A refreshingly new approach to the study of the conventions that govern the ancient love poetry in Tamil. Here Dr. Zvelebil contributes, immensely, to the understanding of a complex literary phenomenon, some of whose facets continue to elude the comprehension of the contemporary mind, in the vastly changed literary and social contexts. Not only does the author place these conventions in their right order of conceptual evolution and provide illustrative commentaries on them, but he tries on the one hand to clear the ambiguities, both linguistic and nonlinguistic, that characterize several of them, and on the other to unmake the misrepresentations and misdirections given to these profoundly imaginative deviances of the classical literary epoch. All this he does with convincing clarity, systematicness and objectivity.
Dr. Kamil V. Zvelebil, Professor. Department of Dravidology, University of Utrecht, Holland, is an eminent Dravidologist, as also a scholar of standing in Sanskrit. His contribution to Dravidian Studies includes History of Tamil Literature, The Smile of Murugan, Tiru Murugan, Ananda-tandava of Siva-Sadanrttamurti and a large number of articles on Dravidian languages and literatures. Besides, ha has translated into English a number of poems from the Cankam classics including Tolkappiyam and the devotional poems of Basavanna. Presently, he is working on a comprehensive, critical and definitive history of Tamil literature.
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