Memory, Metaphor and Mysticism in Kalidasa’s AbhijñānaŚākuntalam

Memory, Metaphor and Mysticism in Kalidasa’s AbhijñānaŚākuntalam

Edited by Namrata Chaturvedi

‘Memory, Metaphor and Mysticism in Kalidasa’s ‘AbhijñānaŚākuntalam’’ aims to read Kālidāsa’s masterpiece through poetic and philosophical resonances as evidenced in the metre, rhythm and symbolism carefully embedded in the narrative and dramatic text.

PDF, 264 Pages


March 2020

£25.00, $40.00

EPUB, 264 Pages


March 2020

£25.00, $40.00

  • About This Book
  • Reviews
  • Author Information
  • Series
  • Table of Contents
  • Links

About This Book

As an ancient Indian poet-dramatist, Kālidāsa cannot be absorbed into the homogenizing tendencies of Hindu hagiography, as has often been attempted, especially in the period after independence. From being projected as a Brahmin by birth in legends, a Vedāntist and Vaishnavite in darsana (theology), and more recently, owing to Western theoretical perspectives being applied to texts separated in time and contexts, Kalidasa is critiqued for a patriarchal and casteist outlook. These various readings have privileged personal theories and validated them by reading literary texts in certain ways. ‘Memory, Metaphor and Mysticism in Kalidasa’s ‘AbhijñānaŚākuntalam’’ brings together scholars from both sides of the globe who offer possibilities for reviewing this text, not as an Oriental discovery or a cultural property, but as an ancient literary text that can be read in multiple philosophical contexts. Further, the translations of ‘AbhijñānaŚākuntalam’ into South Asian languages like Urdu and Nepali and a classical language like Persian are also included for detailed study for understanding the impact of this text in the respective literary traditions of these languages, and to assess the actual cross-literary dialogue that this text made, without hyperboles and generalizations, given the fact that many of these translation happened just before and after independence when literary historiography and nation writing project went hand in hand in India.


‘Memory, Metaphor and Mysticism in Kalidasa’s “AbhijñānaŚākuntalam” offers a striking account of the continued power of Kālidāsa’s work. In addition to literary studies of the Sanskrit drama, its attention to the afterlives of the Śākuntalam in vernacular languages from Nepali to Persian opens up new ways of understanding this classic.’ —Luther Obrock, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto, Canada

Author Information

Namrata Chaturvedi is associate professor, School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, SRM University, Sikkim.


No series for this title.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments; Introduction, Namrata Chaturvedi; Section I: Metre, Structure and Dhvani; 1. ‘Upamā Kālidāsasya’: What Makes Kālidāsa the King of Metaphor, Ramkishor Maholiya; 2. What Happens in ‘Śakuntalā’: Conceptual and Formal Symmetries, Sheldon Pollock; 3. From Separation to Unity: Resonances of Kashmir Śaivism in ‘AbhijñānaŚākuntalam’, H. S. Shivaprakash and Namrata Chaturvedi; 4. ‘Śakuntalā’ and the Bible: Parallels and Resonances, Felix Wilfred; Section II: Commentaries and Criticism; 5. Love on One’s Terms: Perspectives on ‘Gāndharva Vivāha’ in ‘AbhijñānaŚākuntalam’, Wagish Shukla; 6. ‘AbhijñānaŚākuntalam’ in Indian Hermeneutics, Radhavallabh Tripathi; 7. The Seeker Finds His Self: Reading ‘Sārārthadīpikā’, the Advaita Commentary on ‘AbhijñānaŚākuntalam’, Godabarisha Mishra; Section III: Varied Grammars of Love; 8. ‘Not a Tale, but a Lesson’: Persian Translations of Kālīdāsa’s ‘AbhijñānaŚākuntalam’, Sunil Sharma; 9. Śakuntala in Hindustani: Reading select Urdu translations of ‘AbhijñānaŚākuntalam’, Khalid Alvi; 10. Dialogue between Two ‘Mahākavis’: Kālidāsa and Laxmi Prasad Devkota’s Three ‘Śakuntalās’, Gokul Sinha; Section IV: On the Stage: Personal Engagements with a Lived Tradition; 11. Staging ‘Śakuntalā’ in India: Observations and Reflections, Kamlesh Dutt Tripathi; 12. From the Stage to the Classroom: Engagement with ‘Śakuntalā’, Sreenivas Murthy; Index.


Latest Tweets

  • @TAC_NISO wrote an article in the @scholarlykitchn discussing what we're missing from in-person interactions. From…

    - 17:04:36 on 24/05/2020
  • Vic Sanborn writes, "#Austen scholars and Austen fans who have delved deeply into her characters’ lives and the his…

    - 17:04:36 on 23/05/2020
  • RT @pubperspectives: Our growing collection of #COVID19 related content in world publishing: Today: Stories from #…

    - 17:04:36 on 22/05/2020
  • THE RISE OF LITTLE BIG NORWAY chronicles Norway’s rise from #Nordic peripherality to #Arctic frontliner of today.…

    - 17:04:36 on 22/05/2020
  • POST-MULTICULTURAL WRITERS AS NEO-COSMOPOLITAN MEDIATORS by Sneja Gunew is the first book to bring together global…

    - 17:04:36 on 21/05/2020
  • In honor of #WorldDayforCulturalDiversity, Anthem Press will be highlighting titles/authors that engage with the ri…

    - 17:04:36 on 21/05/2020
  • RT @MigKnow: Sounds like a helpful glossary for everybody interested in knowledge and migration too: "Keywords for Travel Writing Studies"…

    - 17:04:36 on 21/05/2020
  • “A comprehensive and thorough treatment of the complex problem of transboundary #waterdiplomacy.” - @PennGlobal Sco…

    - 17:04:36 on 21/05/2020
  • 📚We're excited to share a #bookreview of @2Fleurish's title VISUALITY IN THE NOVELS in the @OUPAcademic Forum for M…

    - 17:04:36 on 20/05/2020
  • RT @pubperspectives: In Brussels, the European Prize for Literature Names Its 2020 Laureates | @Porter_Anderson @EU…

    - 17:04:36 on 20/05/2020

Comodo SSL