[INDOLOGY] What is "prose"?

Madhav Deshpande mmdesh at umich.edu
Tue Jan 17 06:14:28 UTC 2023

Hello Aleix,

I remember many years ago looking up this old article by Hermann Oldenberg "Zur
Geschichte der altindischen Prosa." It is included in Hermann Oldenberg:
Kleine Schriften, pt. 3, edited by Hanns-Peter Schmidt. I don't have a pdf,
but hopefully you may be able to locate it. If my memory serves me
correctly, there is some interesting discussion of the different kinds of
Gadya in Vāmana's Kāvyālaṃkārasūtras. The traditional distinction between
Vedic R̥c and Yajus is also based on metrical versus prose compositions.
Will see if I can locate the textual reference for this discussion. That is
something to consider in the history of Sanskrit prose.

Madhav M. Deshpande
Professor Emeritus, Sanskrit and Linguistics
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
Senior Fellow, Oxford Center for Hindu Studies
Adjunct Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore, India

[Residence: Campbell, California, USA]

On Mon, Jan 16, 2023 at 10:00 PM Aleix Ruiz Falqués via INDOLOGY <
indology at list.indology.info> wrote:

> Many thanks to Prof. Tieken and those kind souls who have replied
> privately! And thanks to the admin of this list for the wonderful resource!
> I would like to share a recent article by Sivan Goren-Arzony, directly
> related to my question, and from which I benefited a great deal (please see
> attachment).
> Best wishes,
> Aleix
> On Sat, 14 Jan 2023 at 22:07, Tieken, H.J.H. (Herman) <
> H.J.H.Tieken at hum.leidenuniv.nl> wrote:
>> 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
>> ------------------------------
>> *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
>> --
>> Aleix Ruiz-Falqués
>> Pali Lecturer & Head of the Department of Pali and Languages
>> Shan State Buddhist University
>> Phaya Phyu, Taunggyi, Myanmar 140101
>> (+95) 09428757648
> --
> Aleix Ruiz-Falqués
> Khyentse Postdoctoral Fellow, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
> Pali Lecturer & Head of the Department of Pali and Languages
> Shan State Buddhist University
> Phaya Phyu, Taunggyi, Myanmar 140101
> (+95) 09428757648
> _______________________________________________
> INDOLOGY mailing list
> INDOLOGY at list.indology.info
> https://list.indology.info/mailman/listinfo/indology
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