In the Shade of the Golden Palace: =Alaol and Middle Bengali Poetics in Arakan

ISBN : 9780190860332

Thibaut d'Hubert
392 Pages
165 x 243 mm
Pub date
Apr 2018
South Asia Research
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In the Shade of the Golden Palace explores the work of the prolific Bengali poet Alaol (fl. 1651-71), who translated five narrative poems and one versified treatise from medieval Hindi and Persian into Bengali. This book is a unique guide for readers of Middle Bengali poetry, a detailed study of the cultural history of the frontier region of Arakan, and an original contribution to the poetics of South Asian literatures.


Map of Arakan and eastern South Asia in the seventeenth century
Introduction: Poetics in the margins
Chapter 1: The formation of Bengali literature in Arakan (ca. 1430-1638)
Chapter 2: Literary urbanity in Mrauk U
Chapter 3: New beginnings: Alaol's early career in Mrauk U
Chapter 4 Alaol's poetry and Mrauk U's political turmoil
Chapter 5: Alaol's poetics: when locality rhymes with originality
Chapter 6: Indo-Afghan historical imaginaries and the romance genre
Chapter 7: Lyric poetry and desi aesthetics in eastern South Asia
Conclusion: Middle Bengali poetics and the multilingual literary history of Bengal
Appendix 1: Summaries of Alaol's Padmavati and the story of the goldsmith's wife
a. Summary of Alaol's Padmavati
b. The story of the goldsmith's wife in Sayphulmuluk Badiujjamal
Appendix 2: Analytical tables of Alaol's songs
Appendix 3: Original texts of the Middle Bengali and Old Maithili songs
Appendix 4: A Persian appraisal of Alaol's life and works

About the author: 

Thibaut d'Hubert is an assistant professor of South Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago.

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