Dandin’s Magic Mirror

Yigal Bronner, Gary Tubb

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Chapter 1 explores Dandin’s Mirror of Literature (Kāvyādarśa) with a special focus on its pedagogy and method (mārga). The chapter opens by introducing Dandin and his uniquely open vision, in contrast to most works of Sanskrit śāstra and, in particular, to that of his main predecessor, Bhamaha. This openness is then demonstrated in the discussion of three of the Mirror’s main topics: poetic ornaments (alaṅkāra), for which Dandin presents a set of figurative modules that enable endless new and playful combinations; poetic flaws (doṣa) and virtues (guṇa), which Dandin sees as scalar (virtues become flaws due to sloppiness or overdoing, but almost every flaw can be upgraded to a virtue or an ornament); and poetry’s difficult path, with an emphasis on the figure of yamaka, or “twinning,” which he shows is easier than would otherwise seem. The chapter concludes by briefly discussing Dandin’s “pleasure principle.”

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationA Lasting Vision
Subtitle of host publicationDandin’s Mirror in the World of Asian Letters
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages42
ISBN (Electronic)9780197642924
ISBN (Print)9780197642924
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2023


  • Alaṅkāra
  • Bhamaha
  • Dandin
  • Doṣa
  • Guṇa
  • Kāvyādarśa
  • Mārga
  • Pedagogy
  • Yamaka
  • śāstra

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities


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