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The Chariot Of Wisdom

Release date: 25 May 2023
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Breaking the constraints of style and imagery central to classical Tamil literature, Mahakavi C. ... Read More

Product Description

Breaking the constraints of style and imagery central to classical Tamil literature, Mahakavi C. Subramania Bharati (1882–1921) heralded a new era for the language by making it simpler, thereby encouraging a wider readership. His prodigious contribution to the writings of his homeland – done while in exile during a tumultuous time in the nation’s freedom movement – has since propelled his stature to that of a revered literary figure in the subcontinent.

In The Chariot of Wisdom, his only novella, a vexed journalist, plagued by material worries and the daily attrition of twentieth-century, British-occupied India, escapes into a daydream to realms mystical and unexplored. He navigates an imaginary chariot through The World of Tranquillity, The World of Pleasure, The World of Truth and The World of Dharma, and finds his values and ideals informing, competing and often contradicting one another. As his self-doubts deepen, he battles the notion that peace and happiness come at a price.

A critical examination of a colonized, afflicted civilization marred by corruption and greed, Bharati’s pioneering work speaks to a morally wounded country through astute observations and lively humour. Translated with refined intellectual acuity by Gregory James, this modern classic – as timely today as it was a century ago – is a cleverly masked plea to the people of a distracted nation to rally together in pursuit of a just society

Product Details

Title: The Chariot Of Wisdom
Author: Subramania Bharati
Publisher: Hachette India
SKU: BK0475454
EAN: 9789393701848
Number Of Pages: 280
Language: English
Binding: Paperback
Release date: 25 May 2023

About Author

Subramania Bharati (1882–1921) was a Tamil journalist, translator, writer, poet, visionary social reformer and passionate independence activist. Now popularly known as Mahakavi Bharathi ('great poet Bharathi'), he was a pioneer of modern Tamil poetry and is considered one of Tamil's greatest literary figures. His prolific output covered a wide range of topics, including nationalism, democracy, religion, the emancipation of women, child marriage, the caste system, nature and the environment, love and romance, philosophy and spiritualism, and the Tamil language. During the colonial period, his pro-independence journalistic writings and patriotic songs led to him being marked by the authorities. In 1908, he moved to Puducherry, where he lived in exile until 1918. On his return to India, he was arrested and imprisoned. He died in poverty in 1921 from injuries sustained from a temple elephant in Chennai. In recognition of his exceptional contribution to Indian culture, the Government of India conferred him the title of Indian 'National Poet', and Bharathiar University, a state university established in Coimbatore in 1982, is named after him.

Gregory James is a graduate of the Universities of Edinburgh, Reading, and Exeter, and trained as a teacher at the Universities of Wales and Geneva. His career included teaching and educational administration posts in England, Germany, India, Iran, and Hong Kong, China, where he now lives in retirement. His acclaimed pioneering work, Colporuḷ: A History of Tamil Dictionaries (Chennai, 2000), provided the most comprehensive survey of Tamil dictionaries then compiled. Among his published translations into English are collections of Tamil poetry by Erode Tamilanban, Poems of Questions (Chennai, 2018) and Glow-worm Woods (Chennai, 2019) – the former, with co-translator, Loraine Bock, also into Spanish, Poemas de preguntas (Chennai, 2019). Gregory James is a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society and the Royal Historical Society. In 2020, he received the Veeramamunivar Award from the Government of Tamil Nadu.

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