Ornaments of Emotion in Dandin’s Mirror

Colloquium with Prof. Yigal Bronner
Activity Date: 
Monday, Apr 23, 2018

Indologists have become so habituated to understanding the poetic expression of emotions solely through the lens of Anandavardhana and Abhinavagupta’s doctrine of rasa, that they find alternative emotive templates, primarily through ornaments, totally incomprehensible. In this short presentation I will look at Dandin’s unique treatment of one such ornament, ākṣepa (“dismissal”). I will argue that Dandin turns this relatively simple device of negating another statement into an in-depth analysis of a particularly emotional situation, when the man is about to leave for a long journey and the woman is determined to prevent his departure. If time allows, we will also address the larger question of his much misunderstood attempt to explain rasa itself as an ornament.