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Episode 8: Binging


Binge-watching. You sit down, popcorn and soda at the ready, and before you know it, three hours have gone by and Netflix pops up with a message: “Are you still watching?”  While binge-watching is a fairly new English phrase (attested by the OED back to 1998 in verb form) in the sense of “overindulgence,” binging goes back to the 19th century, associated with gluttony. While binging on television may be a particularly modern phenomenon, the connection between gluttony and aesthetic taste is not. Today on Sutras (and Stuff) we’ll look at the Sanskrit thinker Abhinavagupta on aesthetic gluttony. Would he binge-watch the Tiger King or even the Ramayana on Netflix?


Locana commentary on Anandavardhana’s Dhvanyaloka, Jeffrey Moussaeiff Masson, M.V. Patwardhan, Daniel H.H. Ingalls, Harvard University Press, 1990.

Śāntarasa and Abhinavagupta’s Philosophy of Aesthetics, Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, J. L. Masson, M. V. Patwardhan, Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, 1969. On Amazon.

The Triadic Heart of Siva: Kaula Tantricism of Abhinavagupta in the Non-dual Shaivism of Kashmir,  Paul E. Muller-Ortega, State University of New York Press, 2010.

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