Andrew Ollett | The Prakrit Romance

Lecture | April 28 | 4-6 p.m. | Dwinelle Hall, 341 (DSSEAS Library)

 Andrew Ollett, Junior Fellow, Society of Fellows, Harvard University

 Robert P. Goldman, Professor of Sanskrit, South and Southeast Asian Studies, UC Berkeley

 Institute for South Asia Studies, Catherine and William L. Magistretti Chair in South and Southeast Asian Studies, Department of South & Southeast Asian Studies

Join us for a talk by Dr. Andrew Ollett, Junior Fellow from the Society of Fellows at Harvard University.

Talk Abstract

Koūhala’s Līlāvaī (ca. 800 CE) is not just a captivating specimen of the Prakrit romance. It provides an excellent opportunity to think about what both “Prakrit” and “romance” mean in the context of Indian literature. Līlāvaī has a lot of features that are typical of Indian story literature: demigods zooming around in aerial chariots, demon-infested forests, and lovers separated by curses. It is, however, also a Prakrit story, which means among other things that it is rich in allusions to the Prakrit literary tradition—the story’s protagonists, in fact, are the protagonists of this tradition. And it is also an important intervention into a genre, the romance, whose features and limits were never very strictly defined.

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