Thursday, April 22, 2010

Creating a Classical Indian Canon

In the library sales from the crumbling houses of Calcutta, or Delhi, or the hill-station homes, the keen-eyed book-buyer would often come across sets of bound classics. These were usually in the printer’s binding — vellum, blue leather and gold — or occasionally bound in red with the owner’s initials stamped on the spine or on the frontispiece.

Over the decades, the contents of these classics changed. Everyman’s Library of classic works was a favourite, as was the Modern Library set; but depending on the owner’s tastes, you might have complete sets of histories, or the World’s Greatest Short Stories, or Masterpieces of World Literature, or a complete set of Greek mythology. You would very rarely find a similar set of Indian classics — individual books, almost always the Mahabharata, the Ramayana and perhaps the great poets or favourite Hindi, Gujarati and Bengali writers.

Full report here Business Standard 

No comments:

Post a Comment