1st Edition

The Word in the World Essays and Lectures on Indian Literature and Aesthetics

By H S Shivaprakash, Kamalakar Bhat Copyright 2024

    The Word in the World is a collection of essays and lectures by H S Shivaprakash, a well-known poet, playwright, and translator. Edited by Kamalakar Bhat, this book brings together Prof Shivaprakash’s interventions in the realm of issues that are entwined with the continuities and discontinuities in the cultural negotiations of India. Distinctively, these are essays on subjects ranging from the nature and significance of medieval works of literature in India to issues arising out of developments in Indian aesthetics. The unfeigned magnitude of this work must be found among students and scholars, who will gain from it a perspective significantly different from the ones available in the prevailing academic discourses, thus indicating a way beyond poststructuralist/postmodernist frameworks.

    This is a book that will interest a wide variety of readers with its engaging insights and breadth of reference especially because it is written in a comprehensible style.

    Print edition not for sale in South Asia (India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Bhutan)





    The Bhakti World

    1 Transmutations of Desire and Power in Bhakti Expressions

    2 Bhakti Poetics: An Example from Kannada Vachanas

    3 Transformations of the Hero in Medieval Indian Literatures

    4 The Poetics and Aesthetics of Labour

    5 Fight for Symbols in the History of Religions in Medieval South India: The Karnataka Example

    6 Dasimiah - The Divine Weaver

    7 Journeying to Kalyana

    8 From Temple to Body-temple: Kannada transformations of Tamil Shaivism

    9 What Were You Before I Knew Myself? - Notes on De-creation and Recreation of Virashaiva Myths in

    Cultures of Karnataka

    The Kannada World

    10 Rethinking Medieval Kannada Literature

    11 Contributions of Karnataka Devotional Movements to the Creation of New Theatres

    12 Migration of Karaga from Tamil Nadu Karnataka

    13 Modernism and After: Some Reflections on Contemporary Kannada Poetry

    14 KSNa: The Heart-Bee has Flown . . . Do Not Ask Me Where

    The World of Drama

    15 The Search for the New in Indian Drama and Theatre

    16 Rasa Production: A Poet’s Perspective

    17 Theatre as Performed Literature?

    18 The Evolution of Modern Indian theatre

    19 Shakespeare and the Indian Theatre Tradition

    20 The Regional, the National, and the International in Theatre

    21 Manipuri Theatre: Myth and Reality

    22 Metamorphosis of Poetry on Stage

    23 The life and Death of White Desdemona and Black Othello: Through Abhinava Kalidasa - A Re-interpretation

    The World of Indian Cultures and Literatures

    24 Currents and Cross-currents of South Indian Cultures

    25 Dynamics of Pre-modern South Indian Culture

    26 Through Each Other’s Eyes: Rodin and Nataraja

    27 Indian Culture beyond India

    28 Contemporary Indian Literatures

    29 Dreaming Indian Literatures Anew

    30 Exploring Unchartered Territories of Indian Literature

    31 Changing the Sun: Notes on Modernity, Modernism and After in Indian Literatures

    32 The Outcaste at the City Gate

    33 Some Problems and Politics of Translation

    34 Translating the Tehsildar

    35 Loss of Home: Notes on Diasporic Writings


    H S Shivaprakash is poet, playwright, translator, and is one among the prominent literary figures in contemporary India. Recognized as a fresh voice in Kannada Literature at a young age, he eventually became an eminent bilingual poet and translator across multiple languages. As a renowned scholarly authority on Kannada Vachana literature, Sufism, Indian Bhakti traditions, and mystic symbolism, his literary prowess lies in reinventing the aesthetic elements in Indian mysticism. His first play titled Mahachaitra was published in 1986, followed by a stage adaption. He has received several accolades for his contributions to Indian Literature and Aesthetics, including the Sahitya Akademi Award. Apart from publishing anthologies of poems in different languages, plays, and books, he is also a prolific translator credited with translating Shakespeare’s plays into Kannada. Presently, he is a Professor at School of Arts and Aesthetics, JNU and the Director of the Cultural Centre at Berlin, known as the Tagore Centre.

    Kamalakar Bhat is Associate Professor at the Postgraduate Department of English at Ahmednagar College, Ahmednagar, Maharashtra. He is a bilingual writer and a translator between Kannada, English, and Marathi. His publications include three collections of poems in Kannada, the first Churuparu Reshime appeared in 2006 and won the Pu Ti Na Award for Best Book. The second, Mugiyada Madhyahna appeared in 2010 and the third, Jagada Jate Matu Kate was published in 2017. He has translated into English the poetry of several contemporary Kannada poets including S Manjunath, Jayant Kaikini, Abdul Rashid, N K Hanumantayya, K Sharifa, Mogalli Ganesh, and H S Anupama. He has also translated the poetry of the iconic Marathi Dalit poet Namdev Dhasal and published a reader on him in Kannada.