Landscape and Poetry- A Study of Nature in Classical Tamil Poetry (An Old and Rare Book)

Landscape and Poetry- A Study of Nature in Classical Tamil Poetry (An Old and Rare Book)

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Book Specification

Item Code: UAN070
Author: Xavier S. Thani Nayagam
Publisher: International Institute of Tamil Studies, Chennai
Language: English
Edition: 1997
Pages: 158
Other Details 8.50 X 5.50 inch
Weight 160 gm

Book Description


THE ANCIENT LITERATURE of the Tamils, like the literature of the ancient Greeks, impresses one not so much by the bulk, range and variety of the works that have been preserved for us, as by the comparative novelty and compelling nature of its contents, and by the light that it throws on the hoary and characteristic culture of the southern part of Peninsular India. What Goethe said of literature in general is also true of Tamil. "Literature is a fragment of a fragment; of all that ever happened or has been said, but a fraction has been written, and of this but little is extant" With Greek and Latin, Tamil shares the misfortune of having lost the vast portion of its ancient literature, but while Greek and Latin have yet their dramas, epics, and historical, philosophical and forensic prose, it is almost exclusively the lyric and heroic and bardic poetry of ancient Tamil that has survived. Yet what has escaped the ravages of time, though not even a hundredth of the actual output, reveals elements so original and fresh in the history of literature, and throws such new light on the history of a portion of the world, that to study the literary features of ancient literature or to describe the world as it was at the age of Asoka, or Alexander, or Augustus, it would not be sufficient to take count only of Greek and Latin, and Sanskrit and Chinese. It would be necessary to consider Tamil as well. During the last two centuries some European scholar or other of nearly every generation has paid Tamil the tribute of a sigh, and insisted that Western scholarship ought not neglect it, but even so, all the interest that has been created has only resulted in some stray compliment paid in legendary language, "In the South of India there is an ancient language with an ancient literature." Tamil has not had its Max Mullers, Macdonells, Keiths and Winternitzes and even these have unwittingly prolonged Western neglect of Tamil because by identifying Indian literature with Sanskrit literature, they have created the belief that Sanskrit literature is both exclusively and exhaustively representative of Ancient Indian Culture. Max Muller wrote about what India can teach the West. By India he meant the Indo-Gangetic plain. The Kaaveeri delta has interesting lessons too.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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