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Transformation of Plot - Urdu Ghazal

Transformation of Plot - Urdu Ghazal

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Published by Javed Hussen
Transformation of Plot - Urdu Ghazal
Transformation of Plot - Urdu Ghazal

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Published by: Javed Hussen on Mar 18, 2014
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05/15/2014

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THE TRANSFORMATION
 OF
 PLOT IN
 THE
 COUPLET
 OF THE
 URDU GHAZAL:
AN
 EXAMINATION
 OF
 NARRATIVE By PAUL ADREEN LIBOIRON
BA.
 The
 University
 of 
 Regina,
 1974
A
 THESIS
 SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MASTER'S DEGREE in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE
 STUDIES
(Department of 
 Asian
 Studies)
We
 accept
 this
 thesis as
 conforming
to the required standard
THE UNIVERSITY OF
 BRITISH
 COLUMBIA
December 1989
©
 Paul
 Adrien Liboiron,
 1989
 
In
 presenting this thesis
 in
 partial fulfilment
 of the
 requirements
 for an
 advanced degree
 at the
 University
 of 
 British Columbia,
 I
 agree
 that
 the
 Library shall make
 it
freely available
 for 
 reference
 and
 study.
 I
 further agree
 that
 permission
 fo
 extensive
copying
 of 
 this thesis
 fo
 scholarly purposes
 may be
 granted
 by the
 head
 of my
department
 or by his or her 
 representatives,
 it is
 understood
 that
 copying
 or
publication
 of 
 this thesis
 for 
 financial gain shall
 not be
 allowed
 without
 my
 written
permission.
Department
 of 
 Asian Studies
The University
 of 
 British Columbia
Vancouver,
 Canada Date
 December 18th, 1989
DE-6
 (2/88)
 
ii
ABSTRACT
This
 thesis examines a
 selection
 of verses taken
 from
 the
 Urdu
 divan
 of 
 Mirza
Asadullah
 Khan Ghalib.
 Ghalib
 is considered by many to be the preeminent
 writer 
 of the
classical
 Urdu
 ghazal (circa 1750-1850).
 Although
 the examination is restricted to
 Ghalib's
verse, the problem it investigates is broader 
 in
 nature
 and
 involves
 questions
 which
 some
aspects
 of the
 ghazal
 raise
 with
 respect to the
 reader's
 involvement.
 An
 essential
 feature
 of
the ghazal
 form
 is
 the fact
 that,
 although the
 ghazal
 poem consists of a set of couplets, each couplet of 
 a
 ghazal is
 itself 
 a
 complete text
 with
 respect to its content The question, then,
is
 "how
 does
 the
 reader 
 become
 involved
 in
 a
 form
 limited
 to two
 lines
 of text?"
 This
thesis discusses the question
 from
 a narratological
 perspective: the couplet
 involves
 the
reader 
 by
 telling
 a story.
The
 narrative of the couplet differs
 from
 what one
 normally
 thinks of 
 as
 narrative in
 that
 the
significance
 of its plot
 is derived,
 not
 from
 a series of episodes arranged
 in
 chronological
order, but
 from
 a
 thematic
 continuity
 which links
 couplet to couplet
 within
 the
 tradition
 as a
whole.
 The
 world
 of the ghazal is inhabited by a few characters, the
 principal
 being the
lover 
 and the
 beloved,
 whose behaviour and
 attitudes
 are determined
 largely
 by a set
 of
well-defined
 conventions.
 The characters who
 appear 
 in
 the
 individual
 couplet are already
familiar from
 the dramas to
 which
 these
 characters have been subjected
 in
 previous readings of other couplets.
 However, unlike
 the characters in a
 traditional
 novel
 whose histories connect a
 great
 variety of 
 events
 within
 a
 chronological
 framework, the couplet is
extremely
 limited
 in
 term of the number of 
 chronological
 connections it can
 establish.
 The
depiction
 of time
 in
 the
 ghazal
 is
 radically
 different
 from
 the often elaborate histories  presented
 in
 forms such as the
 novel.
 The
 world
 of the ghazal is merely suggested.
Consequently,
 the
 reader's
 role
 in
 reconstructing the
 world
 of the text
 is
 of 
 particular
importance
 in
 compact forms such as
 that
 of the
 ghazal.
 The contention of this thesis is
 that
the restrictions
 imposed
 by
 the couplet on plot structure has been compensated for by the
cultivation
 of 
 a
 narrative style
 in
 the ghazal text
 which
 often forces the
 reader 
 to become aware of the process o
 discovering
 the drama of the text.

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