Classical Telugu Poetry: An Anthology

By Velcheru Narayana Rao; David Shulman | Go to book overview

TWENTY-FOUR
Muddupaḷani
Mid—eighteenth century

In Nāyaka and Maratha Tañjāvūr, women were prominent literati. Raṅgājamma, the courtesan-wife of Vijayarāghava Nāyaka, composed several virtuoso works, which also attest to her knowledge of many languages (this multilingualism was taken for granted in the courtly life of this period). A century later we find the poetess Muddupaḷani, a courtesan at the court of the Maratha king of Tañjāvūr, Pratāpa Singh (1739–63), to whom she dedicated her book, Rādhikā-sāntvanamu. The work must have enjoyed a considerable popularity through the nineteenth century, for a Telugu scholar employed by C. P. Brown, Paidipati Venkata Narusu, wrote a commentary on it. By the end of the nineteenth century, such works were, however, already proscribed by the government, determined by Victorian moral standards to be obscene.

Muddupaḷani's śṛṅgāra-kāvya—an elaborate love poem on the theme of Kṛṣṇa's love for his new wife Iḷa and the consequent jealousy of his senior wife, Rādha—offers a rich expression of a woman's sensibility and selfperception in the domain of sexuality. Such a focus is not unique to women poets of this period, since male poets, too, adopted a female voice: Kṣetrayya is a major example. Muddupaḷani's poetry is, on the whole, very close to that of such poets, although not of the same caliber. She is interesting in her own right for the unmediated articulation of a courtesan's view of love and for the inventiveness she brought to bear upon a rather routinized Kṛṣṇa theme.

Following the model of Kṛṣṇadevarāya, Muddupaḷani reports that Kṛṣṇa came to her in a dream as a little boy and asked her to compose this work on “appeasing Rādhika. ” She reported her dream to her guru, Vīrarāghavadeśika, in the company of other scholars, and they confirmed the revelation and advised her to compose the book and dedicate it to the god. Muddupa-

-293-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Classical Telugu Poetry: An Anthology
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 312

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.