Crossing Boundaries and Transforming Experiences in "Kāvya" Literature

  • Klara Gönc Moačanin Zagreb University
Keywords: RV 10,95, kāvya, nāṭya, Kālidāsa, Vikramorvaśīya, Śakuntalā, kathā, Daṇḍin, geography, history, Subandhu, cultural tradition, Bāṇa, reincarnation


Some boundaries can never be crossed but boundaries in literature seem to be like no boundaries at all, whether in the geographical, mythological, literary or literal sense. A few of the examples from kāvya literature can be seen in Kālidāsa’s Abhijñānaśākuntala vs. the story of Śakuntalā in the Mahābhārata and in his Vikramorvaśīya vs. the story of Purūravas and Urvaśī in RV 10, 95. In kathā literature geographical hindrances are easily crossed as in Daṇḍin’s Daśakumāracarita and also in Subandhu’s Vāsavadattā. In Bāṇa’s Kādambarī crossing the boundaries happens in space and time through different reincarnations of his characters. Kāvya authors often crossed boundaries by evoking mythological and epic figures, alluding to earlier works, using known motifs, themes and citations, and created new experiences by transforming them.


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