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The many personas of A K Ramanujan

Reading A K Ramanujan’s diary is like meeting the many personas of the same person. The persona is a concept he explains in one of his earlier essays, which appears as an “Afterword” to his translation of Poems of Love and War from classical Tamil. According to Tolkappiyam, the oldest book of grammar and poetics in Tamil, the speaker of an akam (a genre of poetry in classical Tamil referring to the interior, heart, household) is not an individual poet but a persona. The speaking voice in the diaries, however, is certainly A K Ramanujan, known to the public world as a …

Source: Business Standard