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Narration and Discourse ( Critical Essays on Literature and Culture ) : Sahitya Akademi Award-winning Collection of Critical Articles in Kannada

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Item Code: NAU414
Author: C.N. Ramachandran and Geetha Sreenivasan
Publisher: Sahithya Akademi, Chennai
Language: English
Edition: 2018
ISBN: 9789388468015
Pages: 400
Other Details 9.00 X 6.00 inch
Weight 650 gm
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Book Description
About the Authors

Dr. C. N. Ramachandran, M. A., LL.B. & Ph. D. (author-translator), has taught English language and literature in various universities in India and abroad. He retired as ‘Professor Emeritus’ from Mangalore University. Primarily a critic-translator, he has published in English (10 works) and Kannada (20 works). His works in English include: a study of British drama (Shifting Perspectives), collection of critical articles (For Reasons of Their Own), and monographs on Triveni and Shivarama Karanth. Some of his works in Kannada include Post-colonial discourse (Vasahatottara Chintane), a study of 25 oral epics (Hosa Madiya Mele Chaduranga), culture criticism (Akhyana-Vyakhyana), and monographs of Edward Said and Dr. Chandrashekhara Kambara. He has translated ten works from Kannada to English.

Prof. Geetha Sreenivasan (M.A., M.Phil., M.B.A.) is a Professor of English, with specialization in ‘Teaching English,’ ‘Communication’ and ‘Soft Skills.’ She has presented papers in many national and international seminars and has given scholarly talks on TV and Radio. Major works translated by her from Kannada to English include: Mist And Other Stories (a collection of short stories), Rama And His Shadows (Accritical work on the Ramayana), and Songs of Supplication (a collection of poems by Smt. Malati Moyili). Her well-known.


Prof. C.N. Ramachandran, a novelist- critic- scholar, belongs to the tradition of Prof. Gopalakrishna Adiga and Prof. U.R. Ananthamurthy, arriving at a moment of intellectual crisis in the aftermath of Nationalistic fervour. He is one of those exemplary academicians who took over the helm of affairs in the English Departments across the Indian Universities, setting exacting standards of critical and aesthetic appreciation. His concerns have been cultural and ethical. His has been the well-balanced path between the thorny road of Western theoretical models and the insular nationalistic critical enterprise of our academia of the late twentieth century. The remarkably perceptive articles he has been Deriodically publishing in Kannada grounded in American and European traditions of discourse as well as classical ‘ndian aesthetics have stirred the critical climate of Aaranataka.

The present book is a translation of his highly acclaimed collection of articles under the title Akhyana-Vyakhyana. Akhvana is a performative narration, while Vyakhyana is terpretation of a complex idea or linguistic code. Thus the titles of the translation by C.N.Ramachandran and Geetha Sreenivasan summarises the nature of the critic as both a =erally- centred performer and an instructor.

The book is in two sections: the first is a brilliant praxis of ctcism through a variety of critical positionings, while the second section is an amazing revaluation of mostly Kannada writers, and notably Tagore. The wide ranging but intimately connected topics from Bhagavadgita to the Short Story writers, resemble a pack of cards that holds individually definitive values but when unfurled communicate a complete set of _ values. Prof. Ramachandran’s immense learning in Sanskrit, intimacy with Kannada literary scene, and extensive familiarity with the Western canon impart a density as well as a seriousness to his articles that are hardly matched. He performs the dual role of a literary historian as well as a critic in most articles published here with felicity and authenticity. I can only think of Prof. G.S.Amur in this context, as an ally of Prof. C.N.Ramachandran.

The very first article on the Gita exhibits the tenacious going after facts that Ramachandran is known for. The article traverses the vast distance of Vedantic understanding to utilitarian,. political adaptation of the Gita. While succinctly drawing up the metaphysical distinctions among the three Acharyas, the article interprets Tilak’s use of the Gita to underpin the agenda of freedom struggle for Independence. If mukthi spells freedom, karma spells struggle to that end. Aurobindo is seen to uphold the moral staidness that Gita provides, while Gandhiji is seen to peruse the work for its spiritual significance, guiding him through his philosophy of affirmative action. In a brief but not hasty consideration of various modern scholars from Bhagat Sharana Upadhyaya to RomilaThapar, Ramachandran points out that the Gita is a remarkably dynamic text which allows for antipodal positions at the same time. That is why he calls it an ‘Open Text’, in the same manner as Umberto Eco does. Ramachandran takes the path of a Literary Historian to come up with a very concise and helpful detailing of the Bhakthi movements in India, its various contours, region- wise proponents and major as well as minor manifestations. He dismisses any idea of a monolithic movement, and distinguishes two major streams, the one arguing against inequalities while accepting the value of the ancient texts, while the second rejecting the ancient scriptures and conservative practices. Further, the two schools made a distinction of the divine as Saguna and Nirguna. If the first was an exclusively Sanatana reading, the second amalgamated the Islamic and the Hindu perspectives. CNR (as Ramachandran is called affectionately) seems to perceive in the Bhakti movements a rise in the spirit of protest, rejection of the vestigial rituals, a democratization and inducement of a better life for the marginalised, emergence of the vernacular in literature in a profound manner, and the source for one of the finest traditions of metaphysical poetry.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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