A Lasting Vision: Dandin’s Mirror in the World of Asian Letters

Yigal Bronner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


A Lasting Vision is dedicated to the Mirror of Literature (Kāvyādarśa), a Sanskrit treatise on poetics composed by Dandin in south India (ca. 700 CE) and to its remarkable career throughout large parts of Asia. The Mirror was adapted and translated into several languages in the southern Indian peninsula (Kannada, Tamil) and the island of Sri Lanka (Sinhala, Pali), as well as in the Tibetan plateau far to the north (Tibetan, Mongolian). In all these receiving cultures, it became a classical text and a source of constant engagement and innovation, often well into the modern era. It also traveled to Burma and Thailand, where it held a place of honor in Buddhist monastic education and intellectual life, and likely to the islands of Java and Bali, where it contributed to the production of literature in Old Javanese. There is even reason to believe that it reached China and impacted Chinese literary culture, although far more peripherally than in other parts of Asia. It also maintained a prominent position in the Sanskrit learned discourses throughout the Indian subcontinent for at least a millennium. This multi-authored volume, organized by region and language, is the first attempt to chart and explain the Mirror’s amazing transregional and multilingual success: what was so unique about this work that might explain its near-continental conquest, how it was transmitted to and received in the many different environments, and what happened to it whenever it was being adopted and adapted.

Original languageAmerican English
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages544
ISBN (Electronic)9780197642924
ISBN (Print)9780197642924
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Oxford University Press 2023.


  • Buddhism
  • Burma
  • Dandin
  • Java
  • Kannada
  • Kāvyādarśa
  • Pali
  • Sinhala
  • Tamil
  • Tibet


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