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Science and Society in the Sanskrit World contains seventeen essays that cover a kaleidoscopic array of classical Sanskrit scientific disciplines, such as grammar, jurisprudence, theology, and hermeneutics. The volume foregrounds a unifying theme to Christopher Z. Minkowski’s intellectual oeuvre: that scholars’ scientific endeavors are inseparable from the social worlds that shaped those scholars’ lives.
Contributors are: Anne Blackburn, Johannes Bronkhorst, Jonathan Duquette, Robert Goldman, Setsuro Ikeyama, Stephanie Jamison, Takanori Kusuba, John Lowe, Clemency Montelle, Valters Negribs, Rosalind O'Hanlon, Patrick Olivelle, Deven Patel, Kim Plofker, Frederick Smith, Barbora Sojkova, Thomas Trautmann, Elizabeth Tucker, Anand Venkatkrishnan, and Dominik Wujastyk.
The Lives and Legacy of Kim Sisŭp (1435–1493) offers an account of the most extraordinary figure of Korean literature and intellectual history. The present work narrates the fascinating story of a prodigious child, acclaimed poet, author of the first Korean novel, Buddhist monk, model subject, Confucian recluse and Daoist master. No other Chosŏn scholar or writer has been venerated in both Confucian shrines and Buddhist temples, had his works widely read in Tokugawa Japan and became an integral part of the North Korean literary canon.
The nine studies and further materials presented in this volume provide a detailed look on the various aspects of Kim Sisŭp’s life and work as well as a reflection of both traditional and modern narratives surrounding his legacy. Contributors are: Vladimír Glomb, Gregory N. Evon, Dennis Wuerthner, Barbara Wall, Kim Daeyeol, Miriam Löwensteinová, Anastasia A. Guryeva, Sixiang Wang, and Diana Yüksel.
A New English Translation Containing the Original Text, Kana Transliteration, Romanization, Glossing and Commentary
Editor / Translator:
Book ten of the Man’yōshū (‘Anthology of Myriad Leaves’) continues Alexander Vovin’s new English translation of this 20-volume work originally compiled between c.759 and 785 AD. It is the earliest Japanese poetic anthology in existence and thus the most important compendium of Japanese culture of the Asuka and Nara periods. Book ten is the eleventh volume of the Man’yōshū to be published to date (following books fifteen (2009), five (2011), fourteen (2012), twenty (2013), seventeen (2016), eighteen (2016), one (2017), nineteen (2018), two (2020), and sixteen (2021). Each volume of the Vovin translation contains the original text, kana transliteration, romanization, glossing and commentary.

Abstract

Premodern manuscript production was fluid. Books and papers freely changed hands, often against their authors’ wishes. In the absence of copyright laws, certain countermeasures arose. This study considers one of them: self-commentary, meaning an author’s explanations on his own works. The article deals with two cases of medieval self-commentary across linguistic and cultural boundaries: the Arabic author and rationalist Abū al-ʿAlāʾ al-Maʿarrī (d. 1057 CE), and the professional Byzantine littérateur John Tzetzes (d. 1180 CE). After an overview of their lives and works, with a focus on the key role of self-explanation, the article considers their respective manuscript cultures, which involved face-to-face educational settings that nonetheless permitted widespread copying. There follows a discussion of textual materiality, which reveals a mutual concern to avoid tampering or misinterpretation. Then, the article shows how both men tried to direct readers by exploiting language’s capacity for multiple meanings. The conclusion ponders the relevance of this study for problems posed by digital book technology.

In: Philological Encounters
Through an innovative interdisciplinary reading and field research, Igor Chabrowski analyses the history of the development of opera in Sichuan, arguing that opera serves as a microcosm of the profound transformation of modern Chinese culture between the 18th century and 1950s. He investigates the complex path of opera over this course of history: exiting the temple festivals, becoming a public obsession on commercial stages, and finally being harnessed to partisan propaganda work. The book analyzes the process of cross-regional integration of Chinese culture and the emergence of the national opera genre. Moreover, opera is shown as an example of the culture wars that raged inside China’s popular culture.
Author:

Abstract

This paper examines the changing roles and status of marṡiyah poets within hierarchies of political and religious authority during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. A direct link between the marṡiyah tradition and these institutions was a system of patronage that bound poets to the brokers of power. Although in the early 1700s marṡiyah poets were often dismissed as “inept poets,” in subsequent generations marṡiyah poets were nurtured by the patronage of political rulers and counted among the masters of Urdu literature. The Navābs of Avadh in particular, with their promotion of Shīʿī ritual in their capital Lucknow, helped to widen the audience for the marṡiyah. Such temporal rulers appropriated the marṡiyah’s wide appeal as a strategy for fostering social and cultural cohesion among an otherwise diverse population. The Urdu marṡiyah gave expression to the localized concerns and novel self-understanding of the Navābs as they broke politically and ideologically from Mughal rule. These changes in the systems of patronage for the marṡiyah and the genre’s unique association with Avadh’s political and religious project resulted in marṡiyah poets’ growing status in both literary and religious circles. As marṡiyah poets began to feature prominently in the religious life of Avadh, their authority and pious personas came to strain relations with marṡiyah poets’ more worldly patrons. By the mid-1800s, the growing power and influence of the British had undermined the traditional systems of literary patronage for the marṡiyah. But as marṡiyah poets sought out new sources of patronage, they helped extend Urdu’s popularity to distant regional centers. Across India, marṡiyah poets were instrumental in establishing networks of patronage and creating models of language and performance that were influential in Urdu literary circles well beyond the marṡiyah genre, placing such poets as Mīr Anīs and Mirzā Dabīr at the vanguard of crafting the cosmopolitan orientation of Urdu literary culture.

In: Journal of Urdu Studies
In: Ruling the Stage: Social and Cultural History of Opera in Sichuan from the Qing to the People's Republic of China
In: Ruling the Stage: Social and Cultural History of Opera in Sichuan from the Qing to the People's Republic of China