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Abhinavagupta's Conception of Humor:

Its Resonances in Sanskrit Drama, Poetry, Hindu Mythology & Spiritual Praxis

I have been meditating on a very serious subject...humor!
But the funny thing about it is that I don't find it at all humorous!

This is Sunthar's Ph.D. thesis as it was submitted to the Benares Hindu University in 1983. The only changes to the text are cosmetic: proofing, adding English equivalents of Sanskrit terms, etc. The thesis was strongly recommended for a D. Litt. degree (read the examiners' reports), which the university does not confer. I've offered the entire text (including summaries) of all the chapters and the lengthy Appendix (= endnotes to the Introduction), and am now proceeding to add the more significant footnotes. The page numbers of the original thesis submitted to BHU have been inserted in [red brackets] at the start of their corresponding pages to facilitate citation and reference in other works.

Prof. Kalidas Bhattacharya (Santiniketan University)

Prof. A.K. Chatterjee (Dept. of Philosophy, Banaras Hindu University)

Prof. F.B.J. Kuiper (Kern Institute, Leiden University) - see correspondence on report

Prof. Maria Christopher Byrski (Oriental Institute, Warsaw University)

Viva Voce report (Dept. of Philosophy, Banaras Hindu University)

Personal commendation from the Vice-Chancellor, Banaras Hindu University

Introduction [complete with supplementary endnotes ] [counters temporarily disabled]

  1. The Problem of Defining Humor - bio-notes [counters temporarily disabled]

  2. Gurdjieff's Theory of Laughter - bio-notes [counters temporarily disabled] [need to fix counter]

  3. Laughter and Bisociation [counters temporarily disabled]

  4. Laughter and Distress [counters temporarily disabled]

  5. Suddenness: Hsa and Vismaya (Surprise) distinguished [counters temporarily disabled]

  6. Bisociation and Incongruity [counters temporarily disabled]

  7. Hsa and Hsya as distinguished in Rasa theory [counters temporarily disabled]

  8. The Role of Humor in Sanskrit Love Poetry [counters temporarily disabled]

  9. Humor and the semblance of Rasa: the semblance of humor [counters temporarily disabled]

  10. Wit and Linguistic Ambiguity [counters temporarily disabled]

Abhinavagupta's Conception of Humor: Conclusion [counters temporarily disabled]

Appendix [counters temporarily disabled]

Glossary [incomplete]