Pingali Suranna; Translated from Telugu By Velcheru Narayana Rao and David Shulman
Title The Sound of the Kiss or the Story That Must Never be Told
Book Condition New
Edition First Edition
Publisher New Delhi, India Oxford University Press 2003
019566499X / 9780195664997
Seller ID 033791
Composed in the mid-sixteenth century, Pingali Suranna's Telugu novel The Sound of the Kiss, or The Story That Must Never Be Told could be considered the first novel written in South Asia. Suranna's masterpiece comes from a period of intense creativity in Telugu, when great poets produced strikingly modern innovations. The novel explodes preconceived ideas about early South Indian literature: for example, that the characters lack interiority, that the language is formulaic, and that Telugu texts are mere translations of earlier Sanskrit works. Employing the poetic style known as campu, which mixes verse and prose, Pingali Suranna's work transcends our notions of traditional narrative. "I wanted to have the structure of a complex narrative no one had ever known," he said of his great novel, "with rich evocations of erotic love, and also descriptions of gods and temples that would be a joy to listen to." The Sound of the Kiss is both a gripping love story, a complex rel igious allegory and a profound meditation on mind and language. Shulman and Rao include a thorough introduction that provides a broader understanding of, and appreciation for, the complexities and subtleties of this text. This magnificent novel is hard to put down, and will appeal to anyone interested in classical Indian literature. Printed Pages: 224.