Sakuntala: Texts, Readings, Histories

Kobo ebook | January 22, 2011

byRomila Thapar

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The figure of Sakuntala appears in many forms throughout South Asian literature, most famously in the Mahabharata and in Kalidisa's fourth century Sanskrit play, Sakuntala and the Ring of Recollection. In these two texts, Sakuntala undergoes a critical transformation, relinquishing her assertiveness and autonomy to become the quintessentially submissive woman, revealing much about the performance of Hindu femininity that came to dominate South Asian culture. Through a careful analysis of sections from Sakuntala and their various iterations in different contexts, Romila Thapar explores the interaction between literature and history, culture and gender, that frame the development of this canonical figure and a distinct conception of female identity.

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The figure of Sakuntala appears in many forms throughout South Asian literature, most famously in the Mahabharata and in Kalidisa's fourth century Sanskrit play, Sakuntala and the Ring of Recollection. In these two texts, Sakuntala undergoes a critical transformation, relinquishing her assertiveness and autonomy to become the quintesse...

Romila Thapar specializes in early Indian history and is professor emerita in history at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. In 1983 she was elected general president of the Indian History Congress and in 1999 a corresponding fellow of the British Academy. Her best known works are Ashoka and the Decline of the Mauryas, From Lang...

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Format:Kobo ebookPublished:January 22, 2011Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231527020

ISBN - 13:9780231527026

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Preface
1. Preliminaries
2. The Narrative from the Mahabharata
3. The Abhijñana-sakuntalam of Kalidasa
Sakuntala and the Ring of Recollection -- the play by Kalidasa
4. Popular and high culture as historical parallels
5. Adaptations: another popular tradition and its role in another court
6. Translations: Orientalism, German romanticism and the image of Sakuntala
7. Translation: colonial views
8. Sakuntala from the perspective of middle-class nationalism
9. Conclusion
Endnotes

Editorial Reviews

Professor Thapar's book is not only significant in uncovering the historical impulses, often multiply driven, that empower certain readings or receptions of the story but also gives us in the process many of those forgotten stories