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Italics mine. 31 The Mahabharata is mostly concerned with kfatriyas and brahmans~ and is therefore far from being "folk literature" in Bakhtin's sense. It was the mouthpiece of groups that possessed.. or at least aspired to possess~ hegemony, namely kings and priests. It articulated ideas about power and claims to power. However~ it is always a mistake to conceive of the dominant group as a simple entity. T:za engaged in at different historical junctures. In this process many types of discourse were brought together dialogically, in the sense that when they were juxtaposed within the same flXed textual entity a dialogical relationship between them could emerge.

Certainly it can not be applied to one with a long manuscript tradition such as the Mahabharata. This may be all for the better. rata of "after the faIl," and we may also be able to face squarely the fact that the Mahabhiirata is an elite text. Being a Sanskrit text perfonned and written-down by Sanskrit speakers. probably mostly brahmans~ for an audience which had to be at least conversant with the Sanskrit language .. it inevitably filters out the voices of those who did not have access to this prestige language.

Following the rule of universal attestation, the editor, S. K. De, has relegated this passage to Appendix I. De sensed, perhaps, that in this case to follow the rule blindly is a little problematic, so he also justified this editorial decision by the argument that the unit in question is inferior and that it looks like a reworking, a "repetition" of units already present in the Santi Parvan. The editors themselves recognize, however, that repetition cannot serve as a valid criterion of itself. 4.

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A BATTLEFIELD OF A TEXT INNER TEXTUAL INTERPRETATION IN THE SANSKRIT MAHABHARATA by Tamar Chana Reich


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