Images and Maps
Asian Languages and Literature Asian 203, Winter 2009
Classical Indian Literature in Translation
The topic of this course is the literature and culture of ancient and classical India (South Asia). It covers the period from the middle of the second millennium BCE. through the end of the first millennium CE. During the course some of the most influential works of Indian tradition and world civilization will be read and discussed in their cultural context, with an eye especially to how these texts are interpreted and used in contemporary religion and politics. These include the Rigveda, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and Bhagavadgita, poetic and dramatic works by Kalidasa, the Pancatantra, and early South Indian lyric poetry and Cilappatikaram. Although the works covered in the course were originally composed in Sanskrit or Tamil, they will be read in English translation. No knowledge of an Indian language is presupposed.
Required books: (in sequence in which we will read them)
For purchase in the University Book Store and on reserve in OUGL (4-hour loan):
Brockington, John and Mary. (trsl). 2007. Rama the Steadfast: An Early form of Ramayana. Penguin Group.
Miller, Barbara Stoler. (trsl). 1986. The Bhagavad-Gita: Krishna's Counsel in Time of War. New York: Bantam, 1986.
Parthasarathy, R. (trsl).1993. The Cilappatikåram of Ilanko Atikal: An Epic of South India. New York: Columbia University Press.
Thapar, Romila. 2002. Sakuntala: Texts, Readings, Histories. London: Anthem Press. (this book may not arrive in time in the Bookstore, you may want to check other vendors to make sure you will get it on time)
Olivelle, Patrick. (trsl). 1997. The Pañcatantra: The Book of India's Folk Wisdom. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press.
Other sources. On reserve in OUGL (4-hour loan):
Dimock, Edward C., et al. eds. 1974. The literatures of India: An introduction. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
PART 6. STORIES FOR ALL TIMES: PAï¿½CATANTRA
Reading: Olivelle 1997; [Dimock 1974: 198-211]
Tu: Lecture: Introduction to story-telling in India & readings of Paï¿½catantra
Th: QS6. Discussion of Paï¿½catantra
Topic for final paper due
Website of the week:
For Jataka stories about animals and representations in early art:
Pictures of a manuscript of Kalila wa Dimna