The Life of a Text: Performing the Rāmcaritmānas of Tulsidas

Front Cover
University of California Press, Jan 1, 1991 - Literary Criticism - 469 pages
0 Reviews
The Life of a Text offers a vivid portrait of one community's interaction with its favorite text—the epic Ramcaritmanas—and the way in which performances of the epic function as a flexible and evolving medium for cultural expression. Anthropologists, historians of religion, and readers interested in the culture of North India and the performance arts will find breadth of subject, careful scholarship, and engaging presentation in this unique and beautifully illustrated examination of Hindi culture.

The most popular and influential text of Hindi-speaking North India, the epic Ramcaritmanas is a sixteenth century retelling of the Ramayana story by the poet Tulsidas. This masterpiece of pre-modern Hindi literature has always reached its largely illiterate audiences primarily through oral performance including ceremonial recitation, folksinging, oral exegesis, and theatrical representation. Drawing on fieldwork in Banaras, Lutgendorf breaks new ground by capturing the range of performance techniques in vivid detail and tracing the impact of the epic in its contemporary cultural context.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

1 The Text and the Research Context
1
2 The Text in Recitation and Song
53
The Development of M257nasKath257
113
4 The Art of M257nasKath257
165
The Text Enacted
248
6 The Text in a Changing Society
340
Glossary of Names with Transliteration
441
Bibliography
449
Index
461
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1991)

Philip Lutgendorf is Assistant Professor of Hindi and Modern Indian Culture at the University of Iowa.

Bibliographic information