The Ramayana Revisited

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Mandakranta Bose, Director of the Center for India and South Asia Research and the Institute of Asian Research Mandakranta Bose
Oxford University Press, USA, Sep 30, 2004 - Religion - 378 pages
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The Ramayana is one of India's foundational epics, and it demonstrates a continuing power to influence social, religious, cultural, and political life. Brought to textual life in Sanskrit by the legendary "first poet," Valmiki, over the ensuing centuries the tale has been recycled with extraordinary adaptability and diversity through the varied cultural heritages of India and other parts of Asia. The basic tale of the Ramayana is continually adapted to new contexts, forms, and media. It is read, recited, sung, danced, and acted in one form or another, and renewed so constantly by changing times and values that it demands constant revaluation. The Ramayana Revisited presents the latest in Ramayana scholarship. Fourteen leading scholars examine the epic in its myriad contexts throughout South and Southeast Asia. They explore the role the narrative plays in societies as varied as India, Indonesia, Thailand, and Cambodia. The essays also expand the understanding of the "text" to include non-verbal renditions of the epic, with particular attention to the complex ways such retellings change the way the narrative deals with gender. This volume will be invaluable to students and scholars interested in mythology, Hinduism, Asian studies, and anthropology.
 

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Contents

Introduction
3
Dharmic Debates on Gender and Hierarchy and the Work of the V257lm299ki R257m257yana
19
Gender Space and Narrative Structures in V257lm299kis B257lak257nda
47
3 R257m257yana Textual Traditions in Eastern India
87
4 Reinventing the R257m257yana in TwentiethCentury Bengali Literature
107
5 Why Cant a Shudra Perform Asceticism? 346ambuka in Three Modern South Indian Plays
125
The Narrative Logic of a R257m257yana Interpolation
149
The Wedding of R257ma and S299t257 Past and Present
165
Home and Abroad
259
11 Mysticism and Islam in Javanese R257m257yana Tales
275
Where Cartographies Collide Silent Vessels Tell in Full
293
13 The R257m257yana in the Arts of Thailand and Cambodia
323
14 The R257m257yana Theme in the Visual Arts of South and Southeast Asia
335
Appendix 1 The R257m257yana in Asia
355
Appendix 2 Variant Names of Main Characters
359
Index
361

8 When Does S299t257 Cease to Be S299t257? Notes toward a Cultural Grammar of Indian Narratives
219
9 Representing the R257m257yana on the Kutiy257ttam Stage
243

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About the author (2004)


Mandakranta Bose is Professor Emeritus and former Director of the Centre for India and South Asia Research at the Institute of Asian Research, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, where she is currently Director of the Programme in Intercultural Studies in Asia. She is the author of many books and articles on the classical dance of India, Sanskrit and other Indian literatures, and women's issues. Among her many publications is an edited volume, Faces of the Feminine in Ancient, Medieval and Modern India (OUP, 2000).

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