re Kalanos the gymnosophist

C.J. Oort c.j.oort at
Wed May 8 14:23:15 EDT 1996

>Replies to msg 06 May 96: indology at (c.j.oort at
> cjon> From: c.j.oort at (C.J. Oort)
> cjon> Subject: Re: re Kalanos the gymnosophist
>>Indian colleagues tend to believe that F.R. Leavis and
>> I.A.
>>Richards are the alpha and omega of literary criticism, while European
>>colleagues disregard them altogether.
> cjon> Dear Mr Zydenbos,
> cjon> I do'nt want to be a nit-picker, but because you mentioned
> cjon> F.R.Leavis I
> cjon> would like to comment about my experience of taking a
> cjon> degree in English (
> cjon> I'am a native speaker , however an American) at Leiden
> cjon> University in the
> cjon> '60's, Leavis was the cat's pyjamas as far as English
> cjon> literary theory was
> cjon> concerned, eventhough he wrote a very, sometimes
> cjon> grammatically, obscure
> cjon> English.  Perhaps you are too young to know the impact
> cjon> Leavis had on a
> cjon> generation of "English " European scholars.  This message
> cjon> only to underline
> cjon> that we must tread softly with our statements.
>I fear that your comment is not relevant. I did not refer to students in Europe
>who study ENGLISH and ENGLISH LITERARY THEORY, like you did -- in that
>particular context, it is perfectly understandable that Leavis has a role to
>play. European students of SANSKRIT may read about Dandin and Abhinavagupta,
>but to my knowledge nobody else does. And I wish to stress here that this has
>absolutely nothing to do with Abhinavagupta's qualities as a literary thinker,
>which I find noteworthy.
>I was thinking of people on mainland Europe who thought about literature in
>general, who developed theories of literature and who had absolutely no reason
>to be Anglocentric in the way our Indian colleagues tend to be (due not to any
>deliberation of their own, but due to historical linguistic reasons, which is
>my point). I did an exam in general literary theory at Utrecht in the mid '70s,
>and in class there was just a passing mention that Leavis existed. During my
>two years in Germany, nobody ever mentioned Leavis: he is just as much out of
>the picture as Abhinavagupta is, and basically for the same reason.
>I'm not aware that Leavis played any major role in thinking about literature
>in, say, Germany or Russia, nor in the Netherlands -- among those who did not
>study English as their main subject! This too is part of my point, which you
>apparently missed. Ask a Dutch scholar of Dutch literature what he thinks about
>Leavis or Richards; and then ask a native Kannada-speaking scholar of Kannada
>literature the same question. The glaring difference of response which you will
>see is not a debatable issue.
>Hence I do believe that my statement holds good. And, as I stated in an earlier
>message, many more parallel statements can be made concerning India, which are
>equally valid. In the quick transmission of ideas, in the development of
>schools of thought, and also in the initial predisposition of persons who are
>confronted with a new idea, the role of language can hardly be underestimated.
>Robert Zydenbos
>Internet: zydenbos at

Dear Mr. Zydenbos,
I was surprised to read that my mild remarks resulted in a deluge of
criticism.  I am sure that the Russians could hardly have heard or even
read anything  written by Leavis - Germans, perhaps, because Leavis did
read German literary critics -Dr. Schuecking "The Sociology of Literary
Where did this all begin?  Kalanos the gymnosophist to F.R. Leavis.  May I
end this digression from "true" Indology with a qoute form Leavis's "The
Common Pursuit".  In his
preface he comments on T.S. Eliot's book "The Function of Criticism"; "The
common pursuit of true judgement":that is how the critic should see his
business, and what it should be for him.   His perceptions and judgments
are his, or they are nothing;  but, whether or not he has consciously
addressed himself to co-operative labour, they are inevitably
collaborative.  Collaboration may take the form of disagreement, and one is
grateful to the critic whom one has found worth disagreeing with".
I, too, appreciate Abhinavagupta and Leavis is still being taught at, at least,
two universities in the Netherlands.
Nogmaals, hartelijke groeten,
Marianne Oort

C.J. Oort
tel: 31-(0)70-5116960
fax: 31-(0)70-5140832

> From indology-l at 08 1996 May +0100 20:31:00
Date: 08 May 1996 20:31:00 +0100
From: indology-l at (Peter Wyzlic)
Subject: Q: Epigraphia Indica
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Reply-To: Peter at

Hello members of the Indology list,

lastly I have seen a short notice that says the EPIGRAPHIA INDICA ceased. Is
this true? I have unfinished fascicles lying here (without titlepage, index
and so on). 

Peter Wyzlic

> From indology-l at 08 1996 May +0100 20:28:00
Date: 08 May 1996 20:28:00 +0100
From: indology-l at (Peter Wyzlic)
Subject: Re: Gymnosophists etc.
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Reply-To: Peter at

Hello l.m.fosse,

In your
message: <199605061456.QAA29535 at>
date: <08 May 96>

You wrote on "Gymnosophists etc.":

>[...](Nietsche was
>an acquaintance of Andreas, the Iranianist, but my reading of "Also sprach
>Zarathushtra" (admittedly many years ago) did not impress on me the feeling
>that Nietsche was much influenced the real "Zarathushtrian" thing). So:
>which ideas did N. borrow from India? 

Nietzsche knew C.F. Andreas' later wife Lou Salome *before* she married
Andreas. There was no direct, personal aquaintance with the Iranist.

Some other personal connections may be mentioned here: Paul Deussen and
Nietzsche were at the same time pupils in Schulpforta. They knew each other
well and exchanged letters. Nietzsche claimed that he converted Deussen to
Schopenhauer. In his student days in Leipzig (till 1869) Ernst Windisch was
one of Nietzsche's fellow students. Of course: in the field of Classical
Philology. Windisch introduced Nietzsche to Hermann Brockhaus in whose home
he met Richard Wagner for the first time (about 1868). By the way: the young
Jacob Wackernagel learnt Greek with Nietzsche (Nietzsche's teaching
assignment at the university of Basle comprised the teaching of Greek to the
higher classes at the Paedagogium in Basle).

But in most cases Nietzsche's knowledge at least of the Indian tests he
alludes to was not well sounded. I am remembering an article of Annemarie
Etter where she proved that Nietzsche's Manu citations were taken from the
rather fanciful French "translation" of Louis Jacolliot (who created a
Krishna-"Khristna" (sic!) relationship).

Peter Wyzlic

> From indology-l at 08 1996 May +0100 20:14:00
Date: 08 May 1996 20:14:00 +0100
From: indology-l at (Peter Wyzlic)
Subject: Re: Forwarded message: Sanskrit in Chinese
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Reply-To: Peter at

In your
message: <199605071343.PAA11354 at>
date: <08 May 96>

You wrote on "Forwarded message: Sanskrit in Chinese":

>I am forwarding the following message from another list:
>Date:  Tue, 07 May 1996 08:18:50 CDT
>From:  KozonoJ at (Joseph Kozono)
>Subject:   Sanskrit in Chinese?
>I am wondering if anyone knows if classical Hindu texts such as the
>Rig Vedas, the Upanishas, and the Baghavadgita have been rendered
>into Ancient or even Modern Chinese?  Are there also native Chinese
>commenaries on these texts?  Finally, if there are translations or
>commentaries, what are they called in Chinese and where can one get
>hold of them?

At least two non Buddhist Hindu works found their way into the Chinese
Buddhist canon:

	   1. Taisho shinshu daizokyo, no. 2138: Sheng zong shi ju yi lun
	      (something like: *Da"sapadaartha"saastra). This is a
	      Vai"se.sika work, it has been translated into English by
	      Hakuju Ui (and Frederick William Thomas), London 1917. (I have
	      the exact references not at hand.) The famous Xuanzang made
	      the Chinese translation (this sets the terminus ad quem).

	   2. Taisho, no. 2137: Jin qi shi lun (something like
	      *Suvar.nasaptati"saastra). This is a translation of
	      II"'s (sorry if this transliteration looks odd)
	      Saa.mkhyakaarika together with a prose commentary
	      (unidentified so far I know). I am only aware of Junjiro
	      Takakusu's French translation and study: "La Saa.mkhyakaarikaa
	      etudiee a la lumiere de sa version chinoise", in: BEFEO 4
	      (1904) (I have left out the accented characters, because some
	      mail transfer agents do not know MIME). Its Chinese translator
	      was Paramaartha (6th century) (this sets the terminus ad quem,

Other works of non Buddhist origin are certainly to be found in citations,
but to fetch them all will be a superhuman task, I think. 

Peter Wyzlic

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