Yigal Bronner: Dandin’s Open Mirror

Dandin’s Mirror of Literature (Kāvyādarśa) is one of the most influential texts on poetics in world history. It was translated and adapted into a variety of languages in the southern regions of South Asia (Kannada, Sinhala, Pali, and Tamil), travelled to Southeast Asia (Burma, Thailand, and probably Indonesia), was translated into Tibetan and Mongolian, and may have even reached China and Japan. It also gained a large following within the Sanskrit tradition, where it survived in many manuscripts, attracted a sizable group of commentators very early on, and inspired thinkers as late as King Bhoja of Dhar (r. 1011–1055) and Appayya Dikshita (1520–1592). The lecture highlighted one of the secrets to the Mirror’s Asia-wide success, namely its conscious ethos of openness and, in particular, its unique approach to new literary experiments and to literati of diverse denominations.

Yigal Bronner is an Associate Professor in the Department of Asian Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He teaches and writes about Sanskrit poetry and poetic theory and South Asian intellectual history. He is the author of Extreme Poetry: The South Asian Movement of Simultaneous Narration (2010) and many articles, including ones on poets and thinkers from the southern tip of the Indian subcontinent and the historiographical tradition of Kashmir in the far north. He is also the co-author/co-editor of several books, which include Innovations and Turning Points: Toward a History of Kāvya Literature (with David Shulman and Gary Tubb, 2014).

Gary Tubb is Anupama and Guru Ramakrishnan Professor in the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago.

Thursday, 30 August 2018
6 pm, Lecture Room II, Annexe
India International Centre, New Delhi