Bāṇa: The Poet with Egotism
Poetic egotism, defined as confidence of poets’ self or works, probably appears in Sanskrit literature since Itihāsa period. The concept has previously been focused on works themselves and later on that relating to poet’s self since Subandhu, a Sanskrit poet in 6th century. Amongst Sanskrit poets, Bāṇa shows his own egotism remarkably. It is, therefore, the objective to study characteristic of Bāṇa’s poetic egotism represented in his works and the reasons behind the egotism. The findings are Bāṇa is very famous amongst poets in later period. It is noticeable that poets contemporary with him do not give him any compliments, whereas Bāṇa shows egotism outstandingly, as can be seen in eulogies of his own family and himself, hiding himself through Śleṣa, a kind of Sanskrit punning, insincere condescension, and violent criticism to others. Bāṇa’s remarkable egotism reflects that he wanted to find exploitation to himself in Harṣa’s royal court because he might become one of royal poets in almost the end of his reign. Besides, poetic egotism is represented to conceal self-diffidence as well, as can be seen from reference to ‘other’ in his egotism at the same time, which Sanskrit poets never do. Hence, Bāṇa’s poetic egotism shows some complicated characteristics and not to be regarded as just confidence in poetic skill without considering behind the scenes.
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