It is quite prudent on the part of the publishers of this book to think of bringing out a book encompassing the achievements of Telugu people down the ages. The author Dr. Damera Venkata Surya Rao deserves commendation for taking up the arduous assignment of presenting a graphic picture of the entire gamut of attainments in 125 short essays, each covering about four pages.
The title chosen for the book T elugu Keerthi Kethanaalu refers to Telugu luminaries (literally banners of Telugu glory) who contributed to various fields. Thus he gives the names of luminaries separately under 18 heads: Classical literature, Modern literature, Theatre, Arts, Cinema, Composers, Dance, Music, Artists, Philosophy, Journalism, History and research, Social reform, Science, Sports, Library movement, Politics, and Spiritualism . The author gives, in each essay, a brief biographical sketch of the luminary concerned and a concise account of his outstanding role in the respective area. With informative content, lucid prose, analytical treatment and cogent presentation, the essays make an enlightening read. The avowed objective of the publication is to acquaint children and the youth with the splendid traditions of the Telugu race enriched by the endeavours of luminaries.
Discerning readers are thus likely to find some sort of unevenness in the number of luminaries included under the faculties. Suffice to cite a few instances. Though modern literature is an important aspect to be discussed in detail, classical literature operates as a potential bedrock for the evolution and enrichment of traditions. The chapter on classical literature rightly commences with the legendary name of Nannaya, who formulated rules of semantics and other technical ingredients for Telugu, besides initiating a Telugu Mahabharatha. But only 14 names are found in this chapter, whereas 27 are included under modern literature. Names of Nachana Somana, Pingali Surana, Nannechoda, Bhimakavi and similar luminaries are conspicuous by absence. Similarly just three names are seen in Arts (Kalarangam), while cinema gets eleven. A meagre number of eight women in the entire list could also disappoint readers. A judicious reallocation of names in the future edition is desirable. Despite these limitations, the book is a sincere effort in the right direction.
G. RAMAKRISHNA RAO
TELUGU KEERTHI KETHANAALU
by Dr. Damera Venkata Surya Rao
Price Rs.345 Copies available at Jyothi Book Depot, Daba Gardens, Vishakapatnam -20.