Ami Upadhyay. A Handbook of the Indian Poetics and Aesthetics.
Bareilly: Prakash Book Depot, 2017, Pages 177, Price: Rs. 125/-.
Though interest in classical Indian poetics has been live, nothing new seems to have been added or discovered over the last half-a-century or more. New books by professors of English, at best, have been repetitive. A scholar of the stature of Ananda Coomsraswamy is awaited to relate Sanskrit poetics to Western theoretical developments in the present century.
Having said this, I am happy to browse through the book in hand, a "compendium of delight," as Ami Upadhyay says. Ami is a classical dancer and teacher of English language and comparative literature, and competent to tell us about Indian poetics and aesthetics, including theories of Rasa, Riti, Dhvani, Vakrokti, Alankaras, Aucitya, Guna-Dosa, etc. She obviously dwells on Bharata's Natya Shashtra and briefly touches upon other Sanskrit poeticians and theorists such as Dandin, Jagannatha, Kuntaka, Abhinavagupta, Ksemendra Rajasekhara, Vishwanatha, Hemendra and others, on the one hand, and Plato, Aristotle, Ananda Coomaraswamy, and other Europeans, on the other.
The short chapters on Coomsraswamy, and Indian and Western Literary criticism and poetics, along with the appendices should help new scholars pursue further study in a subject which is already part of English literature course in many universities.
Ami's handbook is clearly planned and well developed, but omission of R S Tiwary's A Critical Approach to Classical Indian Poetics (1984) from her Bibliography is disappointing.
I am pleased to recommend it to Honour's and M A students.