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The Dhvanyaloka of Anandavardhana with the Locana of Abhinavagupta.

This richly rewarding publication contains, among other things, the first reliable translation of Anandavardhana's seminal work into English,(1) the first translation of Abhinavagupta's Locana thereon into any Western language,(2) and a thorough annotation that makes it possible even for the amateur connaisseur or comparativist to make his way through the dense and subtle tissue of explanation, criticism, and aesthetic speculation of these works. It may not be necessary to repeat here, but I will, that the Dhvanyaloka, with its standard commentary, is not only the chef d'oeuvre of Indian poetic theory, but one of the achievements of the Indian learned tradition, bar none. To do it justice, one has had to wait a long time.

And to judge, superficially at least, from the history of this translation, it has been more than one man could accomplish. Three names appear on the book's title page, and a fourth is given major credit for the physical book itself. After reading Daniel Ingalls' brief and circumspect account of this collaborative effort, this reviewer is somewhat at a loss to know to whom to address his review. The work began as Jeffrey Masson's dissertation (1970) under Ingalls' supervision (the first uddyota), continued in Poona in a collaboration between Masson and M. V. Patwardhan (the remaining three uddyotas),(3) and was completed at Harvard by Ingalls, who was requested by the other two authors to make certain alterations in the text that Ingalls (as editor of the H.O.S.) had himself suggested, "and any others that I saw fit". In the course of this final phase, but before the book had taken its final shape, Patwardhan passed away.(4) Gary Tubb stepped in and prepared the text for computer production, editing, as well as formating, the entire volume (and each page shows his care and good taste). It would thus appear, given the unrestricted, and indeed unexpected, latitude given to Ingalls by the other two authors, and their disappearance (in different senses) toward the end, that the volume we have not only exists, but is largely what it is, through the labors of two men: Ingalls and Tubb. In substance, as well as form: while acknowledging Masson and Patwardhan for providing the basic text, Ingalls makes clear that the introduction, verse translations, the indices, most of the notes, and much else, unspecified, are his alone.(5) For this, Professor Ingalls is to receive a larger share of praise than is due most editors, for he has, as perhaps the crowning achievement of his own career, not only presented to the scholarly world one of the apices of Indian literate culture, but, in the process, saved the labors of his student and colleague from unmerited oblivion.

But also, it would follow that Ingalls (and Tubb) have to bear the brunt of whatever criticism is to be levied. At least, it is in this sense that I offer the following brief and very inadequate remarks.(6)

The form chosen to present this complex and multi-layered work is unexceptionable--and very user-friendly. Instead of printing the Dhvanyaloka and the Locana separately, or at the top and bottom of the page, the former is integrated into the latter and both are printed seriatim.(7) Ingalls' notes are super-added to these blocks, in the manner of still another commentary, giving an integrated presentation. The Dhvanyaloka is itself, arguably, a compound work--the karika, or verse portion by an otherwise unknown "Dhvanikara," to which Ananda composed his commentary(8)--and this distinction is of course kept. Throughout, bold-face type is used for the commentaries' renvois to their original, facilitating both recognition and sequentiality of text and argument. It must be said that rarely, if ever, has a Sanskrit sastraic text been presented in so luminous a fashion.

To which we must add that Ingalls' and the other authors' translation style is remarkably felicitious. While one can quibble with it here and there, the translation itself is excellent: faithful, unpretentious, smooth, and above all, intelligible. There is only the rarest trace of the convolutions typical of sastraic renderings into the inhospitable idiom of modern English. As one who has tried such stuff, I speak with unreserved admiration. Ingalls does (though quite rarely) resort to parenthetical notation, and even, on occasion, expands the text without formal acknowledgement. But, in all such cases noted, there were excellent grounds for considering context as text-matter. What the sastri takes for granted is also part of his "text." The many illustrative verses (Ingalls' work alone), which Ananda and Abhinava so delightfully dissect, are done in the style to which we have become accustomed:(9) quaintly balanced Victorian lines, sometimes rhymed, carefully scanned and cleverly represented on the page. In short, almost nothing in common with the original--except the sense, which Ingalls captures about as well as anyone could.(10) The translation is not based on a critically edited text. This could certainly be held against it--by those, perhaps, willing to wait for the authors' next lives. Instead, the printed Kasi text, K.S.S. 135 (Benares, 1940), is used, with numerous emendations and corrections appended. Some of these are explained in the notes, but no systematic apparatus or set of principles is in evidence, apart from eclectic common sense (many of the corrigenda appear to be printer's blunders). Unfortunately, Jacobi's German translation is based on another printed text, that of the Nirnaya Sagar Press, K.M. 25 (Bombay, 1891 et seq.), which, given the many disagreements between the editions, makes comparing the translations difficult, and the work of those who would try to profit from both quite onerous. In this respect, and others as well, Jacobi's translation has not been replaced by this one (except, of course, in that it does not include the Locana). Devoted, as he was, to the thesis of separate authorship, and given his scharfsinnig familiarity with the formal poetic tradition, Jacobi still has to be reckoned with, especially on technical matters. These points will perhaps become clearer in exemplo. Here is the same passage (from Aloka to 2.27 |Jacobi, 2.31~), in all three translations, illustrating utpreksadhvani:

In spring the Malabar wind, swollen by the breathing of snakes that encircle sandalwood trees, makes travelers swoon.

For in this example the capacity of the Malabar wind to cause travelers to swoon in spring is |actually~ due to its stimulation of love. But this capacity is fancied (utpreksita) to be due to the swelling of the wind by the poisonous breath of snakes wrapped around the sandalwood trees |of Malabar~. This fancy, although it is not directly stated, is noticed like a reverberation because of the inherent capability of the sentence meaning . . . |Ingalls, p. 343~ The stuporous Southern Wind Wafting the breaths of snakes entwined to sandal trees Is causing stupor in travellers In this season of spring.

Since the verse describes the season of spring, the Southern Wind can cause stupor in travellers only in so far as it excites the passion of love in them, and the wind itself is poetically fancied as stuporous because of its carrying the breaths of snakes entwining sandal trees. The fancy is not expressed clearly by words (like "as though"), but is conveyed suggestively by the power of sense of the sentence itself just like resonance. . . . |Krishnamoorthy, p. 97~ Im Lenze betaubt die Wanderer der Malayawind, den der Atem sich an Sandelbaumen windender Schlangen schwellt.

Hier ist namlich (ausgesprochenen), dass der Lenz den Wanderern Ohnmacht verursacht, weil er ihnen heftigen Liebesschmerz erregt; das wird aber gedeutet, als wenn es dadurch verursacht wurde, dass der Malayawind von dem Atem an Sandelbaumen sich windender Schlangen geschwellt sie; und so wird eine wenn auch nicht ausgesprochene "Deutung" (utpreksa) infolge der Tragweite des Satzsinnes als Nachtklang empfunden. . . . |Jacobi, ZDMG 56: 771 = Schriften, p. 67~ Jacobi's translation makes clearer that the point of the utpreksa is here the attribution to the southern wind of a capacity other than that it has in and of itself |that of making lovers pine away--expressed by the "eva" in the verse, not conveyed in Ingalls' translation~, namely, that it has itself been "given shape"(11) by the previously mentioned snakes' breath. Thus the "fancy" is that of the implied simile between the southern wind and a traveller, on the one hand, and by the breath of snakes and the wind, on the other: as the wind has been "stunned" by the snakes' breath, so are travellers "stunned" by the wind. Abhinava points out that the utpreksa is, in fact, double, by which he means, no doubt, enchaine. I would guess that Ananda considers this a case of dhvani, not because the utpreksa fails some test of literalism (such as the absence of an expressive particle, iva),(12) but because it is here the unspoken ground of some other figure, such as kavyalinga. But none of the translations support this view.

Other comments could be made on these three translations, but the reader will, I think, grasp their essential differences without too much guidance: Ingalls, lucid, but, like Ananda, leaving something to our imagination; Krishnamoorthy, valiant, but opaque; Jacobi, thorough, "poetical," but far from "poetic." No translation will do it all: we are, in that sense, fortunate that we now have three of Dhvanyaloka, and one of Locana. The third translation--whatever its faults (and they are minor)--will, thanks to the Locana, and to its own quality, make access to this wonderful material easier and surer for many, many people. Many besides ourselves will continue to owe Dan Ingalls a debt of gratitude. If there is a weakness in this work, it has to do with its curiously time-bound quality. Not just the style of translation: the scholarship of the book also is caught in a curious time-warp. None of the recent work on Indian poetics of the seventies and eighties is referenced or consulted--that of Christopher Byrski on theatre, mine on figures of speech and on rasa, of Alexis Sanderson and others on Kashmiri Saivism, of Donna Wulff and others on later, especially Bengali, developments of the rasa "aesthetic." There is one curious exception--an unpublished University of Michigan dissertation on plot development, by Margaret Kane (1983). Apart from this, and two works on Indian music, the bibliography consulted was that available at the time of Masson's original dissertation.(13) It is to be regretted, therefore, that the very impressive notes, in effect, give the reader no hint of the great interest (for good or ill!) shown in the Dhvanyaloka and attendant matters in the last twenty years, and may leave him with the impression that Ingalls and his colleagues have been the only laborers in the vineyard, so to speak. I doubt that this was Ingalls' intention; his careful scrutiny of earlier work, including Kane's, Jacobi's, and De's, demonstrates again and again the patient, comprehensive and judicious indebtedness of a great scholar. But in this case, it would have helped Ingalls to use some of this more recent material, instead of reinventing the wheel on numerous occasions. On the other hand, he may not have seen a good enough reason to go beyond the timeframe of Masson's and Patwardhan's earlier work--this being essentially a rescue mission; it is thus quite possible that the translation is to be seen as a monument to them, rather than as state-of-the-art commentary. A case in point is Ingalls' discussion, p. 47, n. 13, et passim, of the figure utpreksa, which he, following Krishnamoorthy, glosses as "poetic fancy". Consultation of my glossary would have revealed no less than six pre-Mammata understandings of that figure; the one Ingalls seems to intend with the vague and far-too-general "poetic fancy" is a truncated simile where the tertium--which belongs more properly to the "object" of comparison (upamana)--is asserted, instead, of the subject of comparison (upameya)--the "object" otherwise remaining implicit: limpativa tamah is the standard Skt. example, 'the darkness anoints, as it were, |like unguent~'. . . . This simile, which resembles Aristotle's "metaphor" in that the predicate is subject to a transfer of meaning, is rather to be understood as a "verbalization" of the common property, and so, properly, a simile transformed into an assertion.(14) The figure, like so many of the varieties of simile, is interesting to the proponents of dhvani precisely because its form necessarily involves an element of suggestion. In this sense, as Ananda notes, dhvani had long been recognized. See discussion, Glossary, 131-38.

Another example is Ingalls' discussion of the figure samdeha. He claims that Udbhata distinguishes a sasamdeha from a samdeha (U. 6.2-3, B.S.P.S. ed.) and, on that basis, questions the reading of his text, though both Ananda and Abhinavagupta (and later writers) have relied on it. It is true that Udbhata's karika 6.2 prefers one term, and 6.3 the other, but such terminological variation is common.(15) Induraja, writing only a century or so after Udbhata, saw here no second figure, and took the two terms as synonymous ("sasamdehasya bhedantaram aha," introducing 6.3); furthermore, Udbhata's introductory karika (6.1) lists only one figure among those to be treated, which it terms sasamdeha. A more likely account of the variation in question is found in my Glossary, 312-14. Ananda's reading is doubtless the correct one.

In this vein, Udbhata is probably not to be accorded the decisive importance Ingalls wants to attribute to him. Far from his being the innovator of the view that some figurative meanings are furnished srutya, others, arthena, we find this same distinction made by the earliest alamkarika, Bhamaha (Kavyalamkara, 1.32; cf. Dandin, Kavyadarsa, 2.16). Indeed, it is the basis on which several figures have, from the beginnings of the sastra, been typically distinguished. Ingalls also goes astray in observing that "rupaka (metaphor) differs from simile by the fact that the similarity . . . is always given arthena, is 'understood' from context . . .". The similitude of a rupaka is expressed by grammatical factors as explicit as those of simile--for example, by compounding of certain types ('face-moon'); simile is expressed by equally literal, though necessarily other, indicators--the particles iva, yatha, etc.--but it would be a mistake to confuse the implicitude of the dyotaka with implicitude as such, or "contextual" suggestion, the true province of dhvani.(16) Thus, we are led to reaffirm the traditional view, contra Ingalls, that Anandavardhana is indeed an innovator--both conceptually and as systematizer--without real precedent.

The work contains several indices and a helpful "General Index." Inevitably, a few errors creep through even so carefully proofread a text as this: e.g., on p. 27, 1. 1, read "37a"; and in note 12, "JAOS 94 (1974)." Curiously, the footnotes in the introduction commence renumbering after ft. 30--another sign of "desktop publishing," perhaps. A few lines of the Sanskrit text appear, here and there, to have slipped by the translators, as well: e.g., on p. 62, the Locana's comments on Ananda's esa dasa and vagvikalpah are not translated (between "Dance about" and "Dhvani is mere prattle"). And the evidence presented in ft. 3, p. 424, does not support the unqualified indictment of Abhinava's sense of "history". But, if all manuscripts were error-free, what need would there be of editors?

Again, the Harvard tradition of Sanskritic studies, combining philological acumen and literary sensitivity, is both illustrated and perfected in this beautiful volume.

1 Hermann Jacobi's excellent German translation, still not in every way superseded by this one, dates from 1902-3 |ZDMG 56 and 57~. K. Krishnamoorthy's English translation, with text (Dharwar, 1974), creates as many problems as it solves for the reader not familiar with the Indian subdialect of the language (see below for exx.--and cf. Ashok Aklujkar's review of Krishnamoorthy's Vakroktijivita |Dharwar, 1977~, IIJ 27: 140-52).

2 There are at least two translations into Hindi (J. Pathak and R. S. Tripathi) and one into Marathi (R. P. Kangle).

3 Several other works have resulted from this collaboration, notably, Santarasa and Abhinavagupta's Philosophy of Aesthetics (Poona, 1969), Aesthetic Rapture: The Rasadhyaya of the Natyasastra (Poona, 1970), and several translations of poetry and plays.

4 Ingalls notes (p. vi) Patwardhan's continuing participation in the work during this third phase, but Masson's name is conspicuous by its absence.

5 "I have altered the original considerably" (p. v).

6 There is, alas! another voice, whose silence also reverberates in this review: it had been the intent of Bimal Matilal to review for this journal the present work, but, to my and our readers' great loss, he did not live to write it. I feel an obligation to him in composing these lines, though his wise and deeply informed common sense cannot but distantly be emulated.

7 This was one of Ingalls' editorial revisions, a most happy idea.

8 Ingalls returns to the notion of single authorship, arguing essentially from the close fit of the Karikas and the Aloka, and the improbability that such a seminal text as the Karikas would have remained "anonymous"(p. 27).

9 Verses partially or wholly common to Vidyakara's Subha-sitaratnakosa (tr. Ingalls, H.O.S. 42 |Cambridge, Mass., 1957~) are generally translated in conformity with that earlier effort: cf. SRK 812 and this work, p. 318. Differences are explained.

10 Who wouldn't be angry to see his dear wife with her lower lip bitten?

You scorned my warning to smell the bee-holding lotus. Now you must suffer. (p. 103, from the Sattasai)

This sense of the passe (charmant, mais passe) is augmented by Ingalls' habit of seeking illustrations and parallels, notably, among the Latin poets and Longinus--another point on which I would differ with him (p. 38): there are indeed contemporary aesthetic theories that bear comparison with the rasa-aesthetic. See my "Rasa as a Category of Literary Criticism," in Sanskrit Drama in Performance (Honolulu, 1981), esp. pp. 249-54.

11 There is likely a pun, brought out by Jacobi, on murcchita/murcchayati, which means both 'give shape to' and 'lose consciousness'.

12 This would be merely to repeat the distinction srutya/arthena of the older alamkarikas, already a commonplace of the foregoing discussion of simile.

13 A few post-1970 reprinted editions of earlier standard sources are also noted.

14 Its non-literal character may be indicated by iva, 'as it were', but--like the standard iva, 'like, as' (used in straightforward nominal comparisons)--it may also be understood from context.

15 I once attempted to devise a theory that would account for the difference of usage, among the early alamkarikas, of the terms alamkara, alamkriya, and alamkrti--but, in the end, came to the foregone conclusion that they are nothing but stylistic (or metrical) variants.

16 See Glossary, s.v. rupaka, which, incidentally, few recent studies confuse with "metaphor" (Ingalls' n. 11 ad loc.)--even in Aristotle's sense (see above)--a far too vague designation to be of much help in sorting out the incisive and systematic distinctions of the Indian writers. Ingalls' note is also misleading in that the distinction Jenner is referring to is that mentioned in the preceding line of the note itself, between rupaka and "Greek metaphor," not (as is suggested) to the distinction referred to in Ingalls' text, between srutya and arthena.

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Author:Gerow, Edwin
Publication:The Journal of the American Oriental Society
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jul 1, 1993
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