The Concept of Imitation in Greek and Indian Aesthetics

Rupa (1977)

Ananta Sukla
Jadavpur University (PhD)
The author has made a detailed study, more detailed, he rightly claims, than hitherto attempted, of the concept of mimesis in aesthetic thought and has devoted equal space to Greek and Sanskrit writers... Wilamowitz, the doyen of modern classical scholars, describes mimesis as a 'fatal word' 'rapped out' by Plato. But the present author has demonstrated with great cogency that the word was not 'rapped out' by Plato at all, and that the concept and the word are both as old as Greek thought. He shows too, once again with considerable scholarship and perceptiveness, how Greek art was bound to be sensuous, unmystical and also 'formal' in the best sense of the term. In the four long chapters of the first part of his thesis the author gives at every step evidence of deep study and illuminating insight, and can claim originality both in approach and argument... The chapter on Aristotle contains one of the best discussions of mimesis I have read... the most striking portion of his thesis is his elucidation of poetic truth according to Aristotle. -- Prof. S. C. Sengupta, Jadavpur University The author provides a faithful rendering of both Greek and Indian ideas. The work is valuable for its expositions especially of the Indian theories of art. -- V. K. Chari, Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism (JAAC), USA, Spring 1979 ... A fairly exhaustive comparative study of the concept of mimesis in Greek and Indian aesthetics... wide ranging and at the same time well controlled acquaintance with this proliferating literature is revealed throughout... the co-relation of the Aristotelian linking-up of 'imitation' and 'completion' with Abhinavagupta's integration of imitation with completion is very suggestive and is a help towards the formulation of a universal aesthetic comprising body and soul, the immediate impact of Appearance and the slow revelation of Reality... (the author) has mastered the material and achieved a steady progression in argument so as to sustain the central thesis. -- K. R. S. Iyengar, Professor of English and Vice-Chancellor, Andhra University The book is a significant contribution towards understanding the essentials of Indian aesthetics apropos the Greek (and, through the Greek, the Western)... The author has surveyed the entire field in a masterly manner. His erudition and judgement are both commendable. -- S. K. Ramachandra Rao, Deccan Herald (03.09.1978) ...The author's views hold good even among modern critics including the ones known as 'the Chicago school' and experimental psychologists. -- Indian and Foreign Review (August 1978) The work is a valuable addition to the literature on aesthetics. -- The Indian Express (12.03.1978) The comparison is too smooth and sharply compartmentalized... The book is of great value to those who are interested in the comparative and historical evolution of a very important concept in aesthetics. -- The Hindustan Times (31.12.1978) The work is in two parts. The first part in four chapters examines the concept of imitation in Greek thought, and the second in three chapters explores the meaning of the term in Indian thought... the author offers a brilliant interpretation of Aristotle's theory in the fourth chapter (Pt. 1) which is the best one in the book... The work is a pioneering one and it repays a careful examination. It is probably the first of its kind and every student of aesthetics must read it. -- Prof. P. S. Sastri, Nagpur Times
Keywords Imitation  Aesthetics, Ancient  Aesthetics, Indic
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Call number BH301.I55.S94 1977
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