The aim of my project, which is based in part on my PhD dissertation, is to attempt to shed some light on the beginnings of dūtakāvya, one of the most prolific yet also one of the most understudied literary genres of India. The earliest dūtakāvya, Kālidāsa’s Meghadūta, is widely known, yet what is often forgotten is that the genre continued to develop over the centuries and hundreds of dūtakāvya poems have been composed in the ca. 1500 years since Kālidāsa’s times. It is widely accepted that Jambūkavi’s Candradūta (10 C.E.) is the second oldest dūtakāvya available to us while some researchers claim that the anonymous Ghaṭakarparakāvya also belongs to the genre and is, in fact, just as ancient as the Meghadūta.
My goal is to complete a philological and literary analysis of the Candradūta and Ghaṭakarparakāvya as well as the Meghadūta to determine the possible interrelations between these texts. This analysis could prove useful in trying to reconstruct the beginnings of the dūtakāvya genre and will require the preparation of working translations of all three texts (the Candradūta has never been translated or studied). The result will be a substantial paper or monograph which will collect the findings of the project carried out during the Fellowship as well as earlier research on the topic done during the preparation of my dissertation.
Dr Lidia Szczepanik-Wojtczak was awarded the title PhD in the field of Literature Studies – Oriental Philology: Indology at the Jagiellonian University in 2015.