[INDOLOGY] NEW PUBLICATION: Manuscript, Print and Memory - Relics of the Cankam in TamilnaduManuscript, Print and Memory - Relics of the Cankam in Tamilnadu

Jean-Luc CHEVILLARD jean-luc.chevillard at univ-paris-diderot.fr
Wed Nov 19 09:05:11 UTC 2014

A book by Eva WILDEN
(EFEO [Pondicherry] & CSMC [Hamburg])
tracing the complex historical process
of the transmission over some 2000 years
of the caṅkam (caGkam) corpus has just appeared
in the series "Studies in Manuscript Cultures"
published by De Gruyter.

LINK: "http://www.degruyter.com/view/product/246341"

Manuscript, Print and Memory - Relics of the Cankam in Tamilnadu

Publication Date: November 2014

ISBN: 978-3-11-035276-4


The ancient Tamil poetic corpus of the Caṅkam ("The Academy") is 
a national treasure for Tamilians and a battle-ground for linguists 
and historians of politics, culture and literature. Going back to oral 
predecessors probably dating back to the beginning of the first 
millennium, it has had an extremely rich and variegated history. 
Collected into anthologies and endowed with literary theories and 
voluminous commentaries, it became the centre-piece of the Tamil 
literary canon, associated with the royal court of the Pandya dynasty 
in Madurai. Its decline began in the late middle ages, and by the late 
17th century it had fallen into near oblivion, before being 
rediscovered at the beginning of the print era. The present study 
traces the complex historical process of its transmission over some 
2000 years, using and documenting a wide range of sources, in 
particular surviving manuscripts, the early prints, the commentaries 
of the literary and grammatical traditions and a vast range of later 
literature that creates a web of inter-textual references and 

-- Jean-Luc Chevillard (CNRS [htl], Paris)

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