[INDOLOGY] The study of Sanskrit as the epitome of uselessness

patrick mccartney psdmccartney at gmail.com
Tue Mar 24 06:24:20 EDT 2020

Sort of related, on page 100 of chapter 5, of Amazing Stories (1943) issue
17 no 05, the following is said:

She put her hands on her hips, her
face thoughtful. Then she grabbed hold
of the grab-rail on the side of the door-
way, stepped into the bipedomobile.
She wasn’t a tall girl, but she had to

Her eyes were grave. Suddenly she
pointed into the distance.

“Godwa te lele!”
“It’s all Sanskrit to me, Jamie,” he
said sadly. “They’ve sure done you up
brown, haven’t they — ^you’ve forgotten
entirely, haven’t you? Well, if you want
to go in that direction, okay. It’s as
good as any, and maybe we’ll solve a
few mysteries while we’re at it. We
might even find out how to get your
memory back again.”

She smiled dazzlingly. She pointed

This link will take you to the relevant page -

All the best,

パトリック マッカートニー
Patrick McCartney, PhD
Research Affiliate - Organization for Identity and Cultural Development
(OICD), Kyoto
Research Associate - Nanzan University Anthropological Institute, Nagoya,
Visiting Fellow - South and South-east Asian Studies Department, Australian
National University
Member - South Asia Research Institute (SARI), Australian National

Skype / Zoom - psdmccartney
Phone + Whatsapp + Line:  +61410644259
Twitter - @psdmccartney @yogascapesinjap
 Yogascapes in Japan <http://yogascapes.weebly.com/> Academia
<https://patrickmccartney.academia.edu/> Linkedin
 Modern Yoga Research <http://www.modernyogaresearch.org/events/>

*bodhapūrvam calema* ;-)


On Tue, Mar 24, 2020 at 6:38 PM Matthew Kapstein via INDOLOGY <
indology at list.indology.info> wrote:

> This reminds me that one of my teachers, the great Prof. Padmanabh Jaini,
> lost several students in the late 70s because the job market seemed
> particularly bad. They switched to law and easily passed the special
> examinations, the "Law Boards," for entering American Law Schools. Jaini
> joked that the field could be saved and even expanded by converting
> Sanskrit to a pre-law required course.
> Matthew Kapstein
> Directeur d'études, émérite
> Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris
> Numata Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies,
> The University of Chicago
> ------------------------------
> From: INDOLOGY <indology-bounces at list.indology.info> on behalf of
> Christophe Vielle via INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info>
> Sent: Tuesday, March 24, 2020 4:32 AM
> To: Tieken, H.J.H. <H.J.H.Tieken at hum.leidenuniv.nl>
> Cc: indology <indology at list.indology.info>
> Subject: Re: [INDOLOGY] The study of Sanskrit as the epitome of uselessness
> The Classicist Nuccio Ordine has published a stimulating (useful) essay
> "De l'utilité de l'inutile" (English translation: The Usefulness of the
> Useless").
> where Sanskrit studies, together with Classics, are given as an example of
> (useful) usefulness, cf. p. 95 of the Engl. Transl.:
> https://books.google.com/books?id=NCArDgAAQBAJ
> <https://books.google.be/books?id=NCArDgAAQBAJ&pg=PA95&lpg=PA95&dq=nuccio+ordine+the+usefulness+of+the+useless+sanskrit&source=bl&ots=JmMiqWAORS&sig=ACfU3U0_SDl4ZpYaNsGhUnflgLpFvJYTDg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj-rMSM5bLoAhXEMewKHYVdDp4Q6AEwAXoECAoQAQ#v=onepage&q=nuccio%20ordine%20the%20usefulness%20of%20the%20useless%20sanskrit&f=false>
> See also it in his oral presentations:
> https://uclouvain.be/en/research-institutes/incal/conference-du-pr-nuccio-ordine.html
> Quel danger courons-nous actuellement ? Dans une université-entreprise,
> quand un professeur de sanskrit aura deux étudiants, le Conseil
> d’administration de l’Université pourra dire que celle-ci ne peut pas se
> permettre le luxe de payer un professeur de sanskrit pour deux étudiants.
> Demain, cela sera pour dix étudiants en grec, et après-demain pour quinze
> étudiants en latin.
> Le 24 mars 2020 à 09:49, Tieken, H.J.H. via INDOLOGY <
> indology at list.indology.info> a écrit :
> Dear List members,
> Last night I started reading Ever After by Graham Swift. On p. 3 of the
> pocket edition (Vintage International) of 1993 we hear the protagonist
> think:
> "Before they [academics] are sixty, they are emulating one of the many
> varieties: ... the wide-eyed, latter-day infant, helpless in all mundane
> matters but possessed of a profound understanding of Sanskrit."
> A few months ago I was reading Nader tot U (1969) by Gerard van 't Reve
> gain. One of the characters has to fill in a profession on an official
> paper. In the end he decides to fill in "indoloog", which is considered to
> be better than "general in the Hungarian army" or "stratenmaker of zee"
> (general dogsbody) (p. 113). There is some confusion if indoloog refers to
> a civil servant in the Dutch Indies here (Indie verloren, rampspoed
> geboren) or to an indologist, which is later resolved by remarks about
> gurus and bhakti. I was amazed to see that I had bought the book in the
> summer of 1970, just a few months before I started with the study of
> Sanskrit.
> Are there more accidental references of this type to sanskritists or
> indologists in literature?
> (Leaving aside Lee Siegel's novel about Professor Roth being killed by
> Monier-Williams Sanskrit dictionary.)
> With kind regards Herman
> Herman Tieken
> Stationsweg 58
> 2515 BP Den Haag
> The Netherlands
> 00 31 (0)70 2208127
> website: hermantieken.com
> <https://eur03.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fhermantieken.com%2F&data=02%7C01%7Cchristophe.vielle%40uclouvain.be%7C2ebe73edfa3d487755a208d7cfd05574%7C7ab090d4fa2e4ecfbc7c4127b4d582ec%7C0%7C0%7C637206365997980559&sdata=knZj3KCyfVrhEl8UT1nRa97QamdqJ1dnMK8PR5N0U9A%3D&reserved=0>
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> Louvain-la-Neuve
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