September 1, 2003 - August 31, 2004
Yigal Bronner (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
It is quite amazing that no proper history exists for Sanskrit belles lettres, one of the world's richest and longest literary traditions. The scholarship of the last two and a half centuries yielded, for the most part, a vast body of data on authors and their putative dates. But it failed to produce a narrative explaining developments in their poetic practice and, quite often, denied outright the very possibility of change. Indeed, the number of serious and analytical essays on representative works from the Sanskritic canon is unbelievably small. The main purpose of our research group is to begin to emend this state of affairs and produce a history of Sanskrit literature, one that, contrary to the antihistorical notion of it as monolithic and immune to change, would concentrate on innovations and turning points.