10 November 2009

Jain narratives

I was traveling these past few days and could not post. I'm home now in Manila and here's something that would have been interesting to go to last December:

"Jain Narratives in multilingual early modern North India: Apabhramsa texts from the 15th-18th centuries
Dr Eva de Clerq (Ghent & AHRC project)
Date: 5 December 2008 Time: 4:00 PM
Finishes: 5 December 2008 Time: 6:00 PM
Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: 4421
Type of Event: Seminar
Series: CSAS Seminar Programme
Jains were perhaps the most multilingual writers and readers in medieval and early modern India, but their literary contribution is often ignored in literary histories. Particularly striking is their continued used of Apabhramsa for literary texts. These two sessions will present two texts. One is the story of Candragupta, Canakya and the Jain saint Bhadrabahu by the most famous "late Apabhramsa" poet, Raydhu. The other, Bhagavatidas's Mrgankalekha (1700), considered the "last" Apabhramsa poem, is a strikingly multilingual work in that it contains verses in Prakrit and "Hindi"."

De Clerq's observation that multilingual texts are "often ignored in literary histories" is sadly too familiar to us. We really need to be more vocal about our discovery that multilingual texts are the norm, and monolingual texts are only a special case (following the analogy of the Special Theory of Relativity, where "normal" happenings that we can see with our eyes are only a special case of what is really going on in reality).

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