Embellishments turned into challenges.

The transformation of literary devices in the art of the sāhityāvadhāna





avadhāna, sāhityāvadhāna, figures of speech, literary games, performing arts


Embellishments turned into challenges. The transformation of literary devices in the art of the sāhityāvadhāna

The article focuses on the centuries-old Indian practice of the sāhityāvadhāna, ‘the literary art of attentiveness’, a sub-genre of the avadhāna (‘attention’, ‘attentiveness’), in which extraordinary memory, ability to concentrate and creative skills are tested through the realisation of various challenges. Numerous tasks within the sāhityāvadhāna have their roots in the theory of literature and poetic embellishments (mostly the so-called śabdālaṅkāras, figures of sound or expression) described by Sanskrit theoreticians. A survey of such devices as niyama, samasyā, datta and vyutkrāntā and their application in the sāhityāvadhāna shows possible re-adjustments of figures of speech brought about by the requirements of practical implementation in the literary performative art.

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How to Cite

Cielas, Hermina. 2020. “Embellishments Turned into challenges.: The Transformation of Literary Devices in the Art of the sāhityāvadhāna”. Cracow Indological Studies 22 (2):127-49. https://doi.org/10.12797/CIS.22.2020.02.07.

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