The elucidation of poetry: a translation of chapters one through six of Mammaṭa's Kāvyaprakāśa with comments and notes
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Mammata’s Kavyaprakasa is an eleventh-century Sanskrit work on poetics that synthesizes two earlier schools of poetics: the Alankara School (the School of Poetic Ornamentation) and the Dhvani School (the School of Suggestion). The first six chapters establish the method of synthesis and explain the position of the Dhvani School. Jyatsna Mohan’s edition of the Kavyaprakasa (Nag Publishers, 1995) is transliterated, edited, and translated from Sanskrit into English. The dissertation’s introduction places the work in conceptual, artistic, and historical context. Here a new theory about the nature and importance of Mammata’s theoretic synthesis is advanced. It is argued that Mammata was aware of the tensions between the two schools and sought to create a system of poetics that could incorporate the theoretical and critical tools of both. Explanatory comments are added to make the work more accessible and to clarify philosophic difficulties. Additional comments seek to show how the poetic examples serve to illustrate theses of the larger philosophic discussion.