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When Mirrors Are WindowsA View of A.K. Ramanujan's Poetics$
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Guillermo Rodríguez

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199463602

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199463602.001.0001

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Reflecting on Art

Reflecting on Art

A.K. Ramanujan’s ‘Outer’ Aesthetics

(p.165) 5 Reflecting on Art
When Mirrors Are Windows

Guillermo Rodríguez

Oxford University Press

In this chapter Ramanujan’s aesthetics is tackled from the ‘outer’ or scholarly perspective of his academic disciplines and the various aesthetic and philosophical traditions he was steeped in. Both as an artist and as a scholar, he was concerned with how the theory and practice of art could be approached within a variety of cultural systems and contexts each yielding idiosyncratic world views. His close attention to detail and to the larger patterns in a system often led him to venture into intercultural comparisons and establish unexpected parallelisms and interconnections between several aesthetic conventions. This chapter is therefore concerned with a systematic analysis of the major theoretical strands that went into Ramanujan’s aesthetic fabric. The different traditions that converge in his aesthetics are treated separately, including Western ideas on art and beauty, Sanskrit and Tamil aesthetics, and oral and bhakti traditions.

Keywords:   aesthetics, philosophy of art, Indian philosophy, Sanskrit aesthetics, rasa theory, Dravidian studies, Tamil aesthetics, medieval bhakti poetry and aesthetics, folk studies

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