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Madly After the Muses: Bengali Poet Michael Madhusudan Datta and His Reception of the Graeco-Roman Classics (Classical Presences)

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Madly After the Muses: Bengali Poet Michael Madhusudan Datta and His Reception of the Graeco-Roman Classics (Classical Presences) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Madly after the Muses examines the use of Graeco-Roman samplings in the Bengali works of Michael Madhusudan Datta (1824-1873), the nineteenth-century poet and playwright. His oeuvre, which includes a Bengali play dramatizing a Hindu version of the Judgement of Paris, a retelling of the Sanskrit Ramayana using various Vergilian and Homeric tropes, a Hindu response to Ovid's Heroides, and a Bengali prose version of the first half of Homer's Iliad, utilize the Greek and Roman classics in a surprising and subversive way. Though steeped in contemporary British literary culture, Madhusudan's Bengali works bypassed the literary trends of his British contemporaries and, most strikingly, used the Western classics to defy the hegemonic elite culture of the Hindu pundits. He treated traditional Hindu material with innovations inspired by the literature of the Graeco-Roman world, and provided an Orientalist Indo-European reading of the ancient cultures of India and Europe. By subverting contemporary British constructions of what constituted 'classical', he also highlighted counter-currents within the Western classical discourse.

In this volume, Riddiford introduces new texts and contexts to the fields of classical reception and postcolonial scholarship, and includes appendices with translated excerpts from Bengali works not previously translated into English. He also examines the Bengali poet's classical education, drawing on new material from various archives to show that he was given a rigorous British-style classical education, offering a surprising early chapter in the story of the dissemination and reception of the Graeco-Roman classics in India.

Synopsis:

Madly after the Muses examines the use of Graeco-Roman samplings in the Bengali works of Michael Madhusudan Datta (1824-1873), the nineteenth-century poet and playwright. His oeuvre, which includes a Bengali play dramatizing a Hindu version of the Judgement of Paris, a retelling of the Sanskrit Ramayana using various Vergilian and Homeric tropes, a Hindu response to Ovid's Heroides, and a Bengali prose version of the first half of Homer's Iliad, utilize the Greek and Roman classics in a surprising and subversive way. Though steeped in contemporary British literary culture, Madhusudan's Bengali works bypassed the literary trends of his British contemporaries and, most strikingly, used the Western classics to defy the hegemonic elite culture of the Hindu pundits. He treated traditional Hindu material with innovations inspired by the literature of the Graeco-Roman world, and provided an Orientalist Indo-European reading of the ancient cultures of India and Europe. By subverting contemporary British constructions of what constituted 'classical', he also highlighted counter-currents within the Western classical discourse.

In this volume, Riddiford introduces new texts and contexts to the fields of classical reception and postcolonial scholarship, and includes appendices with translated excerpts from Bengali works not previously translated into English. He also examines the Bengali poet's classical education, drawing on new material from various archives to show that he was given a rigorous British-style classical education, offering a surprising early chapter in the story of the dissemination and reception of the Graeco-Roman classics in India.

About the Author

Alexander Riddiford is Barrister of the Inner Temple, England. He studied Classics and Sanskrit at Magdalen College, Oxford. Having left academia in 2009 to qualify as a barrister, he was awarded Inner Temple's top scholarships two years in a row before being called to the Bar of England and Wales in 2011.

Table of Contents

Preface

Acknowledgements

List of illustrations

1. Madhusudan: a classicizing oeuvre in context

2. The Padmabati natak (1860) and the Judgement of Paris

3. The Meghnadbadh kabya (1861), Homer's Iliad, and Vergil's Aeneid

4. Further receptions of Vergil's Aeneid

5. The Birangana kabya (1862) and Ovid's Heroides

6. The Hektor-badh (1871) and Homer's Iliad

Conclusion

'Above all Greek, above all Roman fame.'

Appendix 1

Madhusuda' s New Testament examination Script (9th June 1847)

Appendix 2

Editions of classical texts

Appendix 3

Judgement scene in Padmabati natak

Appendix 4

Synopsis of the Padmabati natak

Appendix 5

Simhal-bijay kabya

Appendix 6

Synopsis of the poems of the Birangana kabya

Appendix 7

Sources of the Birangana kabya and the Heroides

Appendix 8

Preface to the Hektor-badh

Appendix 9

Madhusudan's Orientalist Indo-Europeanism

Bibliography

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780199699735
Author:
Riddiford, Alexander
Publisher:
Oxford University Press (UK)
Subject:
Classical Studies | Literary Criticism
Subject:
Classics-General
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20130631
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
3 illus.
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
5.7 x 8.5 x 1 in 1.1 lb

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Classics » General
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » Asia » India » Ancient and General
History and Social Science » World History » India

Madly After the Muses: Bengali Poet Michael Madhusudan Datta and His Reception of the Graeco-Roman Classics (Classical Presences) New Hardcover
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Product details 304 pages Oxford University Press, USA - English 9780199699735 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Madly after the Muses examines the use of Graeco-Roman samplings in the Bengali works of Michael Madhusudan Datta (1824-1873), the nineteenth-century poet and playwright. His oeuvre, which includes a Bengali play dramatizing a Hindu version of the Judgement of Paris, a retelling of the Sanskrit Ramayana using various Vergilian and Homeric tropes, a Hindu response to Ovid's Heroides, and a Bengali prose version of the first half of Homer's Iliad, utilize the Greek and Roman classics in a surprising and subversive way. Though steeped in contemporary British literary culture, Madhusudan's Bengali works bypassed the literary trends of his British contemporaries and, most strikingly, used the Western classics to defy the hegemonic elite culture of the Hindu pundits. He treated traditional Hindu material with innovations inspired by the literature of the Graeco-Roman world, and provided an Orientalist Indo-European reading of the ancient cultures of India and Europe. By subverting contemporary British constructions of what constituted 'classical', he also highlighted counter-currents within the Western classical discourse.

In this volume, Riddiford introduces new texts and contexts to the fields of classical reception and postcolonial scholarship, and includes appendices with translated excerpts from Bengali works not previously translated into English. He also examines the Bengali poet's classical education, drawing on new material from various archives to show that he was given a rigorous British-style classical education, offering a surprising early chapter in the story of the dissemination and reception of the Graeco-Roman classics in India.

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