epics and oral traditions
KJKARTTU at elo.Helsinki.fi
Mon Jun 9 15:34:24 UTC 1997
Two comments to J. Baltuch:
>More generally, if writing played no role in the
>transmission, how come there are manuscripts at all?
>What was the purpose of writing things down?
Is it not so, at least partly, that writing the texts down in written
form started with commentaries. This has been suggested as the origin of
several classical DharmazAstra texts.
>On the other hand there do seem to be traditions which
>do not use (have never used?) writing at all, for example
Thet learn their Vedas by heart, but in fact they do have manuscripts,
too, and have had quite a some time (centuries, at least). Nambudiris
have been literally very active and composed, in addition to works
belonging to other genres of literature, commentaries to their own Vedic
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