Description - Katha Vilasam: The Story Within by S. Ramakrishnan

Katha Vilasam: The Story Within offers a path-breaking series of 50 articles by S. Ramakrishnan, published over the course of four years in the widely read Tamil magazine Ananda Vikatan, to a wider reading public through translation into English. The writing style is intentionally direct and compact to suit a magazine readership. Nevertheless, the prose is elevating, even lyrical at times. There are "Aha" moments aplenty.

The author uses a unique device in these units. They are "stories within stories". In each unit, he describes an incident from his own experience and relates it to a short story he has read by a particular eminent Tamil writer. He paraphrases/summarises the writer's story, melds it into his own reminiscence, and allows the two to resonate and create a musical signature in the reader's mind.

Thus, 50 noted short story writers in the Tamil language are featured here.

The avowed purpose of the author was to introduce the readers of Ananda Vikatan (who may have been readers of nothing but magazines) to also delve into the works of excellent Tamil short story writers. The series ran for four years and was very well received by readers.

Each unit deserves to be read and re-read not only for the insights and information about writers in different genres, but for the word wizardry and imagery that flow effortlessly through the lines.

It is hoped that this English translation will teleport these unique offerings to a wider reading public and bring the works of excellent Tamil writers into the lives of discriminating lovers of literature everywhere.

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