This book has inspired many scholars to study the numerous works on Alankara, to produce papers dealing with several aspects of Alarikaragastra and to publish several important texts. The author has made substantial additions and changes in this edition and has included valuable new material.
The book is divided into two parts. The first part contains an account of the important works in Alankaraia-stra, a brief analysis of their contents and the chronology of writers on Alankaraidstra and other kindred matters. The second part comprises a review of subjects that fall under the purview of AlaxikaraA'astra. The author has attempted to show how from very small beginnings various theories of Poetics and Literary Criticism were evolved, to dilate upon the different aspects of an elaborate theory of Poetics and trace the history of literary theories in India.
The last edition of this work was published in 1951. As all copies were sold out, there was a great demand for a new edition. As my hands were full owing to the writing and printing of the 5th (the last) volume of the 'History of Dharmagastra, I could not find time for several months to revise the book. During the last nine years a good deal has been written on the subject of this work. I tried to read as much as I could and have made substantial additions and changes in this edition. But I am unable to say that I read everything that has been written during the last nine years on Sanskrit Poetics. I hope, however, that I have not missed much of valuable matter. In the last edition I thanked all those who helped me in various ways. In preparing this edition Dr. V. Raghavan made valuable suggestions, many of which I have accepted. As in the preface to the last edition I express my deep gratitude to him. It gives me great satisfaction that this history which I first wrote over fifty years ago still continues to be popular with students of Sanskrit Poetics.
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