The Sound of the Kiss, or The Story That Must Never Be Told

The Sound of the Kiss, or The Story That Must Never Be Told

The Sound of the Kiss, or The Story That Must Never Be Told

The Sound of the Kiss, or The Story That Must Never Be Told

Excerpt

Great artists occasionally emerge together, all at once, like a goddess embodying herself in multiple forms. They may belong to a single extended moment, which they shape through their harmonic resonances in the direction of cultural innovation or breakthrough. This happened in Sophoclean Athens, for example; in Russia in the second half of the nineteenth century; in sixteenth-century Spain. It also happened in sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century South India, in the area now known as Andhra Pradesh, where Telugu is spoken. In the early decades of the sixteenth century, under the patronage of a famous king, Krishna-deva-raya of Vijayanagara, Telugu poets produced masterpieces of narrative poetry, kavya, often playing with one another and echoing themes, styles, and a certain intensity of observation and description. The oustanding names are Krishnadeva-raya himself, his court-poets Peddanna and Mukku Timmanna, and, somewhat later, Tenali Ramakrishnadu and Bhattu-murtti. Together, they created a corpus of unique rich-

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