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