Essays of U Ve Sa: The Man who revived Ancient Tamil Literature

Paper Type: Book Print Paper | Size: 216mm x 140 mm; 240 pp
Black and white
ISBN-13: 978-93-91125-54-7


Tamil today is a language spoken by more than 80 million people across the world. It is also a classical language since it has a rich literature, at least 2000 years old—much older than most other languages.

Today, the ‘classical’ literature of Tamil Nadu, especially the Sangam poems, Silapadikaram and Civaka Cintamani, are well known and have been translated into English and other languages. The credit for rediscovering them, collating the multiple editions from palm leaf manuscripts, weeding out errors, reconstructing them and publishing them into books in the late 19th and early 20th centuries goes solely to U.Ve. Sa. If it weren’t for him, this corpus of classical Tamil literature that has opened new doors to lovers of literature and students of history would have rotted with the palm leaves on which they were written. It was in this context that he is affectionately and reverentially remembered as the ‘Grandfather of Tamil’.

His essays, lectures and speeches open a window into the life and times of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They are a treasure trove that reveal his persistence, commitment and dedication to Tamil.

This book, in translation, provides an insight into the mind of an inspirational scholar and a raconteur. The topics will be of interest to anyone with a connection to literature, culture and history, especially that of the Tamil country.

Prabha  Sridevan
Prabha Sridevan

Prabha Sridevan began practicing law in 1983, and from 2000 to 2010, she was Judge of the Madras High Court. From 2011 to 2013, she was Chairman of the Intellectual Property Appellate Board. Now retired, Prabha Sridevan writes columns both in Tamil and English. She is a translator of fiction from Tamil to English. Seeing in the Dark and Echoes of the Veena are her translations of Chudamani’s short stories. The latter won the VOW award for the best translation (2019). She has translated other writers, like Seeta Ravi, Imayam, Meeran, Ravikumar, and S. Ramakrishnan. Wisdom and Grace is her translation of the lectures of the Sage of Kanchi.

Pradeep Chakravarthy
Pradeep Chakravarthy

Pradeep Chakravarthy was born in Tirunelveli in 1975. He completed his education in Madras, New Delhi and London and works in leadership training in a premier information technology company. He has published more than a hundred articles in leading dailies. A series of articles on the Sarasvati Mahal Library was the beginning of his tryst with Thanjavur. His other books in press include one on temple vahanas and another on the lesser known temples in Tamil Nadu.