Indus Script -- sort of far off the point now

jonathan silk jonathan.silk at YALE.EDU
Fri Sep 18 21:09:18 EDT 1998


Re: Krishna's comment

>3. Rajaram refers to Kosambi's work and the class theory etc etc...
>Where does Kosambi use class theory to justify Aryan invasion or
>migration? AFAIK, he uses the "class theory" to bash and beat up
>the quality of Samskrt poetry written in the 6th-12th centuries..
>In fact, Ingalls who edited the "zubhAzitaratnakOSa:" with Kosambi also
>points this out and expresses his disagreement with the same..


Minor quibble: Kosambi edited the subhASitaratnakoSa (sic, correctly
romanized: in Skt. why capitalize O?  I can't understand that? Except
prosodically, it cannot be short ever...) along with V V Gokhale. Ingalls
translated the text. In his translation introduction Ingalls takes issue
with the Marxist interpretation Kosambi offered in his own intro, but as
far as I remember (I don't have time to reread it now), Kosambi does *not*
"bash ... the QUALITY of Sanskrit poetry..."; rather he attacks the motives
of the poets and their place in the socio-economic order. I have to presume
that if he did not share with Ingalls and others an appreciation for the
quality of the poetry, he would not have worked on it. Where they differ,
as I have understood it, is that Ingalls is willing, or feels compelled, to
read the poetry as poetry, and Kosambi insists on understanding it (as much
else he wrote about) within some Marxist dialectic.

But perhaps my understanding or my memory of this debate is flawed?

Jonathan SILK

jonathan.silk at yale.edu



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