Examining materials from early modern and contemporary North India and Pakistan, Tellings and Texts brings together seventeen first-rate papers on the relations between written and oral texts, their performance, and the musical traditions these performances have entailed. The contributions from some of the best scholars in the field cover a wide range of literary genres and social and cultural contexts across the region.
The texts and practices are contextualized in relation to the broader social and political background in which they emerged, showing how religious affiliations, caste dynamics and political concerns played a role in shaping social identities as well as aesthetic sensibilities. By doing so this book sheds light into theoretical issues of more general significance, such as textual versus oral norms; the features of oral performance and improvisation; the role of the text in performance; the aesthetics and social dimension of performance; the significance of space in performance history and important considerations on repertoires of story-telling. The book also contains links to audio files of some of the works discussed in the text.
Tellings and Texts is essential reading for anyone with an interest in South Asian culture and, more generally, in the theory and practice of oral literature, performance and story-telling.
This open book is licensed under a Creative Commons License (CC BY). You can download Tellings and Texts ebook for free in PDF format (59.5 MB).
Table of Contents
Between Texts and Practices
The Example in Dadupanthi Homiletics
Making it Vernacular in Agra: The Practice of Translation by Seventeenth-Century Jains
World Enough and Time: Religious Strategy and Historical Imagination in an Indian Sufi Tale
Hearing Mo'jizat in South Asian Shi'ism
Books and Performances, Books for Performance
Note to Self: What Marathi Kirtankars' Notebooks Suggest about Literacy, Performance, and the Travelling Performer in Pre-Colonial Maharashtra
A Handbook for Storytellers: The Ṭirāz al-akhbār and the Qissa Genre
Did Surdas Perform the Bhāgavata Purāṇa?
Text, Orality, and Performance in Newar Devotional Music
Written Clues about Performed Texts
Listening for the Context: Tuning in to the Reception of Riti Poetry
Reading the Acts and Lives of Performers in Mughal Persian Texts
Persian Poets on the Streets: The Lore of Indo-Persian Poetic Circles in Late Mughal India
Texts and Tellings: Kathas in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries
A Curious King, a Psychic Leper, and the Workings of Karma: Bajid's Entertaining Narratives
Musical Knowledge and Aesthetics
Raga in the Early Sixteenth Century
Learning to Taste the Emotions: The Mughal Rasika
Paradigms of Performance and Poetical Composition in the Seventeenth-Century Bengali Literature of Arakan
The Shi'i Faces of Nizamuddin: Nizami Drumming and Texts in Delhi and Karachi