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In this essay I intend to textually and thematically study some of the verses found in the introductory canto of Kālidāsa’s epic poem, the Kumārasaṃbhava, perhaps one of the most famous and oftquoted works in Sanskrit poetics and yet one of the most contentious and least studied. First, I will be unpacking the main themes and images operating in the descriptions of Himālaya, which is considered according to commentators as the vastunirdeśa of the text, or’ indication of the plot’ — and thus,’ what is about to happen in the story’. I argue that these comprise an undermining statement about the poem’s ostensible aim — the so-called’ love story’ of Śiva and Pārvatī — thus covertly presenting an alternate point of view, rather poignant, about the relationship between the hero and heroine. Next, I discuss the descriptions of Pārvatī and examine their aesthetical value, their fantasy-like mood, their relationship with Himālaya’s description and the way they reveal the existence of another important, generally neglected, integral factor at work within the text, which is the presence of the recipient of poetry outside the text, the rasika, the connoisseur of poetry. I have one major hypothesis about this compelling frame of the poem, which stands as if independent from the rest of the text. I believe that what seem to be the poet’s core statement about the nature of love and its consequences in his poem is encoded within its two descriptive patterns.

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On 18 March 1893 the opera Toldi by Ödön (Edmund von) Mihalovich (1842–1929) was premiered at the Royal Hungarian Opera House in Budapest. Three month later Ferenc Erkel, founder and single most important composer of the Hungarian national opera died. One of the funeral speeches at his burial was held by Mihalovich. This gesture was meant as a symbolic mounting of the guard on the national operatic scene. However, Toldi, written on a libretto based on Toldi szerelme (Toldi’s Love), the middle epic of János Arany’s Toldi trilogy, proved to be unsuccesful. It was staged again as Toldi’s Love in 1895 after a thorough revision. One cannot overlook the fact that in the newly composed third act Mihalovich wanted to write the loyalist counterpart of the conflictuous third act in Erkel’s Bánk bán. The paper discusses the question whether the first and only opera on a Hungarian text by the solid Wagnerite Mihalovich could at the time fulfil the official national expectations and become the representative national opera of the Millennium, that is, the Thousand Year Jubilee of the Carpathian Basin’s conquest by the Hungarian tribes, celebrated in 1896.

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If Liszt’s early work Don Sanche ou le Château d’Amour, that includes danced parts, is not taken into account, he never composed music for dance. In the twentieth century, however, the composer’s music became an interesting material for choreographers and dancers. My paper is focused on a choreographic interpretation of Liszt’s Dante Sonata, made by Frederick Ashton. This choreography was realized by Ashton in 1940 in London, in collaboration with Constant Lambert. Ashton’s Dante Sonata is an abstract and symbolic ballet. He created the association between dance and music on a relationship of correspondence point to point of the two languages and on a cultural and emotive communion with Liszt. My study wants to show what the Ashtonian choreography highlights: Liszt renews the traditional sonata form from its inside; he gives it a new lymph by making it go through a symbolic content; the symbolized literary content is the Dantesque medieval allegory of the Christian ascensional course transformed by Hugo in metaphor of the restless walk of the romantic man. So, Liszt invests the medieval epic literary model of the great themes of the Romantic generation and renews, under its influence, the sonata form.

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What makes a good poet according to Someśvaradeva?

Poetic merit, demerit and the ethics of poetry in the Surathotsava and the Kīrtikaumudī

Acta Orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae
Author: Bihani Sarkar

In 13th-century Gujarat, the court of the Caulukya emperors in Aṇahilavāḍa-Pāṭan offered patronage and employment to a highly learned group of individuals. These men also wrote poetry and drama in their spare time — for their amusement, as a mark of culture and to comment upon the events of their times. Within this group, Someśvaradeva, royal chaplain to the Caulukya monarch Bhīma II and his Vāghela successors Lavaṇaprasāda and Vīradhavala, was renowned for having written a composition in only one and a half hours. He offers us in his writings a wealth of historical information on his political circumstances, along with subtle reflections on the ethics of poetry. Who is a good poet? Who is a bad poet? Is a good poet a virtuous individual (sajjana)? Is a bad poet a rogue (durjana)? Who are the models of poetic propriety? Such are some of Someśvaradeva’s concerns. These frequently satirical commentaries on standards of poetry and the ideal poetic disposition appear in the preambles to his two epic poems, the Surathotsava 1.30–64 and the Kīrtikaumudī 1.7–46. Despite their sophistication, they have hardly interested most scholars working on these texts. The article analyses these passages in detail for the first time, and examines the ethics that Someśvaradeva, and the poets of his company, felt underlay the art of poetry.

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This study deals with the Ancient Latin and Old Hungarian adaptations of the most drastic myth of Tereus, Philomela and Progne. Ovid inserted the story into the 6th book of the Metamomorphoses (lines 424–674). István Gyöngyösi, called “Hungarian Ovid” by right, adapted an Ovidian text in compliance with baroque literary and translation aspects. The translation makes part of the poem called Csalárd Cupido (Fraudulent Cupido) composed in hardly identifiable epic genre in the 17th century. The Ovidian insertion became the third part of the four-part poem, focusing on the demonstration of the outrages caused by Cupido. The main characteristics of the Gyöngyösi’s adaptation are: the domestication (for example in the case of the Dionysian rites), the large insertions, the enlargement and amplification, the borrowings and changings of the motifs and patterns and the spectacular actualisation. The motive of the fire is, for example, much more emphased in the Hungarian version. Both of the authors makes capital of the rhetorics, but the Hungarian text turns up the rhetorical elements and uses them as the instrument or device of the retardation and of the itemization or specification. The animal motifs being found several times in the text are used to exagerate or heighten the drastic apspects and to point out to demonstrate some animal qualities of the human beeings.

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Abstract  

Although nature looms large throughout Homer’s Odyssey, literary critics have entirely neglected to discuss his construction of the natural world in this foundational Western work. This neglect might be the result of two factors: the blurred line between geographical and fantastical locales in Odysseus’ travels and the blurred line between natural forces and deities. This essay recognizes that Homer not only reconstructs the Mediterranean world in his epic through detailed references to weather, geology, plants, birds, and animals but also that his similes suggest a consciousness of inter-species relationships. Principally, however, this essay argues, as does William Cronon, that “relationships, processes, and systems are as ecological as they are cultural,” and that Odysseus’ response to nature may usefully be understood in relation to three ecocritical models: the anthropocentric or domination model, the stewardship model, and the biomorphic model. His exploitative and aggressive behavior toward the Cyclopes, Circe, and the cattle of the Sun is contrasted with his recognition upon his homecoming of his own animal nature and his appreciation of the agrarian and pastoral life. While the tradition of writing in The Odyssey genre has vigorously continued in Western literature, only recently have contemporary environmental writers moved toward a recognition of the threat of the anthropocentric perspective to the imperative of working toward the stewardship and biomorphic models.

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The Cornelia-figure of Lucan is a relative of the female figures of Virgil and Ovid according to linguistic and motivic references, however, on a motivic level, it should be grateful to the tragedies of Propertius and Seneca. In the Cornelia-narrative of Lucan we can assume, on the one hand a conscious linguistic and motivic reference to Ariadne of Catull with a reasonable certainty, and on the other hand to many other longer or shorter Ariadne-narratives of Ovid. The study reviews the possible references to the Ariadne-story in the epic of Lucan. In Rome, where the Naxos-episode, the most frequently mentioned part of the Ariande-story was set, the image of katasterismos was linked to the figure of the princess of Crete: which means that the connection of the ‘Ariadne in Naxos’-story with Cornelia can be a mythological metaphor of the image of becoming god. So, as a virtuous woman, Cornelia does deserve becoming a god in connection with her husband, just like Pompey as a man.

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Abstract

In Gogol’s Dikanka stories cycle, the absence of a fundamental figure for the genre in question (the mother) is evident. Each story, in fact, features a “stepmother” or a surrogate of some sort, who turns out to be a demonic entity, if not a witch. This paper argues that for Gogol the Mother God, originally venerated as the main deity, assumes the form of Moist Mother Earth, forgotten by the modern Slavonic man as he increasingly distances himself from the collective (the “mir”). This process culminates in the Dikan’ka’s tale The Terrible Revenge, in which Gogol highlights the transition from the feminine to the male principle, that is to say from the Moist Mother Earth to the apocryphal God of the Ukrainian sung epic poem (“duma”). Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka tells of the dangerous path trodden by modern man, a path where he – in the empty space left by Moist Mother Earth – takes exclusively responsibility for the eponymous revenge.

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A Statius Achilleis ében olvasható három hajnalleírás (1. 242–5; 1. 819–20; 2. 1–4) szorosan kapcsolódik Achilles „átváltozásaihoz” a műben. E részletek felidézik az Ilias 19. énekét nyitó hajnalt, valamint azt a homérosi metafora- és szimbólumrendszert is, mely a hős harcba való visszatérését a fény, illetve a hajnal érkezéséhez hasonlítja. Különösen összetett kapcsolat fedezhető fel Achilles hőssé való visszaváltozása és a napfelkelte között a harmadik statiusi hajnalleírásban, melyet Achilles mint epikus és mint elégikus hős jövőjének lehetséges előrejelzéseként is értelmezhetünk. Az ugyanitt említett genitor coruscae lucis Iuppiterrel, illetve Diespiterrel azonosítható; a hajnalleírás ezáltal a főisten által az Achilleis ben játszott szerepet is árnyalja.

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A cikk azt a problémát vizsgálja konkrét szöveghely értelmezésével, hogyan teremthet lehetőséget gazdagító új olvasatok megfogalmazására régebbi irodalmi, esztétikai előfeltevéseink felülvizsgálata. Az Aeneis Nisus és Euryalus-epizódjában a szerző egy homérosi ihletésű katonai epizódban az epikus és heroikus világtól (a cikk szóhasználatában epikus kódtól) idegen elemekkel bővíti ki az elbeszélést. A szerelmi elégia nyelve és a görög fiúszerelem fogalma azonban feszültséget hoz a homérosi katonatörténetbe. Ennek eredményeképpen a részletet záró költői megszólalás és maga a történet között az interpretáció szempontjából termékeny feszültség alakul ki. A cikk amellett érvel, hogy ezt a feszültséget nem szabad eltüntetnie az inter pretációnak, helyette az egységesség követelményét érdemes újragondolni.

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