Sharing a single seat: The poetics and politics of male intimacy in the vikramāṅkakāvya [Book Review]

Journal of Indian Philosophy 38 (5):485-501 (2010)
In this essay, I trace the enabling conditions for the major statement of the subversive subtext in Bilhaṇa’s Vikramāṅkadevacarita (VDC) by unpacking the operation of the work’s patent, eulogistic text. In particular, I will explore the place given to the depiction of male intimacy as a poetic substitute or simulacrum for the political alliances central to Vikramāditya’s coming to the throne, as described in the mahākāvya’s fourth through sixth sargas . My intention in focusing on the intense friendships between men is to highlight a significant rhetorical strategy of Bilhaṇa’s, which allowed the poet both to introduce and to buffer the poem’s most explicit statement of his skepticism towards royal power. It is this charged affective theme—one that occupied only a tenuous position within the regnant critical discourse of literary emotion at the time—that sets up Bilhaṇa’s most powerful and explicit denunciation of kingship. The explicit theme of royal praise and the subtext of its denunciation can thus be seen as contrapuntally related, which goes some way towards explaining how the court poet was able to successfully carry off his potentially incendiary literary project
Keywords Bilhaṇa   Kāvya  Friendship  Politics  Intimacy
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10781-010-9099-3
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,392
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Lisa Gerber (2001). The Art of Intimacy. Philosophy in the Contemporary World 8 (2):79-83.
Patricia C. Flynn (2007). Honesty and Intimacy in Kant's Duty of Friendship. International Philosophical Quarterly 47 (4):417-424.
Jose Montoya (2010). Aristotle's Poetics. Philosophical Inquiry 32 (1-2):43-58.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

15 ( #296,075 of 1,924,699 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #417,767 of 1,924,699 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.