The Lamp and The Jar - Essays by Krishna Rayan

The Lamp and The Jar - Essays by Krishna Rayan

Product ID: 9405

Regular price
Sale price
Regular price
Sold out
Unit price
Shipping calculated at checkout.

Author: Krishna Rayan
Editor: Krishna S Arjunwadkar
Publisher: Sahitya Akademi
Year: 2002
Language: English
Pages: 255
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8126013451


This collection of 24 essays originally spread over several years provides a background for his earlier books and shows a critical mind bringing out the potential of the basics of Sanskrit poetics in forming a body of tenets for criticism of literature in most of the Indian languages.

The title of this book, The Lamp and the Jar, has its origin in the well known analogy Anandavardhanma offers to the phenomenon of the suggested sense arising out of the stated one. The use of the lamp-jar metaphor as an instrument of reflection in ninth-century Sanskrit criticism yielded several insights into the behavior of the states and suggested components of meaning. In the first place, jar was already there, the lamp only revealed it. The second observed feature of the lamp-jar relationship is that the lamp continues to shine even after the jar has been illuminated. Sanskrit theory makes the point that, strictly speaking, the suggested meaning is apprehended, despite the apparent simultaneity, after the stated meaning and indeed through it and is governed by it.

Despite the vigorous Indian-Western interface in cultural studies in recent decades, there have been only a very few memorable expositions of the links developed between Indian literary theory over the ages. One effort in this direction that stands out is Krishna Aryan's series of four full-length studies exploring the inter-relationship between these two bodies of critical speculation – ‘Suggestion and Statement in Poetry (1972), Text and Subtext (1987), The Burning Bush (1988), and Sanity, a Theory (1991)’.

These four books are well known and well established, but in addition Krishna Aryan has set out the same theory in various critical journals in India and abroad since 1965, but largely since his return to India in 1981 after a long absence teaching in foreign universities. What gives these scattered essays their unique value is their readability, range and variety matched by a consistent adherence to the Divan-suggestion critical approach. These have now been compiled and edited by Krishna Arjunwadkar – himself a distinguished scholar in Sanskrit Poetics – and provide an excitingly varied and stimulating fare to those interested in the theoretical and applied aspects of literary criticism.



1. ‘Rasa-Dhvani’ and Present-day Literary Theory and Criticism
2. Literary Theory and Indian Critical Practice
3. Towards a Rewritten Indian Poetic
4. Statement and Suggestion in Modern Theory
5. The Competent Reader
6. Resistance in Reading
7. ‘Laksana’ ---Metaphoric and Metonymic
8. ‘Laksana’ and Deconstruction
9. The Object-Emotion Relationship in Indian and Western Literary Theories
10. ‘Vibhavas’ or Objects
11. The Making of a Theory
12. Towards an Indian Critical Tradition for Indian Writing in English
13. Indian English Poetry and the Indian Poetic
14. The Tendril and the Root --- A Study of Jayanta Mahapatra’s ‘Relationship’
15. Suggestion of Statement? --- Three Contemporary Cases
16. The Other ‘Samskara’
17. Fear in the Way --- A Reading of ‘Murder in the Cathedral’
18. 'Rasa-Dhvani’ in the Plays of Shakespeare
19. Bharata Today --- An Analysis of a Sinhala Play
20. The Development of Indian Literary Theory
21. "The Fire Sermon" --- A Reading
22. Translating Sanskrit Critical Terms
23. Suggestion across Asian Literatures
24. The Teaching of Literary Theory