A River Sutra Literary Heritage & History

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A River Sutra is a very textual novel. In almost every section, traditional Indian literary texts and art forms are referred to. This is important because in many ways A River Sutra is modeled on these other works. The very word "sutra" in the novel's title refers to an Indian literary form, that Mehta describes as "usually aphoristic in nature." An aphorism is a short statement that contains a general truth. In other words, "sutras" usually contain a moral or a message intended to enlighten the reader.

Many Western readers of A River Sutra may recognize the term "sutra" from the famous Indian book of exotic love, Kama Sutra. This encyclopedic work, written in the fifth century A.D. by the Indian Vatsayana, is referred to in Mehta's novel. The theme of Kama Sutra as well as its form are signifi- cant to A River Sutra. Mehta's novel...

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This section contains 354 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the A River Sutra Study Guide
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Literature of Developing Nations for Students
A River Sutra from Literature of Developing Nations for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.