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Journeys: A POET'S DIARY
Author: A K Ramanujan

Publisher: Penguin India
ISBN: 978-0670092086
Pages: 384
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A.K. Ramanujan (1929-1993), one of India's finest poets, translators, folklorists, essayists and scholars of the twentieth century, is a stalwart in India's literary history. His translations of ancient Tamil and medieval Kannada poetry, as well as of UR Ananthamurthy's novel Samskara, are considered as classics in Indian literature. A pioneering modernist poet, during his lifetime he produced four poetry collections in English, and he had also intended to publish the journals he had kept throughout the decades. After his premature death 25 years ago, his journals, diaries, papers and other documents-spanning fifty years from 1944 to 1993-were given by his family to the Special Collections Research Center at the Regenstein Library of the University of Chicago in June 1994. These unpublished writings, meticulously preserved and catalogued at the University of Chicago, were waiting for someone to unveil them to a wider readership.

'Ramanujan was the archetypal teacher and I met him at the right age. I was seventeen and a student of mathematics in Dharwar while he was ten years older, a junior lecturer in English in Belgaum nearly forty miles away. ... From our first meeting I was intrigued by this [. . .] delicate man with a high-pitched voice, and a slender sensitive forefinger, with which he punched or underlined the important points he wished to drive home [. . .] What was fascinating was the number of subjects on which he could hold forth with insight and scintillating wit: proverbs, riddles, conjuring tricks, mathematical puzzles, folktales' (Girish Karnad)
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