Indian Narratology

Indian Narratology

Item Code: IDJ424
Author: K. Ayyappa Paniker
Publisher: Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd.
Edition: 2003
ISBN: 8120725026
Pages: 200
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 8.6" X 5.4"
Weight 400 gm

About the Book

This book is an attempt to provide a bird's eye view of the efforts made by Indians in the past, to arrive at various strategies in the art of narration.

Without going into elaborate details about each of these strategies, it tires to highlight the awareness with which Indian storytellers have established very clear demarcations within the highly variegated panorama of the art and science of the Indian narrative, which has often been ignored or neglected by comparative literature experts, both inside India and outside. It identifies ten major models of narration, with occasional comments on their possible impact on the Western narrators. These models are: the Vedic, the Puranic, the Itihasa, the Srnkhla, the Anyapadehsa, the Mahakavya, the Dravidian, the Folk Tribal and the Mishra. The introductory chapter outlines the theory and practice of the narrative in India, while the concluding chapter discusses the relation between narrative and narratoloy. The Appendix briefly outlines the Asian narrative tradition.

About the Author

K. Ayyappa Paniker (Born 1930) taught English language and literature in Kerala University from 1951 to 1990. Since his retirement as Professor and Head, Institute of English and Dean of the Faculty of Arts, he has worked as Chief Editor, Medieval Indian Literature in English translation (4 vols, Sahitya Akademi), Chief Editor, Complete Works of Shakespeare in Malayalam translation (3 vols, D.C. Books), Twentieth Century Malayalam Literature in English translation (NERC), and Indian Poetics: Relevance and Prospects (Kerala State Language Institute). Currently he is engaged in revising Sahitya Akademi's Encyclopedia of Indian Literature. He has four collections of poems in Malayalam and several books of criticism in Malayalam and several books of criticism in Malayalam and English. He is a recipient of Kabir Samman, Sahitya Akademi Award, Bharatiya Bhasha Parishad's Bhilwara Award, Gandadhar Meher National Award, etc. He is the Founder Editor of Keralakevita, and his poems have been translated into English, French, Spanish, Italian, Greek, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada etc.


This monograph presents the result of the research undertaken by me with a fellowship from the Indira Gandhi National Center for the Arts, New Delhi.

I wish to thank the authorities of the Center for the facilities offered to me for the successful completion of the project.

My gratitude also goes to all the authors and editors whose works I have drawn upon and quoted from and to all friends and colleagues who have provided sustained inspiration and generous cooperation.

I should like to add here my deep appreciation of the facilities provided to me by IGNCA for conducting research in Indian literary tradition during the period of my fellowship- the travels made possible for the collection of data and checking of materials, the purchase of books on ancient, medieval and modern Indian narratives in different language, interviews with scholars, etc. After the preparation of the draft of the monograph, I was encouraged by the positive response shown by Professor N.R. Shetty, the Member Secretary of IGNCA, for the early publication of the work. I am grateful to him for taking immediate steps in this matter.

My thanks are due to Dr. Lalit M. Gujral, Hony. Advisor to IGNCA, for his sense of commitment and expert supervision of the printing of the book as well as his sensitive handling of the typescript. I also wish to thank my old time friend, Mr. S.K. Ghai, Chairman of Sterling Publishers, who are co-publishers of this book, for the quick and efficient manner in which he and his staff have managed to produce this book in a very attractive format.

The publications of IGNCA are an asset to the nation and a substantial contribution to the cultural heritage of India. I am happy and grateful to all concerned for having had a chance to play a humble part in this magnificent enterprise of cultural integration as well as the rediscovery and retrieval of the national tradition.




  Preface v
1. The Theory and Practice of the Narrative in India 1
2. The Vedic/Encrypted Narrative:
Rg Veda Model
3. The Purana/Saga Narrative:
Bhagavata Model
4. The Itihasa/Epic Narrative:
Ramayana/Mahabharata Model
5. The Srnkhala/Chain Narrative:
Kathasaritsagara Model
6. The Anyapadesa/Allegorical Narrative:
Pancatantra Model
7. The Mahakavya/Grand Narrative:
Raghuvamsa Model
8. The Buddhist/Jain Narrative:
The Jataka Model
9. The Dravidian Narrative:
Cilappatikaram Model
10. The Folk/Tribal Narrative: Multiple Models 120
11. The Misra/Miscellaneous Narratives 134
12. Narrative versus Narratology 153
  Appendix: The Asian Narrative Tradition 160
  Bibliography 169
  Index 191

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