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Pudumaipittan - The Complete Short Stories

by R E Asher

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Product ID:33215




Sahitya Akademi


9788126046249 - Year: 2014 - Pages: 821



R E Asher
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Author: R E Asher
Translator(s)/ Editors(s): R E Asher/V Subramaniam
Publisher: Sahitya Akademi
Year: 2014
Language: English
Pages: 821
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9788126046249


Pudhumaipithan is the pseudonym of C. Viruthachalam one of the most influential and revolutionary writers of Tamil fiction. His works were characterized by social satire, progressive thinking and outspoken criticism of accepted conventions. Contemporary writers and critics found it difficult to accept his views and his works were received with extreme hostility.

He as an individual and his works have been extensively reviewed and debated for over sixty years since his death. His influence has been accepted and appreciated by the present day writers and critics of Tamil fiction. In 2002, the Government of Tamil Nadu nationalised the works of Pudumaippithan.

The present volume is aimed at presenting the complete short stories of Pudumaipittan written during a short span of fourteen years. This anthology also includes the lone novella he left incomplete. His characters are dotted over a very large social canvas ranging from the destitute Ammalu, a penniless mill worker who has to take care of her invalid husband to the tea estate coolie worker Maruthi, compelled by circumstances to work in the tea estate and face all the travails of a coolie-life in distant Ceylon.

These are of course random illustrations of the large canvas on which Pudumaipittan reveled in creating a fine blend of magical romantic satirical realism.

Pudumaipittan was one of the pioneers of short story writing along with Manikodi group of writers in Tamil to establish the genre of short stories. His writings occupy a pivotal place in the history of short story writing in Tamil.

Pudumaipittan: The Complete Short Stories translated from Tamil by R.E. Asher and V. Subramaniam is a commendable anthology of its kind.


“I have not known the face of Pudumaipittan. But I can sense his soul. His stories seem to unravel the secrets of his innermost mind. A poet’s mind replete with melancholy – a soul bleeding over the thorns of life – speaks out of his stories. That is what I felt reading these stories.
= Prof. R S Desikan

It was in the thirties that the short story came into its own…Pioneers and path-finders in this wave of short story were Na Pichamurty, Ku. Pa Rajagopal, Pudumaipittan, Mowni and others.
= Ka Na Subramanyam

About The Translators:

R.E. Asher is Professor Emeritus of Linguistics, University of Edinburgh, and also visiting Professor of several universities in India, the USA and France. Prof. Asher’s stupendous contribution include his publications Malayalam (Routledge 1997), The Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics (Pergamon Press 1994), Atlas of the Worlds Languages (Routledge 1994, with C. Moseley), Colloquial Tamil (Routledge 2004, with ' E. Annamalai), and The Encyclopedic Dictionafy of Speech and Language (Wiley-Blackwell 2005, with John Laver et al.) among others. He is a recipient of the medal of the College de France, and is also fellow of the Kerala Sahitya Akademy, Royal Asiatic Society and Royal Society of Edinburgh and Honorary Fellow of Sahitya Akademi.

Vridhachalem Pillay Subramaniam is involved in teaching English language and literature at various levels for more that forty years. Holding M.A. and Ph.D degrees, he was trained in E L T in Deccan College, CIEFL and Edinburgh. He is recipient of the UNESCO Fellowship in Pedagogy and a British Council Bursary in Microteaching. He evolved a new concept of transmemes as part of Ethno methodology.



A Preface to the translation of the complete stories of Pudumaipittan
Pudumaipittan: Personality and Creativity by Sundara Ramaswamy

The Riverside Pillaiyar
Sanku Thevan’s bounty
The Golden City
The Pandemonium caused by Tirukkural
A Bed speaks
Ramanathan’s Letter
The Temple of Kali
Slaves of Emotions
Preparing for Finals
A Nandan for our Times
Kounthan and Cupid
This is the Machine Age!
A Contract
An Open Window
For just a Single Individual
The Street Lamp
A Letter
As the Whim goes
If only some good comes out of it
A Good Samaritan
The Kannan Flute
The Never-Fading Jasmine
The Manila Tamarind Tree
The new Beacon of Light
A Dream Girl
‘It was I who killed him!’
Twilight Giddiness
The Teak Saplings
Two Worlds
The new Kanda Puranam
Kuppan’s Dream
Grandma’s Diwali
God’s Representative
Gopala Aiyangar’s Wife
Chanappan’s Hen
The Illusory Net
Palvannam Pillai
Who is the Culprit?
A Way Out
A Facade
The Pumpkin Boy
Sama’s Mistake
An Experience of a Murder
A Well of Misery
Dr Sampath
The Cave of Wisdom
A Sculptor’s Hell
The new Cage
Brahma Rakshas
The Vinayaka Festival
A Day Passed
The Story told by a Demon
The Human Machine
Yama and the old Woman
A Vicious Gang
The Pathway of Memory
A Question Mark
Pictures from Mental Caves
It is Right
The Revolutionary Attitude
The Modem Snob
A Strange Desire’
A Saint, a Child and Some Snacks
The Impact of Mars
The Loves of Subbiah Pillai
That Fatal Laughter
The Dummy Horse
The Given Word
The Vast Cremation Ground
Deliverance from a Curse
A Story of not getting down from the Bed
God and Kandasami Pillai
Heavenly Bliss
Service to Lord Siva
Nir Vikalpa Samadhi
Reality and Imagination
Everything always turns out for the best in the end
That Night
The Rope Serpent
‘This Sinner’
The Epic of Literary Mamma Nayanar
The Stepmother
The Fire that Mother Lit (An un?nished novel)

Life Sketch of Pudumaipittan

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