REVIEWS 169 to think of the stories going through a prior “bardic” transmission, such as Brockington, like many others, posits, making of bards “the original authors of these epics” (20), which would have passed “from the hands of their traditional reciters, the s uta s and ku s ılava s, into those of the br ahmans” (155). Note how much has to be twisted out of what the epics themselves tell us to make this argument. The Mah abh arata bard is only in the outer frame; Ku sa and Lava’s recitation turns out to be from the late stage that, according to Brockington, evokes writing (439). Rather, the transmission is in each case the reverse: from Brahmans to bards. Of course it would be possible to argue that this is only evidence of the Brahmans’ takeover from the bards, a clever reversal of the reality. But that argument has yet to be made by looking closely at the text. Rather, it has only been made at the expense of the text, at the cost of ignoring it. Columbian School Professor of Religion ALF HILTEBEITEL and Human Sciences The George Washington University Lilian Silburn y , Andr e
Indo-Iranian Journal – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2000
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