr. S. Radhakrishnan) to appear as an author in (George Allen and Unwin's) Muirhead Library series of philosophical works. Thereafter, turning to philosophies of art and religion, Dr. Saxena produced three more books: The Winged Form: Aesthetical Essays on Hindustani Rhythm (Sangeet Natak Akademi). Aesthetical Essays, and Ever Unto God: Essays on Gandhi and Religion (Indian Council of Philosophical Research). His essays and review articles, again on aesthetical and religious subjects, have appeared in The British Journal of Aesthetics, The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism (U.S.A.), Religious Studies (U.K.)Diogene (France), Kant Studien (Germany). II Vetro (Italy), Philosophy East and West (U.A.A.)Sangeet Natak, Marg, Indian Philosophiy Quarterly, and Journal of the ICPR (India). Currently, as a Fellow of the Indian Council of philosophical Research, Dr. Saxena is working on two book. Art and Aesthetics and the Arts of India.

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Bibliographic information

Title The Winged Form: Aesthetical Essays on Hindustani Rhythm
Format Hardcover
Date published: 20.04.2012
Edition 1st. ed.
Publisher D K Printworld
Language: English
isbn 9788124606339
length xiii+199p.