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Gambhīravaṃśaja’s Nyāyasūtravivaraṇa—First Adhyāya
The Nyāyasūtravivaraṇa, written in the first centuries of the 2nd millennium CE, provides the most accessible introduction to the core teachings of old Nyāya.
Excerpting from the two earliest and most important treatises of this tradition—the Nyāyabhāṣya and Nyāyavārttika—Gambhīravaṃśaja created a comprehensive yet concise digest.
The present work contains not only a critical edition of the first chapter based on all known textual sources but also a complete documentation of the variants, a comprehensive study of the parallel passages, a detailed discussion of the preparation and processing of the text-critical data, and a detailed documentation of the Grantha Tamil, Telugu and Kannada scripts.
Volter Kilpi in Orbit Beyond (Un)translatability
One of the hottest battles emerging out of the theoretical and methodological collisions between Comparative Literature and Translation Studies—especially on the battleground of World Literature—has to do with translatability and untranslatability. Is any translation of a great work of literature not only a lamentable betrayal but an impossibility? Or is translation an imperfect but invaluable tool for the transmission of works and ideas beyond language barriers?
Both views are defensible; indeed both are arguably commonsensical. What Douglas Robinson argues in Translating the Monster, however, is that both are gross oversimplifications of a complex situation that he calls on Jacques Derrida to characterize as “the monster.”
The Finnish novelist Robinson takes as his case study for that monstrous rethinking is Volter Kilpi (1874-1939), regarded by scholars of Finnish literature as Finland’s second world-class writer—the first being Aleksis Kivi (1834-1872). Kilpi’s modernist experiments of the 1930s, especially his so-called Archipelago series, beginning with his masterpiece, In the Alastalo Parlor (1933), were forgotten and neglected for a half century, due to the extreme difficulty of his narrative style: he reinvents the Finnish language, to the extent that many Finns say it is like reading a foreign language (and one contemporary critic called it the “Mesopotamian language … of a half-wit”). That novel has been translated exactly twice, into Swedish and German. Translating the Monster also gives the English-speaking reader an extended taste of the novel in English—en route to a series of reframings of the novel as allegories of translation and world literature.
This book makes the attempt to wed reason and the poetic. The tool for this attempt is Rational Poetic Experimentalism (RPE), which is introduced and explored in this book. According to RPE, it makes sense to look for poetic elements in human reality (including reason), outside of the realm of imaginative literature. Provocatively, RPE contends that philosophy’s search for truth has not been a great success so far. So, why not experiment with philosophical concepts and look for thought-provoking ideas by employing the principles of RPE, instead of fruitlessly searching for truths using conventional methods?
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The presidency of Donald J. Trump, has had a considerable impacts on American politics and society. One of these was his altering of the comedic mood in America, taking comedy away from many of its traditions. His presidency turned comedy into political weaponry, as comedians on the liberal side of politics turned their efforts to ridiculing Trump’s buffoonish persona, while on the conservative side, a Trump-supportive group of comedians mocked those very comedians who opposed Trump. Trump himself emerged as a comedian, performing his dark, caustic, comical routines with consummate skill at his rallies. If comedy is a pulse for a country, then it is legitimate to ask if that pulse still beating, even after Trump lost reelection in 2020. This book will address this question, examining how Trump’s presidency interrupted the historical flow of American comedic traditions, and how it spread a dark mood throughout American society.