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Orientalist JonesSir William Jones, Poet, Lawyer, and Linguist, 1746-1794$
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Michael J. Franklin

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199532001

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199532001.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 02 December 2021

Europe Falls in Love with Śakuntalā

Europe Falls in Love with Śakuntalā

(p.251) 7 Europe Falls in Love with Śakuntalā
Orientalist Jones

Michael J. Franklin

Oxford University Press

This chapter charts the enraptured response of European Romanticism to Jones's translation of Kālidāsa's Śakuntalā. This play utterly changed Europe's conception of India. A revolutionary contribution to Orientalism, Sacontalá received, in the century following its publication, no fewer than forty-six translations in twelve different languages. Mary Wollstonecraft, reviewing the London edition of 1790, discovered delicacy, refinement, and a pure morality in Sacontalá, the very qualities Jones was anxious to stress in his representation of Hindu culture. The warm reception given by the British reviews appears tepid by comparison with the rapturous German response. Goethe, Herder, Majer and the Schlegels compete in rhapsodizing upon its artistic harmony, its mingling of poetry and nature, the devotional and the erotic. The accuracy and sensitivity of Jones's translation of both Śakuntalā and Jayadeva's Gítagóvinda compare favourably with modern translations. Gítagóvinda was received in a mood of European bhakti as a key to universal religion

Keywords:   Śakuntalā, Orientalism, Jena Romanticism, Goethe, Herder, rasa, sensibility, cultural translation, Byron, Lady Morgan

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