A transgression?

George Thompson thompson at JLC.NET
Sun Feb 1 01:04:06 UTC 1998

In response to the post of Yaroslav Vassilkov:


>     I hope you will forgive me this excursus into the history of Indian
>studies in the former Soviet Union.
>        Regards,
>                                Yaroslav Vassilkov

On the contrary, I hope that the entire list would accompany me in inviting
you to say more. I think it is important that the history of Indology in
the former Soviet Union be better known to us all.

And it is important not only for historical reasons. Not only in Buddhist
studies, but also in Vedic studies important advances have been made by
scholars who have had to overcome ordeals like those that you have
described. The remarkable thing is that even within such a hostile
environment so much was accomplished!

I myself, as a Vedicist, have benefitted greatly from the exposure that I
have had to the work of scholars like Propp, Jakobson, Luria, Bakhtin,
Lotman, Ouspenski,  Toporov, Elizarenkova, Ivanov, Gamkrelidze, Oguibenine,
et al., who move so skillfully among numerous disciplines -- historical and
synchronic linguistics, semiotics, poetics, etc.

This is a rich intellectual tradition that combines a mastery of
traditional philology with great theoretical sophistication and the courage
to experiment with new ideas. A combination, it seems to me, that will
assure a thriving future for Vedic studies, as for Indology in general.

So, please, tell us more.

Best wishes,

George Thompson

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