These four works add yet another dimension to the rich contribution A.K. Ramanujan has made to Indian and American letters. The books of poems "The Lotus in the Navel", "Kuntobille, and "And Other Poems" are written in an extraordinary variety of modes and moods. In Kannada, the language of his childhood, he roams freely and widely. He quarrels with himself, with his traditional roots and his adopted country, giving us memorable poems, such as: "O Lord, Whether You Exist a King of Soliloquies, and The River". The prose work, "Someone Else's Autobiography", is an unusually complex story told by the fictional K. K. Ramanujan, who is embarking on a writing cure at the instigation of one A.K. Ramanujan, an obscure academic and minor poet. The ironies proliferate. Ostensibly, the outer frame is a three-day period when K. K. Ramanujan, as a young lad, goes with his father to Madras, to visit a dying relative. Inside this frame, there are multiple stories, which are prolepsistic and backward looking. The storytellers share certain obsessions, notably that of different kinds displacement and its opposite: that of twinning, or the loss of boundaries between the self and someone else. In this ingeniously diffracted narrative, through the stories of those he encounters by chance, the author has managed to tell us a great deal about his own life-story. Though the crisis of consciousness depicted in the novella is thoroughly modern, the author has chosen a traditional Indian mode of telling it.
Publisher: OUP India
Weight: 595 g
Dimensions: 224 x 148 x 23 mm
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