This word means "sound" literally, but does not deal with the fhction of sound in the musical sense. The theory was first propounded by Anandavardhana, the ninth century thinker, in his treatise, Dhavanyaloka (Dhvani+aloka). The Dhvani theory considers the indirectly evoked meaning or suggestivity as the characteristic f a e of literary utterance. This feature separates and determines the literary from other kinds of discourse, and is an all-embracing principle which explains the structure and function of the other significant aspects of literary utterance: the aesthetic &e,d or rasa, the figural mode and devices (alamkara), and so on. In Kapoor's words, "all the subsequent literary theorists in the tradition found the combination of rasa and dhvani theories both adequate and sufficient to analyse the constitution of meaning in Indian literature. " In his treatise I have mentioned before, Anandavardhana has given a detailed description of structural analysis of indirect meanings. According to him, if we can explain how indirect meanings arise systematically, we can claim that all potential meanings inhere in a text. Anandavardhana uses the term dhvani to designate the universe of suggestion. (The soul of kmya is dhyani, he says). His preference for the term sprang from the fact that grammarians before him had used the term to denote several concepts. First, to denote the sound structure of sabda or words; second, to denote the semantic aspect of sabda; and third, the complex of the now revealed suggested meaning and the process of suggestion involved. Thus drvuni theory is a theory of meaning (an Indian hermeneutics or sorts), of symbolism. The thrust of this theory is towards claiming a greater value for the poetry of suggestion.
Anandavardhana integrates the theory of the rasa with his dhvani theory; that is, he says that dhvani is the method through which the effect of rasa is achieved. Rasa is the effect of suggestion. Mimesis
For Plato (429-397 B.C.), 'poiesis' or what we call literary theory or even criticism was an imitation or, 'mimesis'. ('Poiesis' (GK) translates into poetry, in English, but the focus of these two term is very different, for the Greeks lyric poetry had a very small part to play as compared to the epic or drama. Plato and Aristotle moreover theorised not about lyric poetry, but about tragedy and comedy, about drama, so Richard Harland suggests the more appropriate use of the terms literary theory/criticism for the Greek 'poiesis'). Plato called 'poiesis' an imitation or 'mimesis' because he believed drama to be a reproduction of something that is not really present, and is therefore a 'dramatisation of the reproduction' (Richard Harland, p.6). What he means is that in a play or an epic, what happens is this - the poet recreates an experience, the audience watch that re-created experience, they are in fact encouraged to live through that experience . as if they are physically within the time and space of that experience. Not only this, Plato, also goes on distinguish between 'mimesis' and 'digenesis'. "Mimesis' is the speech of a character directly reproduced,' whereas 'digenesis' is 'a narration of doings and sayings where 'the poet speaks in his own person and does not try to turn our attention in another direction by pretending that soineone else is speaking .' [Plato, quoted in Harland, p.7). With this distinction between 'mimesis' and 'digenesis', it is easy for us to discern that drama is entirely 'mimet~c' , whereas epic is mi metic only where dialogue is reproduced rii t e%:!' t. where the poet t r l l s (lie ~ [ O I, il I ,d i 'r IV. / $C' .I !] .iiurt, this is what larv
called ' s h c ~111 ~:' , 1 1 1 t i 'tcllii~g'r e:,pet>l~l;\ . l1l*zi~h owever disapprt . imitation, and i)1 tit~ln,ltiscdd ~alogue.
'Mimesis', in Greek thought primarily meant 'making' of one sort or another. This is well recorded in Plato. Plato gave a new metaphysical and epistemological perspective to...