[INDOLOGY] François Gros (1933-2021)

Jean-Luc Chevillard jean-luc.chevillard at univ-paris-diderot.fr
Sun Apr 25 14:58:38 UTC 2021

Dear Srilata,

It is with deep sadness that I read this news.

I feel very much indebted to François Gros.

His name will be forever associated with the பரிபாடல் [paripāṭal], with 
the தேவாரம் [tēvāram] and with many other facets of the world of Tamil 

I shall miss him very much.

-- Jean-Luc


On 25/04/2021 15:15, Srilata Raman via INDOLOGY wrote:
> Dear Colleagues,
> It is with deep sadness that I wish to share with you the news of the 
> passing of Professor François Gros in Lyons, France at the age of 88.
> François Édouard Stéphane Gros was a child of a France still actively 
> connected to the Second World War. He was born and grew up and lived his 
> last years in Lyons, France in a street named after his namesake, his 
> grandfather François Gros, a Latin scholar. Having received a classical 
> French education, he studied pre-history under André Leroi-Gourhan and 
> learned anthropology from Louis Dumont and sociology and economic 
> history from Daniel Thorner. Senior to him at the Fondation Thiers, 
> Paris was Michel Foucault. He began his working life as a French Teacher 
> in Algeria and his deep and abiding interest in Tamil Studies began with 
> his frequent visits to Pondicherry from 1963 onwards, to study the Tamil 
> language and literature. He founded a number of important research 
> programmes at The French Institute, Pondicherry including the project 
> that resulted in the Historical Atlas of South India, working actively 
> and collaboratively with many generations of Indian scholars. He was an 
> important  consultant on the translation and lexicographical projects of 
> the Chennai based Cre-A publishers. François Gros was unusual in Tamil 
> Studies for his vast erudition, not just of premodern Tamil literature 
> but also of the contemporary literary landscape, seeing the entire Tamil 
> literature through a capacious vision of what linked the old and the 
> new. He was also an extraordinary and discerning collector of Tamil 
> printed materials – assembling a unique, and now extremely rare and 
> valuable private collection of Tamil books,  and also works on European 
> studies of South India beginning from the 17^th century. Starting in 
> 2018 he collaborated actively with Srilata Raman at Toronto and M. 
> Kannan of the French Institute, Pondicherry in donating the core of 
> approximately 10,000 books of this invaluable resource for Tamil Studies 
> to the University of Toronto where it is currently housedand in the 
> process of being catalogued. The rare works of the Gros Collection of 
> the University of Toronto Libraries will be made available to scholars 
> through free digital access once the pandemic is over and the work can 
> be completed. Those of us in Tamil Studies today remember and mourn the 
> passing of a scholar of breadth and vision in the field and we who knew 
> him personally also a delightful and deeply lovable human being.
> with warm regards,
> Srilata Raman,
> Associate Professor of Hinduism,
> University of Toronto.
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