Critically Reading C.N. Ramachandran's Narration and Discourse: Critical essays on Literature and Culture

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Siddhartha Singh


The wide ranging topics attempted by Dr C. N. Ramachandran in this collection
are a proof of his in depth learning of Sanskrit, English and Kannada literary and
critical traditions. Divided into two sections, the first section of this collection of
essays written during a long span of time shows remarkable application of
contemporary discourses and Western theories on some of the seminal texts like
Bhagwatgita, Ramayanas, and Abhijnana Sakuntalam at one hand and a
comparative study of Kannad novels and their film versions. The second section
draws some new critical parameters to reevaluate Tagore, Gokak, Bendre,
Narsimhaswami and other Kannada writers. Wading easily through two
different currents of Eastern and Western traditions, he leaves some big lacunae
while writing on some of the most fundamental texts and concepts of Indian
literature and philosophy, which required deeper studies. The present article,
which initially intended to be just a review of the book mentioned above, seeks to
incorporate more accurate information on such issues, which the author, relying
more on the false data supplied by secondary sources, dealt half-heartedly. As a
corrective step to the missing 'interior signature' (as C. D. Narsimhaiya would
say) of the author, the article should be read as a supplement to the book.

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