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    Text and Interpretat...

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Text and Interpretation

The Indian Tradition by: Kapil Kapoor

The present study is the comprehensive analysis of interpretative tradition, concerned with the problem of determining meaning in verbal texts, and examines the nature of the texts and the typology of textual situations. It investigates the instruments of interpretation and illustrates their use in various texts and exegetes.



ISBN: 9788124603376
Year Of Publication: 2018
Edition: 2nd
Pages : xi, 220
Bibliographic Details : 1 Folded chart, Annotation of major terms; Bibliography; Index
Language : English
Binding : Hardcover
Publisher: D.K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Size: 23 cm.
Weight: 500


Linguistic communities are interpretative — they have shared frameworks and strategies to fix the meaning of what is experienced through senses or communicated through language. India presents one such interpretative community in which the three major contending schools of thought — the Brahmins, the Buddhists and the Jains — flourished and ‘fought’. The presence of a strong interpretative tradition suggests the existence of texts and issues that are perennially important and also a certain freedom of mind that the community has enjoyed and guaranteed. The present study is perhaps the first comprehensive analysis of this tradition concerned with the problems of determining meaning in verbal texts. It examines the nature of the texts and the typology of textual situations in response to which a system of interpretation developed and became a shared mode of interpretation, the Shastra-Paddhati. It sets up several typologies — of meaning, of textual situations and of the interpretative strategies. The book then investigates the instruments of interpretation, verbal testimony, sarvabhauma siddhanta (the meta-principle), sangati (coherence), paribhasha (metarules), laukika-nyaya (common principles of judgement), vyakarana (grammar), nirvacana, (exposition or etymology) and verbal symbolism and illustrates the use that is made of them in different kinds of texts, shruti, smriti and kavya, and by different exegetes such as Shankara. At a time of resurgence of interest in the Indian intellectual traditions in grammar, philosophy, logic, theories of meaning and poetics and as part of a transdisciplinary search for abstract structures of knowledge this book should be of interest to students and scholars of Indian languages, linguistics, semiotics and literatures and generate lively intellectual controversy among scholars and motivate further research and study in these areas.


1. Language and Interpretation
Language and Reality
Linguistic Thought and Grammar
2. Texts and Commentary Tradition
The Interpretative Tradition
Characteristics of the Tradition
Types of Interpretation
The Commentary Tradition
Types of Commentaries
Purpose and Value of Commentaries
Status of the Text
Nature of the Texts
Task and Types of Interpretation
3. The Shared Mode of Interpretation
Instruments of Exegesis
4. Adi Shankara on the Bhagavad-Gita — An Example of the Interpretation
Annotation of Major Terms

Meet the Author
Kapil Kapoor (1940-) is Professor of English, Centre for Linguistics and English, and Concurrent Professor, Special Centre for Sanskrit Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He was Dean of the School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, JNU, from 1997-1999 and Rector of the University from 1999-2002. His teaching and research interests include literary and linguistic theories - both Indian and Western, philosophy of language, nineteenth century British life, literature and thought, and Indian intellectual traditions. He has been lecturing on these themes and has written extensively on them. He has been teaching for almost forty-five years now. Literary Theory - Indian Conceptual Framework (1998); Canonical Texts of Literary Criticism (1995); Language, Literature and Linguistics - The Indian Perspective (1994); and South Asian Love Poetry (1994) are among his publications. His book, Dimensions of Panini Grammar - The Indian Grammatical System, is in press.