2nd degree (Master)
Coordinator Office Hours:
Prof Yigal Bronner
In this class we will read from Damodara Gupta’s original and and unusual work, the Kuttanimatam, written in Kashmir c. 800 CE. Ostensibly an orderly lecture delivered by a madam to a young and aspiring prostitute, the work is an extended literary meditation on the nature of love. More specifically, the work sets out to find whether love can ever be pure and free of consideration for material concerns, or is every exchange of feelings eventually reducible to some financial transaction?
The goal of this class is to impart the students with a quick and smooth technique of reading Sanskrit. We will not aim, then, at decoding the text be means of a dictionary, a grammar, transliterating, and translating it (although we will, of course, explain any grammatical questions that may arise), but to get used to reading it just as we read a novel in a second language. Reading is a skill that is acquired through a lot of practice--by reading, rereading, and additional reading--and practice we will: before, after, and during class.
Learning outcomes - On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
To read smoothly and quickly an easy Sanskrit text, to acquire confidence when facing a new text, to get used not to copy, transliterate, and translate texts, to become familiar with high-Kashmiri poetry and the style of Damodara Gupta.
Follow divisional regulations.
Teaching arrangement and method of instruction:
Reading and rereading, which require preparation at home on a daily basis and active participating in class.
During this course we will sample three sections from Damodara Gupta’s larger work. The first is taken from the work’s frame story, where Malati, the young prostitute, approaches the Madam for advice. The latter two parts come from within the Madam’s lecture: The first has to do with the pros and cons of an affair with a married woman, and the second is part of the love story of the Brahmin and the prostitute.
See the Moodle site for the three Sanskrit passages we will be reading.
Additional Reading Material:
For more, see the Moodle site.
End of year written/oral examination 75 %
Presentation 0 %
Participation in Tutorials 10 %
Project work 0 %
Assignments 0 %
Reports 0 %
Research project 0 %
Quizzes 15 %
Other 0 %
Requires Sanskrit at the level of at least one year of study.