Author: Stuart Blackburn
Publisher: Permanent Black
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8178240556
Shifting emphasis from the effects to the uses of print, this book examines the intersection of printing and folklore in the context of colonial south India.
It provides a history of printed books in Tamil and argues that printing must be examined alongside a set of literary practices that were largely set in train by the encounter with Europeans and European languages. The author examines the beginning of the press in this country, ranging over three centuries of book publishing: from the activities of the early missionaries, to publishing at the College of Fort St George, as well as local responses through print.
The core of the book describes the uses of print in nineteenth-century Madras, especially the early decades when Pundits set up presses that campaigned against missionary activity and produced books of folklore that were first used in schools and later in nationalist discourse. The book identifies two distinct Tamil formulations of folklore and the nation, which are set against a backdrop of their European counterparts.
In conclusion the author suggests that, although it was hailed as an expression of ‘nationalist literature’, folklore failed as a vehicle for nationalism because other literary texts filled that role and because folklore is always viewed with ambivalence: as both a symbol of indigenous culture and a marker of backwardness. Arrested on the pages, however, printed folklore allowed a recollection of the vanishing villages.
This book: aims and limitations
Print, folklore, colonialism and nationalism
Arumukam Perumal Nada’s cloth bag
EARLY BOOKS AND NEW LITERACY PRACTICES 1556-1800
Henri Henirques and the sixteenth century
Roberto de Nobili and ther seventeenth century
Beschi and the Lutherans in the eighteenth century
New literary practices
Beschi’s Guru Simpleton
PUNDITS, PUBLISHING AND PROTEST: 1880 1850
Tamil Vilakkam and the golden snuff box
The 1812 Tirrukkural
The College of Fort St George
Pundits at the College
Pundit-Publishers in the 1830s
Madras Native Association and New politics
PRINTED FOLKTALES AND THE NEW VERNACULAR: 1820-1860
FOLKLORE AND THE NATION: 1860-1880
Folklore and Nationalism in Europe
Folklore and Nationalism in India
CONCLUSIONS AND EXTENSIONS
Tamil Printed Book, Madras, 1800-1830