Around Mammaṭa

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The Light on Literature (Kāvyaprakāśa), written by Mammaṭa in late eleventh-century Kashmir, is the most successful treatise on Sanskrit poetics. No other book of its kind ever enjoyed as many readers or anything remotely like its numerous written responses. The work attracted scores of commentaries from every corner of the Indian subcontinent, appearing as early as several decades after its composition and as late as the twentieth century. Moreover, among those who threw light on the Light were representatives of almost every school of Indian thought.

This project is dedicated to documenting and studying the vast body of mostly untouched commentaries on the Kāvyaprakāśa: who were the commentators, how were ideas exchanged and developed among them, and how did their discussion of poetics change over time. A key part of the project is the collection of accurate prosopographical data on the authors of these commentaries, their works and their sources, and manuscripts thereof.

This project is funded by The Israel Science Foundation (ISF) project “Light on The Light: Scholasticism in Second-millennium South Asia” 1176/19.

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