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Tyagaraja and The Renewal of Tradition

William J. Jackson (Author)

Tyagaraja (1767-1847) is the most celebrated of South Indian musician- saints. This book explores some of the growth processes, the transmission patterns and the cultural creativity involved in South Indian bhakti traditions, using examples of Tyagaraja's life story, songs and social significance as case studies.

Opening with a translation of Tyagaraja's masterpiece, Nauka Caritram, the author delves into its links with earlier bhakti literary traditions.

This book examines how biographical narratives of Tyagaraja's life grew in detail and episodes over a one hundred year period, as the stories were retold by later generations.

Interviews with leading South Indian musicians and musicologists reveal their interpretations of Tyagaraja's continuing significance.

Essays on Smarta Brahmanas and their role in the renewal of traditions in India, and on the great dancer Bangalore Nagaratnammal, who was instrumental in making the Tyagaraja Festival in Tiruvaiyaru a consolidated effort and an all-India annual event, further probe the issues of renewal.

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About the author

William J. Jackson

University-Purdue University at Indian Polis where he has taught courses in Asian traditions and in the Comparative Religion since 1985. He received his B.A. at Lynodon State College in Vermont in 1975, and received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in the Comparative Study of Religion in 1984. He lived in India for about four years, if you add up all his stays there, especially doing research in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. He studies culturally creative figures of South India and has published several books about them, including Tyagaraja, Life and Lyrics, and Songs of Three Great South Indian Saints (Oxford University Press). He is publishing a novel about America (Diving for Carlos) with Creative Arts Publishing in Barkeley, California. Jackson has a passion for the arts, and a strong interest in recent developments in science including fractal geometry and dynamical systems theory in relation to the humanities. He was a research fellow at the Bellagio Research Center in Italy in 2000, working on his fractals in the humanities project. He has published poetry and fiction in “the Northeast Kingdom” of Vermont, where he worked as a forest fire tower watchman for the State of Vermont of Bald Mountain. He still owns and regularly returns to the house he built in the mountains in Vermont.

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Bibliographic information

Title Tyagaraja and The Renewal of Tradition
Format Hardcover
Date published: 31.12.1994
Edition 1st. ed.
Language: English
isbn 8120811461
length 321p., 9 inch X 6 inch