Subscribe for Newsletters and Discounts
Be the first to receive our thoughtfully written
religious articles and product discounts.
Your interests (Optional)
This will help us make recommendations and send discounts and sale information at times.
By registering, you may receive account related information, our email newsletters and product updates, no more than twice a month. Please read our Privacy Policy for details.
.
By subscribing, you will receive our email newsletters and product updates, no more than twice a month. All emails will be sent by Exotic India using the email address info@exoticindia.com.

Please read our Privacy Policy for details.
|6
Sign In  |  Sign up
Your Cart (0)
Share our website with your friends.
Email this page to a friend
Books > Language and Literature > Fiction > An Anthology of Tamil Pulp Fiction
Displaying 3620 of 4597         Previous  |  NextSubscribe to our newsletter and discounts
An Anthology of Tamil Pulp Fiction
An Anthology of Tamil Pulp Fiction
Description
Translator’s Note

This book is an attempt to claim the status of “literature” for a huge body of writing that has rarely if ever made it into an academic library, despite having been produced for nearly a century. While a good deal of Tamil fiction has been rendered in English, it has primarily been members of the literati who have enjoyed this distinction. Even the recent translations of more popular authors such as Sivasankari and Sujatha seem to be selections of their most serious, “meaningful” work.

As a schoolgirl in mid-sixties Chennai, I grew up on a steady diet of Anandha Vikatan, Kumudham, Dhinamani Kadhir, Thuglaq, Kalaimagal and Kalkandu. These magazines were shared and read by practically all the women at home. ‘Then there were other publications, less welcome in a traditional household, with more glamorous pictures and lustier stories. These we would regularly purloin from the driver of our school bus, Natraj, who kept a stack of them hidden under the back seat. I doubt if he knew what an active readership he was sponsoring on those long bus rides.

So, from the days when our English reading consisted of Enid Blyton, Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys up until we grew out of Earl Stanley Gardner, Arthur 1-lailey, and Hadley Chase, we also had a parallel world of Ra. Ki. Rangarajan, Rajendra Kumar, Sivasankari, Vaasanthi, Lakshmi, Anuthama... and especially Sujatha, who rocked us back in the seventies with his laundry-woman jokes. As school kids, though we did not understand what they actually meant, we were definitely aware of the unsaid adult content in them. His detective duo Ganesh and Vasanth were suddenly speaking a kind of Tamil that was much closer to our Anglicised language than anything we had seen before on paper. We were completely seduced by the brevity of his writing.

Households would meticulously collect the stories serialized in these weeklies and have them hard-bound to serve as reading material during the long, hot summet vacations. We offer an excerpt from one of these serials in this collection: En Peyar Kamala, by Pushpa Thangadurai, with sketches by Jayaraj. I remember when this story was being serialized in the mid-seventies. The journal was kept hidden in my mother’s cupboard. The subject matter was deemed too dangerous for us young girls. Since I was not allowed to read it at home, naturally, I read it on the school bus. Thanks to Natraj.

Then came college days, my political awakening and my increasing involvement with theatre activism, during which I consciously distanced myself from reading pulp fiction and moved to more “serious stuff”. Two and a half decades of marriage, two daughters, many cigarettes and a lot of rum later, I got called upon to return to it. When Rakesh—a California-born, non-Tamil-speaking Chennai transplant who had developed a burning curiosity about the cheap novels on the rack at his neighborhood tea stand—approached me with the idea of doing this book, it was fun to discover that the child in me is still alive and kicking. I used to think of this as my literature. I still do. I just took a little vacation from it.

Of course, time had passed, and things had changed. The latest pulp novels were thin, glossy, ten-rupee jobs with bizarrely photo shopped covers. Actually, they weren’t new; they had been around for three decades—I just hadn’t read one yet! It took some time to catch up; I spent a year searching through library records for the most popular books, going on wild travels to strange book houses and the far lung homes of the many different authors, artists and publishers, taking many crazy bus journeys and visiting many coffee houses, and doing a kind of pleasure reading I realized I had been badly missing for the past thirty years.

The corpus of pulp literature that has been produced for Tamil readers is vast, and there is no hope of providing a representative sample in a single volume. We decided on a selection of stories from the late l960s to the present; a few notes on the earlier history of the genre follow.

‘The Tamil people take great pride in speaking a living classical language, a language which had written texts even as early as the 6” century B.C. Two things were necessary prerequisites for the reading habit to be spread throughout the general population. The first was printing technology, which until the early 19” century was available only for government agencies and for the printing of the Gospels. The second was education. In ancient society, education was privileged cultural capital, available to only a few caste groups. For fiction to move from the sole preserve of the “patrons of literature” into the hands of the masses took three centuries from the time when the European colonists first stepped on this soil.

Yes, the colonists brought us “literacy”. But even after the British democratized it, it took a whole century to grow into the larger public. Four decades after printing technology became available to more than jus the state government and the missionaries, novels became a hit among the middle classes—though this new form of fiction still encountered some opposition.

The first books for popular readership, besides translations of the British literary canon, were typified by Prathaba Mudhaliar Sarithiram (1879), an ultra-moralistic Christian novel about the dangers of a hedonistic lifestyle. This and other early Tamil novels were usually serialized in monthly periodicals. In the early 2Orh century, the literary journal Manikkodi was at the forefront of a Tamil renaissance driven by leftist, humanist writers such as Pudumaipittan, Illango, and Ramaiyya. At the same time, in a wholly separate sector of the readership, the British “penny dreadful” (and after World War I, the American dime novel) inspired another crop of Tamil authors, including Vaduvoor Doraisami Iyengar. His Brahmin detective hero, Digambara Samiar, held a law degree and a superior, casteist morality which set him apart from the gritty underworld in which his investigations took place. The criminal the big names. These writers churn out literally hundreds pages of fiction every month. The speed of production has the effect of making the plots somewhat dreamlike, with investigations wandering far afield, characters appearing and disappearing without warning, and resolutions surprising us from out of the blue.

Yet, for all their escapism, these works in no way leave behind the times they were created in; they contain reactions to, reflections on, and negations of what was going on. Our selection by no means exhausts the ocean. But hopefully the bouquet we finally managed to put together can give the reader some sense of the madness and diversity of this flourishing literary scene.

Rakesh and I would like to thank the following people for helping to put this book together: the authors and artists and their families; Gowri Govender, who opened her library for me to freely borrow from; Dilip Kumar, who put me on to authors popular before my time; Candace Khanna, Sheila Moore, and Kaveri Lalchand for their valuable feedback; Rashmi, for all her support and suggestions; and Chaks, who brought Tamilvanan into our text and also patiently waited for the many hours we spent in the nights to finish.

Content

Translator’s Note ix
Subha
Hurricane Vaij 1
Rajesh Kumar
Idhaya 2020 46
Matchstick Number One 51
Silicon Hearts 92
The Rainbow 97
The F.L.R. 105
Q & A with Rajesh Kumar 111
Vidya Subramaniam
Me 116
Ripples 120
Indra Soundar Rajan
The Rebirth of Jeeva 131
Q & A with Indra Soundar Rajan 173
Ramanichandran
The Rich Woman 177
Dim Lights, Blazing Hearts 184
Pattukkottai Prabakar
Sweetheart, Please Die! 221
Pushpa Thangadorai
My Name is Kamala (excerpt) with illustrations by Jayaraj 276
Tamilvanan
Tokyo Rose 304
Prajananda V.K.
A Murder and a Few Mysteries 325
Revenge 332
Resakee
Glory Be to the Love that Kills! 340
Notes 361

An Anthology of Tamil Pulp Fiction

Item Code:
NAC420
Cover:
Paperback
Edition:
2008
ISBN:
9788190605601
Size:
8.5 Inch X 5.5 Inch
Pages:
380 (50 Color & 12 B/W Illustrations)
Other Details:
Weight of the Book: 575 gms
Price:
$35.00
Discounted:
$28.00   Shipping Free
You Save:
$7.00 (20%)
Add to Wishlist
Send as e-card
Send as free online greeting card
An Anthology of Tamil Pulp Fiction

Verify the characters on the left

From:
Edit     
You will be informed as and when your card is viewed. Please note that your card will be active in the system for 30 days.

Viewed 7204 times since 10th Oct, 2011
Translator’s Note

This book is an attempt to claim the status of “literature” for a huge body of writing that has rarely if ever made it into an academic library, despite having been produced for nearly a century. While a good deal of Tamil fiction has been rendered in English, it has primarily been members of the literati who have enjoyed this distinction. Even the recent translations of more popular authors such as Sivasankari and Sujatha seem to be selections of their most serious, “meaningful” work.

As a schoolgirl in mid-sixties Chennai, I grew up on a steady diet of Anandha Vikatan, Kumudham, Dhinamani Kadhir, Thuglaq, Kalaimagal and Kalkandu. These magazines were shared and read by practically all the women at home. ‘Then there were other publications, less welcome in a traditional household, with more glamorous pictures and lustier stories. These we would regularly purloin from the driver of our school bus, Natraj, who kept a stack of them hidden under the back seat. I doubt if he knew what an active readership he was sponsoring on those long bus rides.

So, from the days when our English reading consisted of Enid Blyton, Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys up until we grew out of Earl Stanley Gardner, Arthur 1-lailey, and Hadley Chase, we also had a parallel world of Ra. Ki. Rangarajan, Rajendra Kumar, Sivasankari, Vaasanthi, Lakshmi, Anuthama... and especially Sujatha, who rocked us back in the seventies with his laundry-woman jokes. As school kids, though we did not understand what they actually meant, we were definitely aware of the unsaid adult content in them. His detective duo Ganesh and Vasanth were suddenly speaking a kind of Tamil that was much closer to our Anglicised language than anything we had seen before on paper. We were completely seduced by the brevity of his writing.

Households would meticulously collect the stories serialized in these weeklies and have them hard-bound to serve as reading material during the long, hot summet vacations. We offer an excerpt from one of these serials in this collection: En Peyar Kamala, by Pushpa Thangadurai, with sketches by Jayaraj. I remember when this story was being serialized in the mid-seventies. The journal was kept hidden in my mother’s cupboard. The subject matter was deemed too dangerous for us young girls. Since I was not allowed to read it at home, naturally, I read it on the school bus. Thanks to Natraj.

Then came college days, my political awakening and my increasing involvement with theatre activism, during which I consciously distanced myself from reading pulp fiction and moved to more “serious stuff”. Two and a half decades of marriage, two daughters, many cigarettes and a lot of rum later, I got called upon to return to it. When Rakesh—a California-born, non-Tamil-speaking Chennai transplant who had developed a burning curiosity about the cheap novels on the rack at his neighborhood tea stand—approached me with the idea of doing this book, it was fun to discover that the child in me is still alive and kicking. I used to think of this as my literature. I still do. I just took a little vacation from it.

Of course, time had passed, and things had changed. The latest pulp novels were thin, glossy, ten-rupee jobs with bizarrely photo shopped covers. Actually, they weren’t new; they had been around for three decades—I just hadn’t read one yet! It took some time to catch up; I spent a year searching through library records for the most popular books, going on wild travels to strange book houses and the far lung homes of the many different authors, artists and publishers, taking many crazy bus journeys and visiting many coffee houses, and doing a kind of pleasure reading I realized I had been badly missing for the past thirty years.

The corpus of pulp literature that has been produced for Tamil readers is vast, and there is no hope of providing a representative sample in a single volume. We decided on a selection of stories from the late l960s to the present; a few notes on the earlier history of the genre follow.

‘The Tamil people take great pride in speaking a living classical language, a language which had written texts even as early as the 6” century B.C. Two things were necessary prerequisites for the reading habit to be spread throughout the general population. The first was printing technology, which until the early 19” century was available only for government agencies and for the printing of the Gospels. The second was education. In ancient society, education was privileged cultural capital, available to only a few caste groups. For fiction to move from the sole preserve of the “patrons of literature” into the hands of the masses took three centuries from the time when the European colonists first stepped on this soil.

Yes, the colonists brought us “literacy”. But even after the British democratized it, it took a whole century to grow into the larger public. Four decades after printing technology became available to more than jus the state government and the missionaries, novels became a hit among the middle classes—though this new form of fiction still encountered some opposition.

The first books for popular readership, besides translations of the British literary canon, were typified by Prathaba Mudhaliar Sarithiram (1879), an ultra-moralistic Christian novel about the dangers of a hedonistic lifestyle. This and other early Tamil novels were usually serialized in monthly periodicals. In the early 2Orh century, the literary journal Manikkodi was at the forefront of a Tamil renaissance driven by leftist, humanist writers such as Pudumaipittan, Illango, and Ramaiyya. At the same time, in a wholly separate sector of the readership, the British “penny dreadful” (and after World War I, the American dime novel) inspired another crop of Tamil authors, including Vaduvoor Doraisami Iyengar. His Brahmin detective hero, Digambara Samiar, held a law degree and a superior, casteist morality which set him apart from the gritty underworld in which his investigations took place. The criminal the big names. These writers churn out literally hundreds pages of fiction every month. The speed of production has the effect of making the plots somewhat dreamlike, with investigations wandering far afield, characters appearing and disappearing without warning, and resolutions surprising us from out of the blue.

Yet, for all their escapism, these works in no way leave behind the times they were created in; they contain reactions to, reflections on, and negations of what was going on. Our selection by no means exhausts the ocean. But hopefully the bouquet we finally managed to put together can give the reader some sense of the madness and diversity of this flourishing literary scene.

Rakesh and I would like to thank the following people for helping to put this book together: the authors and artists and their families; Gowri Govender, who opened her library for me to freely borrow from; Dilip Kumar, who put me on to authors popular before my time; Candace Khanna, Sheila Moore, and Kaveri Lalchand for their valuable feedback; Rashmi, for all her support and suggestions; and Chaks, who brought Tamilvanan into our text and also patiently waited for the many hours we spent in the nights to finish.

Content

Translator’s Note ix
Subha
Hurricane Vaij 1
Rajesh Kumar
Idhaya 2020 46
Matchstick Number One 51
Silicon Hearts 92
The Rainbow 97
The F.L.R. 105
Q & A with Rajesh Kumar 111
Vidya Subramaniam
Me 116
Ripples 120
Indra Soundar Rajan
The Rebirth of Jeeva 131
Q & A with Indra Soundar Rajan 173
Ramanichandran
The Rich Woman 177
Dim Lights, Blazing Hearts 184
Pattukkottai Prabakar
Sweetheart, Please Die! 221
Pushpa Thangadorai
My Name is Kamala (excerpt) with illustrations by Jayaraj 276
Tamilvanan
Tokyo Rose 304
Prajananda V.K.
A Murder and a Few Mysteries 325
Revenge 332
Resakee
Glory Be to the Love that Kills! 340
Notes 361
Post a Comment
 
Post Review
Post a Query
For privacy concerns, please view our Privacy Policy

Based on your browsing history

Loading... Please wait

Related Items

The Blaft Anthology of Tamil Pulp Fiction
Item Code: NAI362
$25.00$20.00
You save: $5.00 (20%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
The Calf Became an Orphan (A Study in Contemporary Kannada Fiction)
Item Code: NZK036
$40.00$32.00
You save: $8.00 (20%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
It Happened Tomorrow (An Anthology of Select Science Fiction Stories)
by Bal Phondke
Paperback (Edition: 2014)
National Book Trust, India
Item Code: NAN247
$20.00$16.00
You save: $4.00 (20%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Survival and Other Stories (Bangla Dalit Fiction in Translation)
Item Code: NAH293
$25.00$20.00
You save: $5.00 (20%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
A Study of The Sociological Novels in Tamil (An Old and Rare Book)
by R. Dhandayudham
Hardcover (Edition: 1977)
University of Madras
Item Code: NAJ499
$30.00$24.00
You save: $6.00 (20%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
The Tamil Story (Through the Times, Through the Tides)
Item Code: NAM334
$40.00$32.00
You save: $8.00 (20%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Hundred Tamil Folk and Tribal Tales
by Sujatha Vijayaraghavan
Paperback (Edition: 2010)
Orient Black Swan
Item Code: IHL326
$30.00$24.00
You save: $6.00 (20%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Social History of the Tamils (1707-1947)
by P. Subramanian
Hardcover (Edition: 2005)
D. K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Item Code: IDD095
$65.00$52.00
You save: $13.00 (20%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Koogai (The Owl)
by Cho. Dharman
Paperback (Edition: 2015)
Oxford University Press
Item Code: NAL912
$35.00$28.00
You save: $7.00 (20%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
A. Madhaviah (A Biography)
by Sita Anantha Raman
Hardcover (Edition: 2005)
Oxford University Press
Item Code: NAL703
$25.00$20.00
You save: $5.00 (20%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
The Five and Twenty Tales of the Genie (Vetalapancavinsati)
by Sivadasa
Paperback (Edition: 1995)
Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd.
Item Code: NAF283
$20.00$16.00
You save: $4.00 (20%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Neela Padmanabhan (A Reader)
by Prema Nandakumar
Hardcover (Edition: 2008)
Sahitya Akademi
Item Code: NAD206
$25.00$20.00
You save: $5.00 (20%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Siva Leela: The Devine Sport of Siva (Tiruvilaiyadal)
Item Code: NAM167
$30.00$24.00
You save: $6.00 (20%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now

Testimonials

Fast and reliable service.
Dharma Rao, Canada
You always have a great selection of books on Hindu topics. Thank you!
Gayatri, USA
Excellent e-commerce website with the most exceptional, rare and sought after authentic India items. Thank you!
Cabot, USA
Excellent service and fast shipping. An excellent supplier of Indian philosophical texts
Libero, Italy.
I am your old customer. You have got a wonderful collection of all products, books etc.... I am very happy to shop from you.
Usha, UK
I appreciate the books offered by your website, dealing with Shiva sutra theme.
Antonio, Brazil
I love Exotic India!
Jai, USA
Superzoom delivery and beautiful packaging! Thanks! Very impressed.
Susana
Great service. Keep on helping the people
Armando, Australia
I bought DVs supposed to receive 55 in the set instead got 48 and was in bad condition appears used and dusty. I contacted the seller to return the product and the gave 100% credit with apologies. I am very grateful because I had bought and will continue to buy products here and have never received defective product until now. I bought paintings saris..etc and always pleased with my purchase until now. But I want to say a public thank you to whom it may concern for giving me the credit. Thank you. Navieta.
Navieta N Bhudu
TRUSTe
Language:
Currency:
All rights reserved. Copyright 2018 © Exotic India