By Siegfried Lienhard; Jan Gonda (Edtior)

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Extra resources for A History of Indian Literature, Volume III: Classical Sanskrit Literature, Fasc. 1: A History of Classical Poetry, Sanskrit - Pāli - Prakrit

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When reading poetry one's interest was 86 The kavya tradition was carried on in New Indian literatures both in the north and in the south and was consciously revived, for instance, in the poetry of the so-called Rltikdl in Hindi poetry. 32 S. Lienhard • A History of Classical Poetry at the same time engaged in detecting the variations, original concepts and refinements the work contained. Whereas a single quick reading was often sufficient for ordinary texts, the appreciation of a poem required constant repetition, rereading and comparison with earlier pages.

36 S. " Ghanta-MSgha was also given his descriptive name with reference to a bold simile which evidently appealed strongly to his readers. In Sisup. IV, 20 he compares Mount Raivataka seen in the light of both the setting moon and the rising sun to an elephant. This in itself is the conventional simile; classical poetry frequently compares a mountain to a big grey elephant. " Observe here the reference to the sun as ahimaruci, "(having) a not cold light", a neologism contrasting with the name given to the moon, himadhaman, "place of cold".

When judging poetry, style cannot be regarded as a reliable guide to a writer's originality or temperament. As far as kavya is concerned, it is exceedingly difficult to differentiate between collective and individual peculiarities in style. A poet's style does not aim at being subjective; like the other elements from which this intellectual poetry is constructed it obeys objective rules. The two most important styles (riti) are Vaidarbhi from southern India and Gaudi103 from the east. The 102 T h e poetic convention is that a young woman's body leans forward because of the weight of her full breasts.

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