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There has long been a general consensus among insiders in the world of South Asian scholarship that Velcheru Narayana Raos contribution to understanding Indian cultural history, literary production, and intellectual life specifically from the vantage of the Andhra regionhas few parallels. However, unlike the writings of his friend A.K. Ramanujan, Narayana Raos writings in English remain little recognized by the broader public. Nevertheless, several features make Narayana Raos work utterly extraordinary. He is one of the very rare scholars to be able to reflect magisterially on both the pre-colonial and colonial periods. In part, this is because of his mastery of the classical Telugu tradition. As Sanjay Subrahmanyam puts it in his Introduction, To command nearly a thousand years of a literary tradition is no small feat, but more important still is VNRs ability constantly to offer fresh readings and provocative frameworks for interpretation. Further, Narayana Raos work moves fluidly between the Sanskrit and vernacular traditions, and between the worlds of orality and script. The essays and reflections in Text and Tradition in South India bring together the diverse contributions made by Velcheru Narayana Rao to the rewriting of Indias cultural and literary history. No-one seriously interested in the history of Indian ideas, the social and cultural history of South India, and the massive intellectual traditions of the subcontinent can do without this book. PRINTED PAGES: 490.