31 October, 2020

Grace-Touched Loneliness Of The Artist

Pages from poet-scholar Ramanujan’s diary has kernels of poems, word shavings, finished pieces and a surprising core of misgivings

Ramanujan—a keen, curious, humour-filled observer
Grace-Touched Loneliness Of The Artist

Fascinating and illuminating. These are words that come to mind as  I go through Journeys: A Poet’s Diary by A.K. Ramanujan, and edited by Kris­hna Ramanujan and Guillermo Rodriguez. Fascinating, because reading this book is almost like watching a live-stream from within a creative, brilliant mind, seeing thoughts as they form and evolve or dissipate. Illuminating, bec­ause it off­ers tantalising glimpses of the aut­hor's inner world while also reinforcing, as it were, that our humanity is shared; that gen­ius or not, labourer or scholar, the things we worry about, obsess over and obtain joy from are largely the same.

Pioneering poet, translator, fol­k­lorist, essayist and scholar. For the past five-odd decades Ram­anujan has been all these, but also a beacon for India’s literary community. Growing up in Mysore, he taught English literature in colleges across southern India before travelling to the US in his early 30s as a Fulbright scholar, going on to pursue a career as an academic at the University of...



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