The Katha (story) is the earliest form of literature; it must be as old as language itself. When man started narrating something that has happened, to his friend, it was the beginning of the Kathã. With the development of the language and literary forms the Kathä which had simple beginnings, has assumed different forms and names as can be seen from the varieties of the stories available and their descriptions in the theoritical works, in Sanskrit and the Prakrts. Thus, in course of time, ‘Katha’ lost its general sense of ‘a story’ and came to be used in a restricted sense of ‘a particular type of narrative in prose’ by some Sanskrit literary critics.?
Dr. (Mrs.) Nalini Sadhale, Professor of Sanskrit, Osmania University, has, after a thorough study of all the important works of Alañkãra Sastra, from the Kavyälañkara of Bhamaha to Sähity. darpna of Visvanätha, traced the development-of the Kathã both in its theoretical and practical aspects, in this monograph, entitled “Kath in Sanskrit poetics”. She has also shown how, according to some Alañkarikas, a Kathã need not necessarily be in prose only (P. 35). She has summarised the resuks of her investigation in 38 verses which are appended to the monograph. It is undoubtedy the first work of its kind on this subject and I am sure that it will be welcomed by all the scholars of Sanskrit and other Indian languages.
I am thankful to Prof. Nalini Sadhale, for having contributed this valuable article (Mono graph) to the Journal and also permitted the Academy to issue it as a separate book.
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