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The Mahabharata: An epic poem about the Great War
An epic poem of 100,000 verses, (the longest such poem in the world) that is a key to understanding the Indian ethos and worldview.

This 90-minute course is an introduction to a mammoth work of myth and philosophy, a survey of the epic narrative, accompanied by readings and videos from TV and movies.

This will be followed by a discussion of the Mahabharata as literary tour-de-force, pre-empting literary techniques we consider modern such as self-referential composition, flash-backs and flash-forwards, magical realism, embedded and re-ified story-telling.

We may also discuss how it continues to be a carrier of living advice and wisdom, providing long-range perspective and motivation for short-term action, with themes ranging all over the spectrum:

the hazards of impulsive behavior,
addiction to gambling,
the risks of mockery,
the need for fidelity and loyalty,
the tradeoff between idealism and pragmatism,
the reasoned path to a just war,
the tragic aftermath of all wars,
the tragedies that mark individual lives,
the balance between the individual and the collective, etc..

Time being limited, we can only discuss a little of this, but it can set the stage for a longer extended discussion.

Date: 05/19/2014
Location: The Wellesley Recreation Center
Time: 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Contact: Kamesh Aiyer 617-735-1863

Email: kamesh@acm.org

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