Vijayangara a Forgotten Empire of Poetesses, Part I, the Voice of Gangadevi
Description: softcover, 215 pp. (20x14,5cm), phots.
Lidia Sudyka, Vijayangara a Forgotten Empire of Poetesses, Part I, the Voice of Gangadevi, Krakow 2013
The study, Vijayanagara: A Forgotten Empire of Poetesses, is devoted to two works: the Madhurāvijaya of Gaṅgādevī and Varadāmbikāpariṇaya Campū by Tirumalāmbā.The Madhurāvijaya, on which the present book concentrates, is a fourteenth-century epic poem (mahākāvya) preserved in nine cantos and written by Gaṅgādevī, who belonged to the court of Kampana, the son of Bukka I (reigned: 1357 - 1377) of the Sangama Dynasty. This Sanskrit work, according to its title, “The Conquest of Madhurā”, was written in order to celebrate Kampana's victory over the Madurai Sultanate. The assessment of its literary qualities is not the main objective of the present project. Historical epic poems depicted royal histories and they must have aspired to enter the domain of public political texts articulating kingly power. That is why it would be far more important to analyse and describe the historical context of the poems representing Vijayanagara culture. Comparison with other literary and inscriptional sources written at that time will help to achieve this aim.
It is hoped that the present study will bring to light some data concerning the culture of the Vijayangara Empire but most importantly depict the court poets and their patrons reflected in poems. However, as we are dealing with women's writing here it is expected that, despite the fact that Sanskrit classical literature (kāvya) was highly conventionalised, it would be possible to recognize the views and feelings of Vijayangara royal women and perhaps understand what their position was, in the literary marketplace included.