[INDOLOGY] What is "prose"?

Tieken, H.J.H. (Herman) H.J.H.Tieken at hum.leidenuniv.nl
Sat Jan 14 21:07:02 UTC 2023

Dear Aleix,
You raise a very interesting topic. I checked two publications (Walter J. Ong, Orality and Literacy, and Rosalind Thomas, Literacy and Orality in Ancient Greece). Both authors do not discuss prose (not found in the respective indexes). They deal with the opposition between orality/oral poetry and literacy, almost as if literacy subsumes prose (including inventory lists, shopping lists, etc.)
With kind regards, Herman

Herman Tieken
Stationsweg 58
2515 BP Den Haag
The Netherlands
00 31 (0)70 2208127
website: hermantieken.com<http://hermantieken.com/>
Van: INDOLOGY <indology-bounces at list.indology.info> namens Aleix Ruiz Falqués via INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info>
Verzonden: vrijdag 13 januari 2023 14:41
Aan: Indology List <indology at list.indology.info>
Onderwerp: [INDOLOGY] What is "prose"?

Dear List,

I am looking for publications on the concept of "prose" in Sanskrit. Whereas definitions of "verse" are more or less common, if only by looking at examples of specific types of stanzas or verses, it seems that the concept of prose is more vague, generally meaning "whatever is not organised in pādas". Of course, in poetic treatises the concept gadya or cūrṇa is used, and genres like the campū presuppose the dichotomy verse-prose. But I would like to know if this is critically discussed elsewhere.

Apart from references to primary sources in Indian texts, I am also interested in definitions of Sanskrit (or Prakrit, or Tamil, etc.) prose in modern scholarly literature. My understanding is that a concept like "Sanskrit prose" is taken for granted and we all are supposed to know what it means, so it is difficult to find definitions or sub-classifications of it. This seems to happen with Pali, and the moment we try to classify types of prose we are already discussing literary genres or types of texts (the 9 aṅgas), not types of prose per se, with the exception, perhaps, with the so-called metrical prose of the veḍha (varṇaka) portions.

I am also interested in the origins or verse and prose in general, in world literature.

Any help will be most appreciated.

With best wishes,

Aleix Ruiz-Falqués
Pali Lecturer & Head of the Department of Pali and Languages
Shan State Buddhist University
Phaya Phyu, Taunggyi, Myanmar 140101
(+95) 09428757648
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