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The language of the gods in the world of men : Sanskrit, culture and power in premodern India

Author: Sheldon I Pollock
Publisher: Berkeley : University of California Press, 2009.
Series: Philip E. Lilienthal Book.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats

Explores the rise and fall of Sanskrit, India's ancient language, as a vehicle of poetry and polity.


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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Sheldon I Pollock
ISBN: 9780520260030 0520260031
OCLC Number: 750705560
Description: [2], XIV, 684, [1] s., [4] s. tabl. ; 23 cm.
Contents: List of Maps Preface and Acknowledgments Introduction Culture, Power, (Pre)modernity The Cosmopolitan in Theory and Practice The Vernacular in Theory and Practice Theory, Metatheory, Practice, Metapractice PART 1. THE SANSKRIT COSMOPOLIS Chapter 1. The Language of the Gods Enters the World 1.1 Precosmopolitan Sanskrit: Monopolization and Ritualization 1.2 From Resistance to Appropriation 1.3. Expanding the Prestige Economy of Sanskrit Chapter 2. Literature and the Cosmopolitan Language of Literature 2.1. From Liturgy to Literature 2.2. Literary Language as a Closed Set 2.3. The Final Theory of Literary Language: Bhoja's Poetics Chapter 3. The World Conquest and Regime of the Cosmopolitan Style 3.1. Inscribing Political Will in Sanskrit 3.2. The Semantics of Inscriptional Discourse: The Poetics of Power, Malava, 1141 3.3. The Pragmatics of Inscriptional Discourse: Making History, Kalyana, 1008 Chapter 4. Sanskrit Culture as Courtly Practice 4.1. Grammatical and Political Correctness: The Politics of Grammar 4.2. Grammatical and Political Correctness: Grammar Envy 4.3. Literature and Kingly Virtuosity Chapter 5. The Map of Sanskrit Knowledge and the Discourse on the Ways of Literature 5.1. The Geocultural Matrix of Sanskrit Knowledge 5.2. Poetry Man, Poetics Woman, and the Birth-Space of Literature 5.3. The Ways of Literature: Tradition, Method, and Stylistic Regions Chapter 6. Political Formations and Cultural Ethos 6.1. Production and Reproduction of Epic Space 6.2. Power and Culture in a Cosmos Chapter 7. A European Countercosmopolis 7.1. Latinitas 7.2. Imperium Romanum PART 2. THE VERNACULAR MILLENIUM Chapter 8. Beginnings, Textualization, Superposition 8.1. Literary Newness Enters the World 8.2. From Language to Text 8.3. There Is No Parthenogenesis in Culture Chapter 9. Creating a Regional World: The Case of Kannada 9.1. Vernacularization and Political Inscription 9.2. The Way of the King of Poets and the Places of Poetry 9.3. Localizing the Universal Political: Pampa Bharatam 9.4. A New Philology: From Norm-Bound Practice to Practice-Bound Norm Chapter 10. Vernacular Poetries and Polities in Southern Asia 10.1. The Cosmopolitan Vernacularization of South and Southeast Asia 10.2. Region and Reason 10.3. Vernacular Polities 10.4. Religion and Vernacularization Chapter 11. Europe Vernacularized 11.1. Literacy and Literature 11.2. Vernacular Anxiety 11.3. A New Cultural Politics Chapter 12. Comparative and Connective Vernacularization 12.1. European Particularism and Indian Difference 12.2. A Hard History of the Vernacular Millennium PART 3. THEORY AND PRACTICE OF CULTURE AND POWER Chapter 13. Actually Existing Theory and Its Discontents 13.1. Natural Histories of Culture-Power 13.2. Primordialism, Linguism, Ethnicity, and Other Unwarranted Generalizations 13.3. Legitimation, Ideology, and Related Functionalisms Chapter 14. Indigenism and Other Culture-Power Concepts of Modernity 14.1. Civilizationalism, or Indigenism with Too Little History 14.2. Nationalism, or Indigenism with Too Much History Epilogue. From Cosmopolitan-or-Vernacular to Cosmopolitan-and-Vernacular Appendix A A.1 Bhoja's Theory of Literary Language (from the Srngaraprakasa) A. 2 Bhoja's Theory of Ornamentation (from the Sarasvatikanthabharana) A.3 Sripala's Bilpank Prasasti of King Jayasimha Siddharaja A.4 The Origins of Hemacandra's Grammar (from Prabhacandra's Prabhavakacarita) A.5 The Invention of Kavya (from Rjaekhara's Kavyamimamsa) Appendix B B.1 Approximate Dates of Principal Dynasties B.2 Names of Important Peoples and Places with Their Approximate Modern Equivalents or Locations Publication History Bibliography Index
Series Title: Philip E. Lilienthal Book.
Responsibility: Sheldon Pollock.


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"The Language of the Gods ... opens up a rich series of theoretical debates about language, modernity, culture, power and identity." -- Alexander Beecroft New Left Review

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