Ananthamurthy’s thesis to be published after five decades

U.R. Ananthamurthy submitted this thesis to the University of Birmingham in 1960.— PHOTO: Bhagya Prakash K.

U.R. Ananthamurthy submitted this thesis to the University of Birmingham in 1960.— PHOTO: Bhagya Prakash K.  

After over five decades, ‘Politics and Fiction in the 1930s - Studies in Christopher Isherwood and Edward Upward’, the doctoral thesis submitted by the late Jnanpith recipient U.R. Ananthamurthy to the University of Birmingham in 1960, is seeing the light of day.

The Ruvari-Abhinava Imprint is bringing out this 540-page volume with an introduction by Dr. U.H. Ganesh, a retired English professor. N. Ravi Kumar of Abhinava said, “We planned to publish this volume during Ananthamurthy’s lifetime but it could not be done. The writer died on October 22, 2014, while the book was getting ready for publication.”

Ananthamurthy had misplaced the original copy of the thesis, said Mr. Kumar, but he eventually managed to locate a ‘poor photocopy’. “With the help of an ailing Ananthamurthy, we put it together in its present form. Despite the pain of dialysis, Ananthamurthy cooperated with us,” he said.

According to Dr. Ganesh, this text enables the reader to understand Ananthamurthy’s grasp of the relations between European life and literature in the 1930s. “This understanding has its implications for exploring our own social reality and politics and also the writer’s body of work,” he said.

Academic significance

In the introduction written by him, Dr. Ganesh says that a thesis like this has a functional significance in the academic world, given the lack of serious academic research and a flood of run-of-the mill dissertations published every year.

“It is a mockery of research when it is just done for the sake of satisfying some promotional criteria thrust upon the ‘scholars’ by bodies such as the University Grants Commission. There is a need for publishing such research works as they can be models for research scholars in terms of seriousness of pursuit, quality of argumentation, critical analysis, and linguistic competence,” he said.

However, nanthamurthy, in his author’s foreword written on January 30, 2014, has said, “It is a bit awkward for me to publish the thesis as it was written. Ideally, I should have edited it and made it more readable. But Mr. Ganesh convinced me that the thesis would be a model for Indian students if published as it was.”

The Department of Postgraduation Studies and Research in English, Sahyadri Arts and Commerce College, Shivamogga, and Abhinava Publications will jointly release the volume on Thursday. Linguist Ganesh Devy and Esther Ananthamurthy, the late author’s wife, will be present on the occasion.

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2020 1:29:33 AM |

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