[INDOLOGY] scribal self-recitation while copying

Dominik Wujastyk wujastyk at gmail.com
Wed Jul 31 10:18:53 UTC 2013


On 30 July 2013 14:05, Tyler Williams <tylerwwilliams at gmail.com> wrote:

> Ah-- I did not, of course, mean to suggest that all those references were
> contained in those three articles -- apologies if that was confusing.
>  Dutta, if I remember correctly, mines information from the
> Hayasīrṣá-pañcarātra, Viṣṇudharmottara, Caturvargacintāmani,
> Dānakhaṇḍa, Devīpurāṇa, Kṛtyakalpataru, and Nandipurāṇa, and discusses the
> pair of reciter and copyist.
> Some more sources that describe the other phemomena, with page numbers,
> etc:
> Awliya, Nizam ad-din. 1992. *Morals for the Heart: Conversations of
> Shaykh Nizam ad-din Awliya recorded by Amir Hasan Sijzi*. Edited by Bruce
> (trans) Lawrence, *Classics of Western spirituality ; #4*. New York:
> Paulist Press. p 26 (correction of scribal errors)
> Bahura, Gopalnarayan. 1984. *Catalogue of manuscripts in the Maharaja
> Sawai Man Singh II Museum : Pothikhana collection (a) Dharmasastra*, *Maharaja
> Sawai Man Singh II memorial series no. 7*. Jaipur: The Museum.
> (Introduction) (on Rajput emulation of Mughal ateliers)
> Goswamy, B.N. 2006. *The Word is Sacred, Sacred is the Word: The Indian
> Manuscript Tradition*. New Delhi: Niyogi Books. pp 54-6 (on itinerant
> scribes)
> Habib, Irfan. 2006. “Writing and the Use of Books in the Age of Persian
> Manuscripts.” *Tattvabodh* 1: 22. pp 18-22 (on personal copying of books,
> or copying of personal books)
> Losty, Jeremiah P. 1982. *The art of the book in India*. London: British
> Library. pp 44-5 (on stereotyped Jain mss)
> Further references will be found in each of the above, though they are
> admittedly few.  Am away from home and this is what I have on hand at the
> moment; will send more once I'm back.
> And as I mentioned in the earlier mail, the references are scattered,
> fragmentary, and spread across multiple periods and traditions.  So I would
> only conservatively suggest that these are indicative of a particular
> practice at a particular place and time, rather than making any
> generalizations from them.
> Best,
> Tyler
> On Sun, Jul 28, 2013 at 2:54 AM, Dominik Wujastyk <wujastyk at gmail.com>wrote:
>> I haven't read Data's 1971 article, but in the other citations I don't
>> recall detailed documentation for the interesting 4-5 modes of copying and
>> 3 types of copyists that you mention.  Could you point to the documented
>> evidence for each, please?
>> Many thanks,
>> Dominik Wujastyk
>> On 24 July 2013 14:28, Tyler Williams <tylerwwilliams at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Dear all,
>>> There is, of course, quite a bit of variation in scribal practices over
>>> time and region; at various places and times there is documented evidence
>>> of, or oblique references, to scribes working singly, collectively, with
>>> reciters, and without reciters, and with the establishment of Islamicate
>>> courts in northern India, ateliers on the model of the kar-khana.  There
>>> were significant differences in practice between, say, monks working in a
>>> temple or monastic institution, itinerant Kashmiri scribes that travelled
>>> singly or in groups around northern India, copying texts for a fee, and
>>> court 'scribes' (who were actually much more), who have received a good bit
>>> of attention from O'Hanlon and Minkowski. The question of mass-produced
>>> manuscripts is an interesting one that has received a little bit of
>>> attention in the Jain context; some helpful sources on these and other
>>> questions include:
>>> Cort, John E. 1995. “The Jain Knowledge Warehouses: Traditional
>>> Libraries in India.” *Journal of the American Oriental Society* 115
>>> (1): 10.
>>> Data, Kali Kumar. 1971. “The Ritual of Manuscripts.” *Our Heritage:
>>> Bulletin of the Department of Post-Graduate Training and Research, Sanskrit
>>> College, Calcutta *19 (1).
>>> Losty, Jeremiah P. 1982. *The art of the book in India*. London:
>>> British Library.
>>> Data's article sites a number of texts that give normative prescriptions
>>> for how a text used for ritual performance was to be copied.  Losty
>>> discusses a period and genre of mass-produced stereotyped Jain manuscripts.
>>> Most references are, unfortunately, terse and scattered.  For South
>>> Asia, more work has been done on scribal practices among the Persianate
>>> elites; for Europe the body of research is quite significant.
>>> Best,
>>> Tyler Williams
>>> Columbia University
>>> On Wed, Jul 24, 2013 at 7:20 AM, Ashok Aklujkar <
>>> ashok.aklujkar at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> On 2013-07-23, at 7:56 PM, Allen Thrasher wrote:
>>>> ...  I wonder if there is any evidence that scribal workshops would
>>>> ever produce many copies of a work at one time, with a single reader and a
>>>> number of scribes. ... Presumably there would be a market for standard
>>>> classics (e.g. the Gita) that in some circumstances would justify producing
>>>> them in advance of specific individual orders.  ... But everything I recall
>>>> reading seems to assume that copies were produced singly.  It need not even
>>>> be a question of one person recruiting scribes so to speak off the street;
>>>> it could also be a workshop of a scribe and his sons (younger brothers,
>>>> nephews, etc.), a family operation.<
>>>> As I recall, king Kurmaarapaala of northern Gujarat is said to have
>>>> arranged one thousand scribes to produce one thousand copies of
>>>> Hema-candra's grammar, ;Sabdaanu;saasana, soon after it was completed.
>>>> There is documentary evidence for this, but I cannot put my hands on it at
>>>> present. Perhaps Georg Buehler's Life of Hema-candra specifies the source.
>>>> In the late 1920s, when travelling teams went to collect manuscripts in
>>>> the Madras Presidency, those collected manuscripts which were to be
>>>> returned to their owners were copied (i.e., transcribed into Nagari on
>>>> paper) at Madras with one pandit reading and another pandit writing the
>>>> heard text. Then they usually reversed roles and the faithfulness of the
>>>> transcription was ascertained (or a more experienced pandit was requested
>>>> to check the accuracy of the transcription) before the manuscript was
>>>> returned. You still see evidence of this in several transcripts in the GOML
>>>> and at Adyar Library and Research Centre with the names of pandits
>>>> specified and the date of completion of the process written at the
>>>> end.Confirming signatures also appear.
>>>> It is quite likely that at places of pilgrimage the Kaayastha families
>>>> kept a few extra copies of popular texts on hand to sell to pilgrims.
>>>> a.a.
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