The Art of Drumming (An Old and Rare Book)
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The Art of Drumming (An Old and Rare Book)

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Item Code: NAY744
Author: V. Murugan
Publisher: Institute of Asian Studies, Chennai
Language: Tamil and English
Edition: 1988
Pages: 282
Other Details 9.50 X 6.50 inch
Weight 500 gm
The Department of Manuscript logic this Institute has, with the co-operation and financial participation of the National Archives of India, Department of Culture, Ministry of Human Resources Development, Government of India, undertaken an ambitious project of bringing out in print the Cultural riches of the Tamils that still remain lanqushinq in brittle and fast decaying palm leaves.

A word on the present state of affairs vis-a-vis our attitude to palm-leaf manuscripts would be relevant at this juncture. Thanks to the contemporary scientific and technological orientation and the attendant stress on material- mechanical values, the treasures of the past are not only seen as mere relics of a by-gone era, but they have come to be regarded as irrelevant to and unworthy of the changed sensibility. Consequently, they have been assigned an exhibition value and sent to archives and manuscript libraries. Such an attitude entails several things of far-reaching consequences for our literary education in particular and Tamil Culture in general. Without reference to these manuscripts which come to well over ten thousand texts on various subjects like literature, grammar, folk arts. medicine.

astro.oqv, history, music and so on recorded variously in more than twenty-five thousand manuscripts, any attempt at interpreting and reconstructing the past will be like groping one's way under a two light sky; any literary h story or the history of Tamil Culture written on the basis of printed works alone would be as much incomplete as it is unauthentic. There are demonstrable evidences to show that an understanding and examination of these sadly neglected cultural facets could bring a new awareness into any research in Terminology and could add more meaningful and revealing dimensions to it. It might even be possible that a critical evaluation of these texts leads us into hitherto unexplored avenues of scholarship, necessitating modification and even undoing of many of our hypotheses and conclusions which we have arrived on the basis of the printed texts.

We are fully conscious of the dangers which this endeavor entails. Among the large number of manuscript works, that remains scattered in museums, academic institutions, archives. manuscript libraries, religious mutts, temples and individuals. several hundreds have been Spurious, unauthentic and some of them products of commercial motivation. There are also cases where we have the texts existing in idertical or similar versions. which in a few cases embody the idiosyncrasies? linguistic predilections and religious and regional prejudices of the scribes on the one hand, and on the other the temper of the age and the socio-cultural orientation of a class or community of which the particular scribe was a member. Again, there are versions which are apparently the products of uninformed and untrained copyists. All these factors have inevitably resulted in interpolations, linguistic as well as conceptual, in some of the texts.

While editing a given text for publication, different versions have been assiduously compared by specialists in the respective fields. This apart, given the obvious dimension of this programmed, the manuscripts selected for publication are seen to be the representatives of the respective literary mode or genre.

Where the text is found to have been composed of an idiom different from the standard idiom of the present day, notes and explanations are provided. In the event of the work being a classical work such as the one on hand, elaborate commentaries are also added. All these works are accompanied by introductions which set out the cultural and linguistic matrix of the given work. a critical examination of its theme and its similarities and differences with works of similar subject matter and conceptualization. That these manuscript works are accompanied by translation and notes in English are intended to make them accessible to the non-Tamil readers also. as well as to facilitate comparative studies with similar forms in other Asian languages.

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