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David J. Gundry

The first monograph published in English on Ihara Saikaku’s fiction, David J. Gundry’s lucid, compelling study examines the tension reflected in key works by Edo-period Japan’s leading writer of ‘floating world’ literature between the official societal hierarchy dictated by the Tokugawa shogunate’s hereditary status-group system and the era’s de facto, fluid, wealth-based social hierarchy. The book’s nuanced, theoretically engaged explorations of Saikaku’s narratives’ uses of irony and parody demonstrate how these often function to undermine their own narrators' intermittent moralizing. Gundry also analyzes these texts’ depiction of the fleeting pleasures of love, sex, wealth and consumerism as Buddhistic object lessons in the illusory nature of phenomenal reality, the mastery of which leads to a sort of enlightenment.

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Edited by Vishwa Adluri and Joydeep Bagchee

Argument and Design features fifteen essays by leading scholars of the Sanskrit epics, the Mahābhārata and the Rāmāyaṇa, discussing the Mahābhārata’s upākhyānas, subtales that branch off from the central storyline and provide vantage points for reflecting on it.
Contributors include: Vishwa Adluri, Joydeep Bagchee, Greg Bailey, Adam Bowles, Simon Brodbeck, Nicolas Dejenne, Sally J. Sutherland Goldman, Robert P. Goldman, Alf Hiltebeitel, Thennilapuram Mahadevan, Adheesh Sathaye, Bruce M. Sullivan, and Fernando Wulff Alonso.

Series:

Zornica Kirkova

In Roaming into the Beyond Zornica Kirkova provides the first detailed study in a Western language of Daoism-inspired themes in early medieval Chinese poetry. She examines representations of Daoist xian immortality in a broad range of versified literature from the Han until the end of the Six Dynasties, focusing on the transformations of themes, concepts, and imagery within a wide literary and religious context. Adopting a more integrated approach, the author explores both the complex interaction between poetry and Daoist religion and the interrelations between various verse forms and poetic themes. This book not only enhances our understanding of the complexities of early medieval literature but also reevaluates the place of Daoist religious thought in the intellectual life of the period.