oral transmission: motivation and memorization

jacob.baltuch at euronet.be jacob.baltuch at euronet.be
Sun Jun 15 11:01:19 UTC 1997

>        One of the Eka chanda graahi's was a renowned Tamil poet who
>        lived in the last century.
>                        His name was Maambala Kavi Chingga
>        Naavalar, of Palani.
>                        He lost his eye sight due to smaall pox as
>         an infant. He is said to have been saved by a miracle caused
>        by Sri Murugan of Palani Hill.
>                        He learnt the Tamil alphabet from his father,
>        who taught him by writing the letters on his back, while
>        pronouncing them.

I'm not sure what purpose learning the shape of the letters could
have, since he was blind.

I guess this kind of story don't worry to hard about making sense.

Also, I think I have some disagreement with you as to what "well
documented" means. Well-documented does *not* mean to me that lots
of people are repeating the story uncritically, which is what it
seems to mean to you.

Note I'm not completely skeptical about stories of incredible memories.
Simply that the myth vs. truth ratio in those stories is probably
something like 10 to 1. But the 10th that's left that's probably
true is still often amazing.

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