David R. Israel
davidi at wizard.net
Sun Mar 30 07:58:34 EST 1997
Respected Indologists --
on the Poetics listserv (based at Univ. of Buffalo, and an active hub
for avant-chitchat), poet Gwyn McVay posted this inquiry:
Date: Sun, 30 Mar 1997 00:20:38 -0500
From: Gwyn McVay <gmcvay1 at OSF1.GMU.EDU>
Subject: Re: Further Thoughts on the "Interior Indentation"
To: POETICS at LISTSERV.ACSU.BUFFALO.EDU
In her introduction to the City Lights edition of Kerouac's /Scripture
of the Golden Sutra/, Anne Waldman sez,
Sanskrit poetics speaks of /Sandhyabasha/ or
twilight speech, which is an "upside-down"
language harboring contradictions and
I'd love to find out her source on this--it reminds me of the Sioux
(please correct me if I've misattributed this) /heyoka/,
thunder-clown, who lived, spoke, and acted backwards-- Gwyn
Perhaps the mentioned device in Sanskrit poetics is too familiar to
merit special Indology discussion -- but I wonder if someone might
care to present a few useful references abt. this?
[I myself recall reading (maybe 15-20 years ago) an essay on the topic
by an Indologist (somehow I think the essay-book was published in
USSR, oddly) -- but I forget the bloke's name or other particulars.
I'd picked up the vol., so happens, at Shambhala Books in Berkeley;
the subject was indeed an interesting one, in terms of poetics. As I
recall, the sort of backwards-speech in question (a form of irony)
was traced back quite far -- I think to the Ramayana -- though
naturally was more prevalent in far-subsequent court poetry & such.
But I' m speaking here from a too-vague recollection of that essay.]
ALSO, while on this Sanskrit poetics topic: is there, by chance, any
manner of critical consensus regarding the lovely-looking translation
of Sanskrit poetry verses, in which American poet W.S. Merwin was
involved, entitled *The Peacock's Egg* (published by the erstwhile
North Point Press), I wonder? Merwin collaborated w/ that
psycholigist chap Massoud (who managed, later, to get into some fine
controversies, I've noted -- w/ the Freud Archives, et seq.)
thanks / best,
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