Alaṃkāraśāstra and Aesthetics

One of the fundamental problems of Sanskrit poetics, as indeed of all poetics, is the problem of the content and expression of poetry. From the beginning of the discipline,
this was recognized. The parts of language, the śabda and artha (word and sense), or, technically, the vācaka and vācya, (expressor and the expressed), had already been distinguished by grammatical and philosophical speculation as the medium of linguistic expression. The essential element of allliterature, as of all language, therefore, is said to consist of the material of word and sense, and the earliest definitions of poetry start in terms of śabda and artha. So long as poetry is a kind of expression, conveyed through the medium of language, this is inevitable.

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