Review Argument and Design Reading Religion February 2017 [Book Review]

Reading Religion 2017:1 (2017)
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Argument and Design: The Unity of the Mahābhārata is the outcome of a series of three panels dedicated to the renowned scholar of the Mahābhārata, Alf Hiltebeitel, organized by his favorite disciple, Vishwa Adluri on the occasion of Alf’s seventieth birthday. Per its author “whatever is found here [in the Mahābhārata] may be found elsewhere, but whatever is not, will be found nowhere else” (ix). In his foreword, Robert P. Goldman says that, despite having so many dimensions encompassing so many fields, in the end the Mahabharata “is just a rollicking great tale that has inspired countless re-tellings and kept audiences fascinated for millennia” (x). Adluri, one of the editors, introduces “the premise” of this volume to be “that the Mahābhārata is a work of literature and that its upākhyānas (subtales or, perhaps more accurately, proximate narratives) are central to its literary project” (1).
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