A Flowering Tree and Other Oral Tales from India

Overview

This book of oral tales from the south
Indian region of Kannada represents the culmination of a lifetime of research by A. K. Ramanujan, one of the most revered scholars and writers of his time. The result of over three decades' labor, this long-awaited collection makes available for the first time a wealth of folktales from a region that has not yet been adequately represented in world literature. Ramanujan's skill as a translator, his graceful writing style, and his profound ...

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Overview

This book of oral tales from the south
Indian region of Kannada represents the culmination of a lifetime of research by A. K. Ramanujan, one of the most revered scholars and writers of his time. The result of over three decades' labor, this long-awaited collection makes available for the first time a wealth of folktales from a region that has not yet been adequately represented in world literature. Ramanujan's skill as a translator, his graceful writing style, and his profound love and understanding of the subject enrich the tales that he collected, translated, and interpreted.

With a written literature recorded from about 800 A.D., Kannada is rich in mythology, devotional and secular poetry, and more recently novels and plays. Ramanujan, born in Mysore in 1929, had an intimate knowledge of the language.
In the 1950s, when working as a college lecturer, he began collecting these tales from everyone he could—servants, aunts, schoolteachers, children, carpenters, tailors.
In 1970 he began translating and interpreting the tales, a project that absorbed him for the next three decades. When Ramanujan died in 1993, the translations were complete and he had written notes for about half of the tales.

With its unsentimental sympathies, its laughter, and its delightfully vivid sense of detail, the collection stands as a significant and moving monument to Ramanujan's memory as a scholar and writer.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520203990
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 2/3/1997
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 276
  • Product dimensions: 5.93 (w) x 8.91 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

A. K. Ramanujan taught at the University of Chicago until his death in 1993. Among his seventeen books are Folktales from
India
(1992) and Poems of Love and War (1985). Stuart Blackburn is Lecturer in South Asian Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Alan Dundes is Professor of Anthropology and Folklore at the University of California, Berkeley.

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Table of Contents

Editors' Preface
1 A Story and a Song 1
2 Acacia Trees 2
3 The Adventures of a Disobedient Prince 5
4 Bride for a Dead Man 15
5 A Brother, a Sister, and a Snake 20
6 A Buffalo Without Bones 22
7 Cannibal Sister 26
8 Chain Tale 27
9 Another Chain Tale: What an Ant Can Do 28
10 The Clever Daughter-in-law 31
11 A Couple of Misers 36
12 The Dead Prince and the Talking Doll 38
13 A Dog's Daughters 43
14 A Dog's Story 46
15 Dolls 50
16 Double Double 51
17 Dumma and Dummi 52
18 Dwarfs 53
19 A Flowering Tree 53
20 Flute of Joy, Flute of Sorrow 62
21 Fools 65
22 A Jackal King 66
23 For Love of Kadabu 68
24 A Girl in a Picture 70
25 The Glass Pillar 71
26 A Golden Sparrow 71
27 The Greatest Thing 73
28 Hanchi 74
29 The Horse Gram Man 79
30 Hucca 81
31 The Husband's Shadow 84
32 In the Kingdom of Foolishness 86
33 In Search of a Dream 91
34 King and Peasant 94
35 Kutlavva 96
36 The Lampstand Woman 98
37 The Magician and His Disciple 102
38 A Minister's Word 108
39 Monkey Business 109
40 The Mother Who Married Her Own Son 111
41 Muddanna 114
42 Nagarani ("Serpent Queen") 118
43 A Ne'er-do-well 120
44 Ninga on My Palm 125
45 Ogress Queen 128
46 An Old Couple 132
47 The Past Never Passes 133
48 A Peg and a Keg 134
49 The Pomegranate Queen 135
50 A Poor Man 137
51 The Princess of Seven Jasmines 139
52 The Prince Who Married His Own Left Half 142
53 The Rain King's Wife 145
54 Rich Man, Poor Man 149
55 A Sage's Word 152
56 The Serpent Lover 155
57 A Shepherd's Pilgrimage 158
58 Sister Crow and Sister Sparrow 161
59 Siva Plays Double 163
60 The Sparrow Who Wouldn't Die 166
61 A Sparrow With a Single Pea 167
62 Tales for a Princess 167
63 The Talking Bed 172
64 A Thief, a Ram, a Bear, and a Horse 175
65 Three Blouses 180
66 Three Magic Objects 182
67 Three Sisters Named Death, Birth, and Dream 184
68 The Three-Thousand-Rupee Sari 186
69 Thug and Master-Thug 190
70 Tree Trunk for a Boat 191
71 The Turtle Prince 193
72 A Wager 198
73 What the Milk Bird Said 207
74 Who Is the Greatest? 209
75 Why the Sky Went Up 212
76 The Worship of a Household God 212
77 A Story to End All Stories 214
A Flowering Tree: A Woman's Tale 217
Notes on the Tales 227
Glossary 257
Bibliography 259
List of Tellers and Collectors 263
List of Tale Types 269
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