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Man of the Word | Lifestyle News, The Indian Express

Man of the Word | Lifestyle News, The Indian Express

Written by Harish Trivedi |Published: March 4, 2018 12:24:59 am

Man of the Word

A brief exploration of the wide literary oeuvre of Ayyappa Paniker through a selection of his critical essays

K Ayyappa Paniker: Selected Essays; Edited by K Satchidanandan; Publication Sahitya Akademi; 252 pages.

The first time I saw Ayyappa Paniker (1930-2006), he was holding an international audience spellbound at a conference on Translation Studies at the Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi in 1980. He was delivering an academic paper but enhancing it with gestures of the hand and expressions as eloquent as that of a kathakali performer, and interspersing it with sonorous quotations from Malayalam poetry which he recited melodically. He was “a poet/ reading chanting enchanting,” as he himself put it in another context in one of his best-known poems, Passage to America.

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