2nd degree (Master)
Department of Asian Studies
Coordinator Office Hours:
Prof Yigal Bronner
Ruyyaka (c. 1150) is the first Kashmiri thinker who returned to poetic ornaments (alaṃkāra) as the main focus of Sanskrit literary theory after three centuries of intensive discussion of suggestion (dhvani). His main work, “All About Ornaments” (Alaṃkārasarvasva), could thus be seen as marking the return to a Kuhnian “normal science” following an extended paradigm shift. Obviously, though, this is not a return to square one. Ruyyaka’s discussion of poetic ornaments itself marks a highly imaginative and revolutionary departure from prior practice, both in terms of how each individual device is understood and analyzed and in his attempt to deal with them as a system, using the new analytic tools that the field has developed in the meantime. In this class we will familiarize ourselves with Ruyyaka’s way of thinking by reading selections form his most important work.
As usual with such textual courses, the goal is dual: to impart the students with the philological skills and experience needed for reading theoretical (śāstric) Sanskrit, and to familiarize them with the particulars of a specific discourse, in this case the Kashmiri school of Sanskrit poetics and, even more specifically, with Ruyyaka’s work.
Learning outcomes - On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
To read theoretical (śāstric) texts in Sanskrit with relative ease and confidence, while relying on the commentaries; to master the basic concepts of Sanskrit literary theory from Kashmir; and to become familiar with Ruyyaka’s thinking and realize the importance of this seminal thinker.
Please consult the policies of the division.
Teaching arrangement and method of instruction:
We will read selections from Ruyyaka’s work and the commentaries on it. Students will be asked to prepare portions of the text on a weekly basis, read the text and explain it in class, and then review it again at home, with the purpose of internalizing it.
We will read selections from the Alaṃkārasarvasva (please consult the Moodle site for further instructions).
Please consult the Moodle site.
Additional Reading Material:
End of year written/oral examination 70 %
Presentation 0 %
Participation in Tutorials 10 %
Project work 0 %
Assignments 0 %
Reports 0 %
Research project 0 %
Quizzes 20 %
Other 0 %
Two years of course-work in Sanskrit are required (if in doubt, please consult the instructor).