This essay investigates the sargabandhas'' incipits starting from a brief account of the itihasa-s, including the Ramayana, which show very refined beginnings and in which, as A. Hiltebeitel has already sharply noted, the poet is also a character in the story. Then, the article draws attention to the different types of incipits, as they have been listed by the theoretician Dandin. By examining how the fully developed sargabandha-s, from Asvaghosha''s poems to that of Magha, begin, it is possible to state that Asvaghosha, Kalidasa and Parvarasena compose the incipits of their poems in a more refined and accurate manner than the theoreticians prescribe. From the beginnings of their works, in fact, they prefigure in an indirect way the matter (vastu) of their mahakavya-s. Also Bharavi, though he shows a short vastunirdesa incipit, subtly hints at the main theme which frames the poem as a whole. Furthermore, the incipits of the poems by both Kalidasa (in his Raghuvamsa) and Pravarasena, whom some late traditions consider closely connected to each other, contain a reflection on poetry''s power in general and on the poets'' own abilities. The investigation aims to raise some questions, suggesting a possible path for deeper analysis: firstly, why did such a sophisticated literary tradition as that of the kavya movement, privilege the brief and simple - if not elementary - vastunirdesa as the ideal sargabandha-s'' incipit? Furthermore, before this feature had gained much favor and appreciation among the poets, the great kavi-s organized the beginnings of their poems not at all casually, but in a manner that anticipates and mirrors the poems'' dialectic developments. Secondly, such an investigation on the sargabandha-s'' incipits casts light on another characteristic of kavya compositions, namely the fact that they often contain clues of the literary debates that took place at the poets'' time. Furthermore, as is shown also by taking into account the first stanzas of the Sattasai anthology, the definition of the nature of poetry seems to be the real object with which the poets dealt at the beginning of their works.

The Incipits of Classical Sargabandhas / G.P.C. Boccali - In: Śāstrārambha : Inquiries into the Preamble in Sanskrit / [a cura di] W. Slaje. - Wiesbaden : Harrassowitz, 2008. - ISBN 978-3-447-05645-8. - pp. 183-205

The Incipits of Classical Sargabandhas

G.P.C. Boccali
Primo
2008

Abstract

This essay investigates the sargabandhas'' incipits starting from a brief account of the itihasa-s, including the Ramayana, which show very refined beginnings and in which, as A. Hiltebeitel has already sharply noted, the poet is also a character in the story. Then, the article draws attention to the different types of incipits, as they have been listed by the theoretician Dandin. By examining how the fully developed sargabandha-s, from Asvaghosha''s poems to that of Magha, begin, it is possible to state that Asvaghosha, Kalidasa and Parvarasena compose the incipits of their poems in a more refined and accurate manner than the theoreticians prescribe. From the beginnings of their works, in fact, they prefigure in an indirect way the matter (vastu) of their mahakavya-s. Also Bharavi, though he shows a short vastunirdesa incipit, subtly hints at the main theme which frames the poem as a whole. Furthermore, the incipits of the poems by both Kalidasa (in his Raghuvamsa) and Pravarasena, whom some late traditions consider closely connected to each other, contain a reflection on poetry''s power in general and on the poets'' own abilities. The investigation aims to raise some questions, suggesting a possible path for deeper analysis: firstly, why did such a sophisticated literary tradition as that of the kavya movement, privilege the brief and simple - if not elementary - vastunirdesa as the ideal sargabandha-s'' incipit? Furthermore, before this feature had gained much favor and appreciation among the poets, the great kavi-s organized the beginnings of their poems not at all casually, but in a manner that anticipates and mirrors the poems'' dialectic developments. Secondly, such an investigation on the sargabandha-s'' incipits casts light on another characteristic of kavya compositions, namely the fact that they often contain clues of the literary debates that took place at the poets'' time. Furthermore, as is shown also by taking into account the first stanzas of the Sattasai anthology, the definition of the nature of poetry seems to be the real object with which the poets dealt at the beginning of their works.
Settore L-OR/18 - Indologia e Tibetologia
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