☃ The Language of the Gods in the World of Men: Sanskrit, Culture, and Power in Premodern India (Philip E. Lilienthal Books) Author Sheldon Pollock – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk

The Language of the Gods in the World of Men: Sanskrit, Culture, and Power in Premodern India (Philip E. Lilienthal Books) In This Work Of Impressive Scholarship, Sheldon Pollock Explores The Remarkable Rise And Fall Of Sanskrit, India S Ancient Language, As A Vehicle Of Poetry And Polity He Traces The Two Great Moments Of Its Transformation The First Around The Beginning Of The Common Era, When Sanskrit, Long A Sacred Language, Was Reinvented As A Code For Literary And Political Expression, The Start Of An Amazing Career That Saw Sanskrit Literary Culture Spread From Afghanistan To Java The Second Moment Occurred Around The Beginning Of The Second Millennium, When Local Speech Forms Challenged And Eventually Replaced Sanskrit In Both The Literary And Political Arenas Drawing Striking Parallels, Chronologically As Well As Structurally, With The Rise Of Latin Literature And The Roman Empire, And With The New Vernacular Literatures And Nation States Of Late Medieval Europe, The Language Of The Gods In The World Of Men Asks Whether These Very Different Histories Challenge Current Theories Of Culture And Power And Suggest New Possibilities For Practice.


10 thoughts on “The Language of the Gods in the World of Men: Sanskrit, Culture, and Power in Premodern India (Philip E. Lilienthal Books)

  1. says:

    I left this book just 10% into it It starts by saying that Sanskrit is 2000 3000 years old, while the first written material in Sanskrit was found to be from about 4000 3000 BC Also when the origin of the language is not clear, it was not apt to finalize its age as around 2000 years old Next I came across, usual things like Sanskrit being forbidden for the lower varnas The author emphasizes the ranking for the varnas and says that the Shudras would have thought what they could not do that the higher varnas can But the author doesnt bother to think that its one who cannot think or is not interested in education is called a shudra while not th...


  2. says:

    I have had great admiration for Dr Sheldon Pollack for his erudite scholarship and his research into pre colonial intellectual life in India, esp in his The Language of the Gods in the Life of Men Blackswan 2012 I was particularly impressed with the fact that an American scholar like Sheldon Pollack from Harvard University was taking such a deep interest in the research and study of intellectual and literary life of India s precolonial period.However, my reading of Dr Pollack was not without a certain level of discomfort with some his major generalisations about Sanskrit literature and Sanskrit as a language His introductory forebodings in his book about the faultlines of culture and power in itself as a consequence of the use and misuse language was not just problematic but also pre empted any likely merit of his work It only seemed to conflate oppositions between cosmopolitan and varnacular a project borrowed from the school of Deconstruction Dr Sheldon Pollack s explorartions of Sanskrit literature is far from being an epistemological or ontological examination summum bonum of what the Sanskrit literature posits for cognition and understanding.It is therefore, only to be expected that he is merely positioning himself within an analytical tradition that is at once extraneous and problematic in itself His rather anachronistic comparisions of Sanskrit with Latin his misplaced ideas of...


  3. says:

    This is not a history of Sanskrit It is a case made for language as a tool and an expression of power Also, of course the thesis that culture and power share a dialectical relationship Sheldon Pollock argues that Sanskrit has intrinsically in its literarity, style, grammar, phonology and a million other ideas that translate into burdensome jargon a capacity to express and represent power The adoption of Sanskrit by writers of texts in secular Laukika and religious genres alike was due to the irresistibility of Sanskrit Riding on this paramount position Sanskrit created says Pollock a paradigm of imagining and representing space time, polity, and cosmology A fancy and chic paradigm The later vernacularisation that occurred in South Asia is in Pollock s view a decentralisation of this paradigm only By the end a reader asks himself so is the language purely incidental Is politics all Although Pollock s thesis seemed to me f...


  4. says:

    With remarkable erudition, Pollock argues that in the first millennium AD, Sanskrit became a cosmopolitan language, being used for matters political and cultural from South Asia to Java He then studies the rise of the Vernacular in the second part of the book which led to a slow decline in Sanskrit use My only critique of the book is that as we turn page after page, battalions of poets, philologists, grammarians and Sanskritists march past us, yet it seems safe to say that they all belong to the higher classes in terms of either gender, caste, political power, wealth or all the above where are the women Where are the poor lower caste writers Reading this work, it seems to me safe to say that the language of the Gods never really e...


  5. says:

    it bores me to death a page of it suffices to knock me out otherwise, a work of unparalleled scholarship and erudition.


  6. says:

    Difficult book to read but worth reading as it goes into details of sanskrit and the sub continent.


  7. says:

    We vultures studying pre modern South Asia will be feasting for decades on the corpse of this book.


  8. says:

    it s a good book


  9. says:

    A dazzlingly insightful and erudite exploration of the complex relationship between language and power in premodern India.


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