This book brings together for the first time, poems and essays that could not be published in the lifetime of Ramanujan, recognized as a preeminent scholar of South Asian language and culture.
Poet, translator, folklorist, A K Ramanujan has been recognized as a preeminent scholar of South Asian language and culture. This book brings together for the first time, poems and essays that could not be published in his lifetime. Also included are Ramanujan's interviews with various academics and friends with whom he discusses subjects as diverse as exile, the politics of language, his relationship with his father, and his own writing. He discusses folktales, Shakespeare, and translation. What is revealed for the first time is Ramanujan's political self, a vision that is both regional and transnational. The poems have an immediacy that is hard to resist; their sanity and joy evoke Ramanujan's warmth and his elusiveness, bringing within the same cover the whole range of his work.
Ramanujan believed that his creativity, and his wide-ranging interdisciplinary interests, owed much to his early Montessori schooling, his father's conversations in the library, and his grandmother's folktales at dinner. During his tenure of thirty years at the University of Chicago, he taught Linguistics, Anthropology, Folklore, and Literature. His achievements as a bilingual poet, and as a trilingual translator won him: a Padma Sri, A Macarthur Foundation Fellowship; election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a posthumous prize from the Sahitya Akademi for poetry in English. In these pieces, as elsewhere, Ramanujan gives expression to his two chief preoccupations, his desire to articulate an Indian way of thinking, and his own quest for modernity.
This volume has been edited by Molly Daniels-Ramanujan and Keith Harrison, both of whom knew him personally.
Ramanujan had an enquiring mind, ever uneasy and ever creative, This volume has only helped to give to admiring world more reasons to be awe-struck by the range of his concerns, the variety of his themes and the freshness of insights.
-The Book Review
A wonderful compilation of his works, A collage of ideas which brings out the man's sensitivity and presence in his absence.
We are left with someone who is elusive. Ramanujan's thoughts are a delicate poise between, skepticism and an even deeper belief in the essential goodness of the world.