Thrice told

The French Institute of Pondicherry's publication, Deep Rivers: Selected Writings on Tamil Literature, by François Gros (translated from the French by M P Boseman) "brings together for the first time in English all the major essays written by François Gros on Tamil literature. An impressive range of topics is covered here from studies of Caṅkam literature and devotional texts of the Tamil Bhakti traditions to contemporary Tamil novels and short stories. Many of the essays include an overview of French Indological work over past three centuries made available to the English speaking scholarly world for the first time here.

While the author urges European and American scholars of Tamil history and culture to take the intellectual discourses of Tamil scholarship seriously, he insists at the same time that Tamil not be ghettoized but should rather be read alongside texts in other South Indian languages, with reference to the evidence of epigraphy, numismatics, archaeology and art history."

Reviewing it earlier this month in The Hindu, P. Marudanayagam is largely complimentary: "Most of the essays, originally written in French by François Gros on Tamil literature representing landmarks in the three eras — Sangam, Bhakti, and contemporary — have been brought together for the first time in English in this anthology. The work testifies to the author’s multicultural scholarship inasmuch as he projects Tamil in its varied facets — literature, archaeology, epigraphy, history, anthropology and linguistics.... What is of greater importance is that he has been able to make a worthy contribution to Tamil studies which, I am sure, will not go unrecognised by Tamils and Tamilologists the world over. ... The book is a supreme model of criticism as creative writing."

In our History and Translation sections, 519 pages, in paperback. Rs 800, ISBN: 9788184701722

Comments