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From the early years of the Common Era to 1700, Indian intellectuals explored with unparalleled subtlety the place of emotion in art. Their investigations led to the deconstruction of art's formal structures and broader inquiries into the pleasure of tragic tales. Rasa, or taste, was the word they chose to describe art's aesthetics, and their passionate effort to pin down these phenomena became its own remarkable act of creation.

This book is the first in any language to follow the evolution of rasa from its origins in dramaturgical thought—a concept for the stage—to its flourishing in literary thought—a concept for the page. A Rasa Reader incorporates primary texts by every significant thinker on classical Indian aesthetics, many never translated before. The arrangement of the selections captures the intellectual dynamism that has powered this debate for centuries. Headnotes explain the meaning and significance of each text, a comprehensive introduction summarizes major threads in intellectual-historical terms, and critical endnotes and an extensive bibliography add further depth to the selections. The Sanskrit theory of emotion in art is one of the most sophisticated in the ancient world, a precursor of the work being done today by critics and philosophers of aesthetics. A Rasa Reader's conceptual detail, historical precision, and clarity will appeal to any scholar interested in a full portrait of global intellectual development.

A Rasa Reader is the inaugural book in the Historical Sourcebooks in Classical Indian Thought series, edited by Sheldon Pollock. These text-based books guide readers through the most important forms of classical Indian thought, from epistemology, rhetoric, and hermeneutics to astral science, yoga, and medicine. Each volume provides fresh translations of key works, headnotes to contextualize selections, a comprehensive analysis of major lines of development within the discipline, and exegetical and text-critical endnotes, as well as a bibliography. Designed for comparativists and interested general readers, Historical Sourcebooks is also a great resource for advanced scholars seeking authoritative commentary on challenging works.

As the final installment of Public Culture’s Millennial Quartet, Cosmopolitanism assesses the pasts and possible futures of cosmopolitanism—or ways of thinking, feeling, and acting beyond one’s particular society. With contributions from distinguished scholars in disciplines such as literary studies, art history, South Asian studies, and anthropology, this volume recenters the history and theory of translocal political aspirations and cultural ideas from the usual Western vantage point to areas outside Europe, such as South Asia, China, and Africa.
By examining new archives, proposing new theoretical formulations, and suggesting new possibilities of political practice, the contributors critically probe the concept of cosmopolitanism. On the one hand, cosmopolitanism may be taken to promise a form of supraregional political solidarity, but on the other, these essays argue, it may erode precisely those intimate cultural differences that derive their meaning from particular places and traditions. Given that most cosmopolitan political formations—from the Roman empire and European imperialism to contemporary globalization—have been coercive and unequal, can there be a noncoercive and egalitarian cosmopolitan politics? Finally, the volume asks whether cosmopolitanism can promise any universalism that is not the unwarranted generalization of some Western particular.

Contributors. Ackbar Abbas, Arjun Appadurai, Homi K. Bhabha, T. K. Biaya, Carol A. Breckenridge, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Ousame Ndiaye Dago, Mamadou Diouf, Wu Hung, Walter D. Mignolo, Sheldon Pollock, Steven Randall

Die Frage, wie die Philologie Texten Sinn und Bedeutung gibt, wird in Werken vom antiken Indien bis zum modernen Westen untersucht. Philologie ist dann »kritisch", wenn sie das Machtfeld einbezieht, das auf ihre Versuche einwirkt, Texten Sinn und Bedeutung zu geben - wenn sie sich selbst historisch wird, nicht provinziell ist und methodisch pluralistisch bleibt. Und sie ist »kritisch", wenn sie die drei Ebenen der Interpretation, die im Verstehen zusammenwirken, namentlich den Historismus, den Traditionalismus und die Gegenwärtigkeit, erfasst und formuliert. Nur wenn man diese Ebenen ausdrücklich nennt, darf man einen Wahrheitsanspruch erheben. Diese Gedanken werden in einem breiten Spektrum von Texten und Praktiken entwickelt, die vom klassischen Indien bis zur westlichen Moderne reichen. Zu den Gedanken gehören die Vernakularisierung der Welt - also das Ersetzen kosmopolitischer Formen der Literatur und der Macht durch regionale Sprachen und Gemeinschaftsformen, die zu einer frühen Moderne führten; der Erfolg des Komparatismus in Europa als Modus kultureller Erklärung und politischer Hegemonie; die Pflege des Sanskrit im NS-Staat; der Grenzfall einer nicht-kritischen Philologie; die Form des Imperialismus in Gestalt der Imitation vom achämenidischen Persien bis zum Amerika von George W. Bush. Kritische Philologie ist nicht nur eine akademische Übung und Praxis, sondern ist uns behilflich, wichtige politisch-kulturelle Werte zu pflegen. Du bist, wie du liest, und zu lernen, verschieden zu lesen, bedeutet zu lernen, verschieden zu sein.
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