In the Hindu literary tradition, literary compositions inculcate awareness and sensibility of Dharma in the minds of both the commoner and the connoisseur. As with all śāstras in the Indic knowledge traditions, kāvya and kāvya-śāstra, i.e. literary composition and the theory of composition have a well instituted and standardized methodology, structure and system. This is the fourth and final course in a sequence of four courses in Sāhitya – Classical Sanskrit literature. Excellence in prose composition is considered as the gold standard of literary creativity in the Sanskrit literary world. Prose compositions are far less common in comparison to poetry in Sanskrit literature. The mixed medium of campū also has a lesser presence but nevertheless has a distinct identity from the prose and poetry literature, from which it draws its structure, as well as from drama.
This course explores the features of prose and campū literature in Sanskrit and provides an illustration of each of the two types. The course also introduces the dialectics and critical analysis that the theorists of Sanskrit literature engaged in.
In this course students will be able to:
- Understand the critical inquiry involved in the construction of theories in the Hindu knowledge traditions.
- Observe how the standards of creative writing were evaluated differently in the case of prose and campū compositions.
Area of Study: Sanskrit Studies
Required / Elective: Required
Prerequisites: Completion of Sāhitya – III
Faculty / Instructor: Prof Madhusudan Penna
Quarter Offered: Winter 2022