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By Velcheru Narayana & Shulman, David Rao

This groundbreaking anthology opens a window on 1000 years of classical poetry in Telugu, the mellifluous language of Andhra Pradesh in southern India. The classical culture in Telugu is likely one of the richest but least explored of all South Asian literatures. This authoritative quantity, the 1st anthology of classical Telugu poetry in English, offers an summary of 1 of the world's so much artistic poetic traditions. Velcheru Narayana Rao and David Shulman have introduced jointly mythological, spiritual, and secular texts through twenty significant poets who wrote among the 11th and 19th centuries. The superbly translated decisions are frequently dramatic and unforeseen in tone and impression, and infrequently hugely own. The authors have supplied an informative, attractive creation, fleshing out the background of Telugu literature, situating its poets on the subject of major literary topics and ancient advancements, and discussing the connection among Telugu and the classical literature and poetry of Sanskrit.

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Extra resources for Classical Telugu Poetry: An Anthology

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Viha¯ya bhaimim apadarpaya¯ kaya¯ na darpanah. s´va¯sa-malı¯masah. ” A rush to the mirror. Despair. The image clouded by a sigh. So it goes, with one exception, for every woman in the world. The Sanskrit is so densely compacted that the initial effort merely deciphers it, restoring some kind of linear syntax. 70) ¯ 48. 31. 01A-C2162-INT 9/19/02 1:32 PM Page 31 introduction 31 They want him. So they draw his picture on their bedroom walls. Then they stare at it with longing—against the rules for a virgin.

For a Telugu audience, there is something irreversible in Tikkana’s reworking of the epic. While Tikkana adheres closely to the verbal text of the Sanskrit Maha¯bha¯rata, he has in effect re-created the text in a Telugu mode, alive with Telugu-speaking heroes. Once one has seen the Maha¯bha¯rata through Tikkana’s lens, which emphasizes and selects elements of the original, it is almost impossible not to experience these elements even in Sanskrit—as when a hitherto unnoticed pattern is pointed out in a design and then can no longer be ignored.

These are not verses written on palm leaves, printed on pages, read silently in libraries. They exist in the living space between the poet and his listener, who hears and feels every syllable in the body. By the same token, Tikkana begins a narrative style in which the speaker within the text is entirely identified with the character. It is Draupadi who speaks the above verse, not the poet. She speaks in accordance with welldefined, individualized, subjective patterns that are wholly hers, and no one else’s.

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