A Tapestry of Pen-Portraits

A Tapestry of Pen-Portraits

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Book Specification

Item Code: AZE273
Author: S.R. Ramaswamy
Language: ENGLISH
Edition: 2020
Pages: 304 (Throughout B/w Illustrations)
Other Details 8.50x5.50 inches
Weight 380 gm

Book Description

About The Book

The cultural history of a nation, unlike the customary mainstream history, has a larger time-frame and encompasses the timeless ethos of a society undergirding the course of events and vicissitudes. A major key to the understanding of a sociery's unique character is an appreciation of the far-reaching contributions by outstanding personalities of certain periods- especially in the realms of scholarship, literature, and the arts. In this perspective, the present volume-adapted into English from the original Kannada-comprising biographical pen-portraits of some eminent personalities who strode the intellectual firmament of Karnataka in the mid-twentieth century is a humble offering addressed to new-generation readers.

About the Author

Nadoja' Dr. S R RAMASWAMY is a renowned littérateur, journalist, art critic, environmentalist, and social activist. He has written more than fifty books and thousand essays on literary, cultural, nationalist, and developmental themes. Since 1979, he has been the Editor-in-Chief of the Kannada monthly Utchana. For over thirty years, he was active in environmental campaigns. He is the recipient of several awards including Karnataka Sahitya Akademi Award, Aryabhata Award for Journalism, and the Karnataka Rajyotsava Award for Contribution to Literature.


THE PEN PORTRAITS SKETCHED in the writings in the present volume largely relate to some literary luminaries with whom intimate acquaintance was vouchsafed to me by Destiny. They have all been like beacon-lights in my life's sojourn. The primary motivation in recording these impressions has been a desire to give some kind of expression to the gratitude I owe to these several personalities who were trail-blazers, each in his own way.
The persons and events recollected here belong to the mid-twentieth century. Two generations have thus elapsed. These memoirs of bygone days may be of some interest to present-day readers, especially in view of the noble values cherished and nourished by these savants.
Structured in that spirit, the main purpose of these writings has been to highlight distinct features of the personalities described. But relevant biographical details do naturally find place in order to render the portraits as substantial as feasible. These writings could more appropriately be termed essays or memoirs rather than biographical chronicles
To be frank, I am only a turn-of-the-table writer, journalism being my mainstay. Some essays in this compilation were originally written to meet the requirements of journalistic work, and some essays subsequently transmuted themselves into book form. A couple of the essays were first published some fifty years ago while a few were written during the last decade or two. I am mentioning these details to indicate that the choice of subjects, scope, and manner of writing were all dictated by circumstances. What is now before the readers is a congeries of such occasion-driven cffusions.


THE ANCIENT INDIANS recorded their history-which they termed Itihasa (literally, it happened so')-by emphasizing, the values from events of the past rather than the dry facts of history. Much more than the chronological and geographical details of a protagonist or king, they cared about the basic nature of that character, the emotional and ethical conflicts he faced, and the manner in which he fulfilled the four cardinal values of human life (dharma, artha, kama, and mokṣa). The magnificent epics of the world, Ramayana and Mahabharata, are the result of such an approach to history.
The great polymath DV Gundappa (DVG) can be hailed as one of the pioneers of a genre of creative nonfiction that takes a similar values-driven approach in treating biography, which is, after all, personal history. In his eight-volume magnum opus aptly titled 'Inapaka-citra-sale (Art Gallery of Memories'), DVG tells the stories of various individuals he came across in his life and underscores all along the values of that era but without infidelity to facrual details. These episodes were written in a span of two decades, starting from the early 1950s.
These essays were originally conceived and written in Kannada. One should therefore not be surprised if on occasion the content or form in the English version appears a wee-bit quaint. But I dare say such instances are rare.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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