Gandhiji: His Life and Work. Edited by D. G. Tendulkar and others. (The Karnatak Publishing House, China Bazaar, Bombay 2). Pp. 496 Price Rs. 25/-


The young Editors of this magnificent volume presented it to Gandhiji on his seventy-fifth birthday last October. In every respect, it is worthy of the occasion; no effort has been spared to make the outward form as well as the inner content truly representative of the genius of modern India. The Editors suffered from an initial handicap, for gifted fellow-workers of Gandhiji like Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Acharya Kripalani were–as they are even today–behind prison bars. But they have made up for this by a judicious selection from their published writings. The volume has been enriched by several specially written articles on Gandhiji’s philosophy and outlook, on certain phases of his personal life, and various items of his constructive programme, together with interesting reminiscences. There are messages from Einstein, the philosopher-scientist and Pearl Buck, the American novelist and friend of India. “Truth in Beauty” by D. G. Tendulkar and “The True Artist” by Nandalal Bose reveal an aspect of Gandhiji not so well known to the public–his love of the Beautiful. Similarly “Is Gandhi a Socialist?” by M. R. Masani, and “A New Synthesis” by M. L. Dantwala re-interpret Gandhism as the correct approach to the socialist ideal. M. Chalapathi Rau, one of the Editors, gives a graphic account of Gandhiji’s “Tours and Marches.”


The book is printed on hand-made paper, and bound in Khaddar, with an attractive cover designed in indigenous style. This and the large number of photographs and reproductions in colour of famous printings like Nandalal Bose’s “Dandi March”, V. S. Masoji’s “Midnight Arrest” make this birthday gift highly artistic.


Admirers of Gandhiji all over the world must be grateful to the. Editors who have gone about their work in a spirit of reverent love. The price of Rs. 25/- is by no means exorbitant, considering the lavish expenditure involved and the announcement that the profits will be devoted “to the causes dear to him”. It is to be hoped that the bulk of the matter incorporated in this volume will soon be translated into all Indian languages.


K. Ramakotiswara Rau


Telugu Literature. (Andhra Literature) By Dr. P. T. Raju, M.A., Ph.D., Sastri, The Andhra University, Guntur. (Published for the P. E. N. All-India Centre, Malabar Hill, Bombay, by the International Book House Ltd., Ash Lane, Fort, Bombay.) Pages 24 plus 154. Price: Rs. 2-8-0.


This is the fourth, in order of publication, of the P. E. N. Books on Indian Literatures, under the general editorship of Srimati Sophia Wadia. The series has been well planned and entrusted to competent scholars. Like its predecessors on Assamese and Bengali Literatures, this volume on Telugu Literature by Dr. P. T. Raju is divided into three parts, Old Literature, New Literature, and Anthology, the last being the most valuable. Earlier works on Telugu Literature like the one by Bhujanga Rao and Chenchia (Heritage of India Series) failed to give renderings into English of verse, song, and prose, illustrative, of the literary contribution of Andhra.


Dwelling midway between Aryavarta and the extreme South, the Andhras, like their cousins the Kannadigas, have harmonised in their language and culture the finest elements of what are commonly called ‘Aryan’ and’ Dravidian’. In both these languages, the vocabulary is a rich blend of Sanskritic and Dravidian roots. The poets, too, use freely both Sanskrit and ‘Desi’ (country) metres. These twin literatures, Telugu and Kannada, have developed on parallel lines for over a thousand years, and even today their achievements in different branches of literature are strikingly similar. They have therefore, to be studied together. Dr. Raju is aware of this close relationship, and even claims that the earliest Kannada poets, Pampa and Ponna, as well as Basava, the reformer, and Vidyaranya, the philosopher, were Andhras. We await with interest what Prof. B. M. Srikantia will say in reply in his forthcoming book on Kannada Literature, in the same series. Possibly, they were all bilingual!.


Within the limited space of fifty pages, Dr. Raju gives a comprehensive and satisfactory account of the development of Telugu Literature, from the tenth century to the middle of the nineteenth. His literary judgments are balanced, and generally in consonance with those of earlier writers on the subject. But the literary merit of Tyagaraya’s compositions and of the yakshaganas has not been adequately recognised by him. Dr. Raju lays special emphasis on the important fact that the early Telugu poets treated the Puranas and Itihasas as Kavyas and presented them to the Telugu people as literary masterpieces.


The modern period beginning with Viresalingam is described at greater length, but Dr. Raju does not appear to have closely studied the work of contemporary writers. His treatment of the Bhava-Kavis (lyric poets) is amateurish, and he has not appraised their work at its true value. During the last thirty years, Rayaprolu Subba Rao, D. V. Krishna Sastri, Nayani Subba Rao and other distinguished poets have written verse and song which entitle modern Telugu poetry to rank with the noblest poetry in other Indian languages. In theme, style, and sentiment these poets have attained a very high level of excellence. Theirs is indeed the golden age of Telugu poetry vying with the golden age of Vijayanagara, under Sri Krishna Deva Raya. Nor has the short story, ‘another sphere in which modern Telugu writers excel, received adequate attention in this volume.


In places, this part of the book reads a little too much like a guide-book or a catalogue of publications. With regard to even well-known facts, Dr. Raju commits errors. He speaks of Sadasiva Raya as a son of Krishna Deva Raya. He attributes the authorship of the Telugu play Kanthabharanam to Kallkuri Narayana Rao instead of to P. Lakshmi Narasimha Rao. Obviously, he was thinking of the formers Vara-Vikrayam.


But these and other defects in the main text are more than retrieved by the Anthology. Here, the selection from ancient and modern literature is quite representative, and the renderings into English are marked by accuracy and great charm of style. ‘Urmila’s Sleep’, ‘Sugatri and Salina’, ‘The Rescue of Gajendra’ and ‘The Farmer’s Wife’ are particularly pleasing.


Non-Andhra readers, for whom it is primarily meant, will gain by a study of this book. It will furnish them much valuable information about the literary achievement of Telugu writers, ancient and modern, and enable them to compare the development of Telugu literature with their own. After all, the content of all Indian literature is the same, notwithstanding local variations due to historic accident and geographical conditions. Even the Andhra reader will profit from a study of Dr. Raju’s treatise, as it presents certain points of view not so familiar, particularly the Andhra contribution to general Indian Culture, and the Prakritic as contrasted with the Dravidian basis of the Telugu language.


Dr. Sir C. R. Reddy, Vice Chancellor of the Andhra University, contributes a scholarly Introduction in the course of which he discusses the different theories relating to the origin of the Telugu people. The Introduction enhances the value of this latest addition to the P. E. N. series.


The Peacock Lute.–An Anthology of Indo-English Poetry. Edited by V. N Bhushan. Padma Publications Price: Rs. 7–8–0.


It is instructive to read this Anthology in comparison with the New Verse of contemporary English Poets. The difference is striking. Indo-English poetry is pre-eminently subjective in character. The charge of excessive self-absorption against many of our poets, is not wholly unjust. Many of our poets are not mystics. The mystics with their extraordinary clarity of thought appeal only at the highest level. As for Aurobindo, he is a mystic and a poet, who makes objects mere symbols “linking spiritual to corporal forms” and is a class by himself.


Arise from the heart of the yearning that sobs in Nature’s abyss;

Make earth the home of the Wonderful and life Beautitude Kiss.


That is the triumph of poetry, where imagery and imagination are happily wedded. At the other of extreme is that other mystic, Vivekananda, who achieves the peak-effects in sheer simplicity;


The cloud puts forth its deluge of strength

When lightning cleaves its breast;

When the soul is stirred to its utmost depths

Great ones unfold their best.


There is yet another of that category, Dilip Roy, in whose poetry the seen and the unseen, come to a point of convergence. To quote from “The Lesson”


Lone ocean-moods a dance in floods

Creating Coral isles with silt.


That is a phrase for all the silent creations of human genius in its ocean-moods. Often a poet hovers about some gleam, trying to grasp “the ineffable secrecies supreme” that pass and elude his gaze, but many times suffers a poetic defeat. There is not the consistency of thought and emotion; they thin out into mere vigaries, and sensations.


“Truth Vision” is a gem cut by K. D. Sethna:


What drew that film

Across your sight

Was only a dazzle

Of everlasting light.


Then the soaring apostrophe:


Eagle your mood, O Spirit,

To see the Golden Face.


Quite a simple imagery and a Miltonic effect!


Armando Menezes, in whom there is the ring of Keats, occasionally speaks of a power half-glimpsed, half-guessed and haunting everywhere but can take a more severe and positive attitude:


Waiting still

For thine elusive glimmer, on some hard-won hill.


or,                    And final glory asks for final pain.


Considerations of space for bids fuller quotations from his first-rate poem “Ode to Beauty.” Another piece, “Aspiration”, is cast into a very concrete mould of imagery, with almost spiritual effects:


And I would, waking

One sudden morn,

Feel my heart aching

with corn.


Menezes is a force to reckon with.


Baldoon Dhingra is a poet of disillusionment as the editor has described him to be. He reacts against that excessive se1f-absorption, the self-centeredness of man.


Heedless of our race

The cosmic process works.


That is a rare note in Indo-English poetry. There is a certain objectivity, a ‘scientific’ temper in his “Comes ever the Dawn”:


Flowers will bloom for no man’s scent and fruit,

Ripen for no man’s appetite, and boughs

Lavish their shade where no man lies.


Yet another mystic poet, J. Krishnamurthy achieves the highest effects with simple imagery.


As the rose is to the rose petal

So art Thou to me,


has a peculiar poetic power in it. For this mystic, the ineffable is the soft petal, the well-developed colour, the bloom, the fragrance. The gradation of immateriality in this spiritual metaphor is to be noted.


Here is also a different order of poets. They have nothing to do with the eternal verities. “Nocturne” by Kaikini is a modernist verse. The few poet out-Audens Auden. He strikes quite an original note in Indo-English poetry. In the hands of a master the modernist verse, in its perfection, can achieve a poetic power not inferior to that of our classical models.


In an Anthology of this kind omissions may be easily pointed out. And it happens that within the limits set to this collection, many authors are represented inadequately, for example Aurobindo, Rabindranath Tagore, Harindranath and Sarojini Naidu, who are after all, our major figures. Such strict rationing is to be deplored in an Anthology.


Lastly a word about the biographical introductions. Too colourfull and every vain-glorious ‘write-ups’ as practised to the limits of garish vulgarity may be all right in the commercial and cinema world but in an Anthology of this type, similar loud writing is not in taste. We are thankfull, however, for the helpful information contained in them. At the end of the book is a bibliography of 172 Indo-English poets, 5 important anthologies, and 22 volumes of criticism. The Editor and Publishers deserve our thanks for bringing out this fair-sized, fairly printed and fairly bound Anthology–a, real gift to the world of letters.


H. G. V.


The deliverance–By Saratchandra Chattopadhyaya–Nalanda Publications, Bombay. Price: Rs. 3-4-0.


This longish short story pictures the joint family life in Bengal and is equally true of other parts of India. The children in a household quarrel and because the mothers range themselves on the sides of their children, the squabble soon becomes a storm in the domestic teapot; later on the menfolk are precipitated into the misunderstanding and in the sequel a litigation all but ruins the-family-financially as also in the matter of domestic felicity. The narrative progresses from event to event with rapidity carrying the reader along with it and the characterization is also convincing. A noble and a high-souled but extremely absent-minded lawyer, his sentimental but by no means sensible wife, and a suave but scheming cousin and his capable wife are a few of the characters delineated with great truth and artistry: human fondnesses, follies and foibles are depicted with natural elegance, humour and vividness. In a domestic quarrel both parties are equally right, judged from their own standpoints. The fact that elders prone to partisanship on such occasions can do no worse than take sides in petty domestic quarrels is the salutary suggestion made and leaves a lasting impression. The translation from the Bengali is by Dilip Kumar Roy and the book has had the most distinguished sponsoring possible; Sri Aurobindo has revised it and Rabindranath Tagore has provided the Introduction. The distinguished translator deserves the thanks of the English-reading public for providing them with such a readable and entertaining story by one of India’s greatest fiction-writers in modern times. The get-up and printing leave nothing to be desired.

C. R. S.


The Indian Deadlock–By Sjt. K. M. Munshi, B.A., LL.B., Ex-Minister, Bombay. (Publishers: Kitab Mahal, Allahabad, Pages 152 plus 4, Rs. 2/-)


The book under review is an impassioned plea for India’s right to self-government as well as a withering attack against Prof. Coupland’s fallacious case against Indian nationalism. Coming as it does from a versatile and an active politician, and student of constitutional affairs, the book gains in realism and is suffused with intense fervour.


Prof. Coupland’s main charge is that the Indian National Congress is responsible for creating the deadlock in India and based on the facile assumption that the I. N. C. is a ‘totalitarian’ body acting with the avowed object of creating anarchy at home and disturbing the security of the British Commonwealth. Sjt. Munshi finds no difficulty in rebutting this charge. The author touches on the history of Hindu and Muslim dissension’s and has much to say about the mischievous divide-and-rule policy of British imperialism. The use of terms like ‘disruptionalism’, ‘regionalism’ by Prof. Coupland warps the vision and clouds the issues and, in effect, amounts to a sabotage of the ideal of Indian independence. The deadlock has cast a shadow of gloom and frustration on the country. Nevertheless Smt. Munshi feels that the correct statement of the problem is half the solution. The Rajaji formula and the Sapru Conciliation attempt also come up for discussion the finish that Smt. Munshi gives is rather a tame one.


The book is well got up with a suggestive cartoon on the front page.


H. G. S.


Srimad Bhagavatam, the Wisdom of God–Translated by Swami Prabhavananda, Sri Ramakrishna Math, Mylapore, Madras. Crown 8 Vo. pages 222, Price Rs. 3–8–0.


Srimad Bhagavatam, in the original Sanskrit and more particularly through the renderings in the various Indian languages enjoys a wider vogue and exerts a more widespread influence among the Hindus than even the Upanishads, Gita or the Mahabharata. It provides the text for popular religious recitals, discourses and dramas in all parts of the country. “To study it is the best of all ways to become acquainted with the living religion of India.” Its peculiar excellence is that it “reconciles the heart with the head, devotion with learning”–as has been well stated in the Introduction. There have been English translations, like the ones by M. N. Dutt or by S. Subba Rao–but these are literal and ponderous. The present edition is an abridgement–except for the XI chapter, which contains the “Uddhava Gita” and is fully rendered. Even a reader unacquainted with Sanskrit and Indian languages may capture something of the atmosphere and the modes of thought and feeling, as the Swamiji has retold rather than translated the text using a language replete with charm and characterised by its biblical ring and poetic quality. A glossary of Sanskrit terms adds to the value of the book.


The get-up and letter press are elegant.

                                                             K. S. G.


The meaning of Dominion Status.–By S. M. Bose; Oxford Pamphlets on Indian Affairs No. 24. Price: As. 6.


The claim that “this pamphlet traces the transition from Colony to Dominion in Canada and elsewhere, examines the meaning and implications of Dominion Status, and shows that British India has reached position so nearly equal to that of the Dominions that the transition to Dominion Status may be attained within the framework of the Government of India Act of 1935 and by amendment of the Statute of Westminster” is justified. The  author has presented his material clearly and concisely. All the legal and constitutional ways and means thought of may be considered within the bounds of practical politics in an academic discussion. They may not carry conviction further to many minds. The arguments advanced by the author to be assessed at their proper value have to be taken along with the back- ground of colour conflict, which unfortunately has not vanished from this world of ours, and less so in the British Commonwealth.

K. K.


Winning the Peace.–By F. L. Brayne; Oxford Pamphlets on Indian Affairs No. 25. Price: As. 6.


Mr. F. L, Brayne of Socrates in Indian Villages fame is no stranger to problems of moral reconstruction in 1ndia. In this pamphlet written in his usual lucid and vigorous style, he urges that the ex-soldiers should be used to guide and stimulate progress in the villages. “The million ex-soldiers can and should be harnessed to carry through a great plan of national reconstruction; and the plan should be ready to be put into operation as soon as hostilities cease.” A great idea surely, and we feel thankful to the author for the vivid manner of his presenting it to us. But then, of course, it all depends on the kind of plan to be put through, and on the willingness and the capacity to tackle the job under civilian control.

 K. K.


Reconstruction of Economic Science–By A. N. Agarwala, Lecturer, University of Allahabad (Kitab Mahal, Allahabad. Price: Rs. 3–8–0).


This arresting little book deals with the fundamental concepts of Economics. Though this is a re-statement of fundamentals, there is throughout a silent intellectual antagonism to the theories of Lionel Robins. This denunciation is sometimes even carried to extreme proportions, as when the author says that “he (L. Robins) has estranged the sympathies of social human beings” (P. 76). He inflates the Marshallian definition to such an extent that he want us to believe that Robins is propounding nothing new. The corner-stone of “Robinism” is scarce means and unlimited ends and this interpretation is found nowhere in the theory of the earlier economists, One does not feel happy about the illustrations that the author has chosen to prove his thesis. The example of war “as not always destructive of economic welfare” (P.36), is a case in point. War might change the balance of power among the contending parties, but it is destruction all right! There is a spirited defence for the recognition of the normative and applied aspects of the science. A lot of confusion is often caused by the loose usage of many economic terms, and the author draws pointed reference to this sad state of affairs and points out the danger arising therefrom. There is a repeated insistence that the science must not be divorced from the masses at large and that it must have maximisation of social welfare as its ideal. It is a useful and interesting contribution.

G. V. R.


French Foreign Policy–By David Thompson. (Oxford Pamphlets on World Affairs. Price 6 d. net.)


This is a short history of French Foreign policy beginning from the times of the Bourbons and ending with the recent German occupation of that land. The guiding factors of French policy during these decades have been clearly brought out. The divergence between the French and the English attitude towards Germany, after the last War, has been briefly sketched. It is a narrative pure and simple, and the presentation as objective as possible. It is an interesting little publication on a controversial topic.

G. V. R.


Our Sterling Balances–By Prof. M. V. Bhatawdekar. (Padma Publications. Price Re. 1– 0–0).


The book deals with one of the live issues of the day. In clear language and unambiguous terms the origin disposal and possible loss of our starling balances due to an “unfriendly Briton” have been traced. The author does not concern himself exclusively with Sterling Balances alone, but has also shown the necessary relations these bear with exchange rates. Many of the statements look more like assertions as when–“If we are paid in gold at the rate of Is. 6d. per rupee, that would not have altered the situation (of being paid in Sterling) in any fundamental respect” (p. 12). Probably this might not have stopped inflation. Even this is a very pessimistic point of view as gold has an insatiable market and also because most of the purchasing power has been concentrated in the hands of the few. On the other hand, it would have been a better investment as it would have neither restricted our purchasing capacity, nor have fluctuated so much as Sterling. It is also naively assumed that the United Kingdom cannot tamper very much either with the exchange rate or the cross of the rupee, and that if we want we can freely import from the U. S. A. But the way in which Germany gained control of the Austrian Economic System by the manipulation of the exchange rate is common knowledge. The work is an interesting and not–too academic study of the problem of Sterling Balances to the general reader.

G. V. R.


Your Food–A study of the problem of Food and Nutrition in India–M. R. Masani. Published for Tata Sons, Ltd., by the Padma Publications, Ltd., Bombay–82 pages. Re. 1.


The subject is or distressing importance particularly in India, where millions of people live on the verge of starvation–in spite of 360 millions acres of very fertile land under cultivation mostly with food and fodder crops, with a varied and hospitable climate, a monsoon of our own, thick forests to protect our soil and a large population at work on land and 28.5% of the world’s cattle to help us.


We have everything we need; yet we do not seem to manage to feed ourselves. That paradox is our Problem No. 1. How can it be explained and how can it be solved? That is what the book is about.


Your Food takes us to the Indian problem through such fundamentals of Dietetics as Why We Eat, How much to eat, what there is to eat A Balanced Diet etc. We are not left floating in the clouds with what we ought to eat but brought down to the hard realities of what we are eating and why. The matter is dealt with in close touch with the main problem and the book ends with the note that food is not a subject apart; it is bound up with the fight for the abolition of poverty, which is one of the biggest crusades on which we, as a nation should launch.


The personal touch throughout the book makes it interesting and the graphic illustrations make understanding easier. Here are facts and figures for any one generally interested in the problem.

K. N.


Milk and Milch Cattle. By Sarabhai Prataprai–Padma Publications. 51 pages. As. 12/-


The present deplorable condition of the lack of even the most minimum of this very necessary food is set forth in the present pamphlet. The many factors that have contributed are pointed out, as also the imperative need for the Government taking an All-India policy to improve the soil, the fodder, the cattle and the supply of milk, so as to enable the people of this agricultural country to get more milk, and better milk: the average daily per capita milk consumption here being only 6 ozs. as against 56 ozs. of New Zealand.


There is an appendix indicating the result of laboratory experiments to show the efficacy of cow’s milk vs. buffalo’s.

K. N.





Sweeya Charitramu. (Autobiography) By Kalaprapurna Chilakamarti Lakshmi Narasimham (The Prajasakti Office, Bezwada). P. 369, Rs. 3/-.


As poet and novelist, playwright and essayist, Sri Lakshmi Narasimham is one of the makers of modern literature in Telugu. His name is a household word, and the generation now verging on fifty owes to him and to Viresalingam its mental attitude as well as the love of the mother-tongue. Struggling against poverty, and later against blindness, Sri Lakshmi Narasimham rendered important services to his fellow-Andhras in diverse fields,–literature, journalism, the stage, and social reform. As an orator in Telugu, he has few equals. At seventy-eight, he still retains his intellectual vigour and his splendid memory.


The Progressive Writers’ Association of Andhra merits high praise for publishing this autobiography. The volume wafts us to an age and a society so different from ours,–when English education was just beginning to make its way and the political consciousness of the people was dormant. The Author and his senior contemporaries, Viresalingam, N. Subba Rau Pantulu, and Sir R. Venkata Ratnam Naidu, strove to create a better world. The autobiography makes exceedingly interesting reading and is characterized by the Author’s frankness, modesty, and patriotism. His pen-pictures of early friends like Sri T. Prakasam–who played the roles of Draupadi and Damayanti to perfection!–are charming.


We must confess, nevertheless, to a slight sense of disappointment. The crowding of incidents, of dates and events, takes away from the artistic quality of the work. More space ought to have been devoted to contemporary movements and personalities, literary, social, and political, and to the author’s reflections,–and reactions.


In common with all Andhras, we tender our homage to this gifted and versatile son of Andhra. May he live long and continue to shed light and love all around him!


K. Ramakotiswara Rau.


Devayani–Chitrangada By B. Gopala Reddy (Rendered from the Bengali plays of Sri Rabindranath Tagore). Published by the Gurudeva Grandha Mandali, Tyagarayanagar, Madras. Pp, 94, Price: Re. 1-4-0.


While yet in his teens, Gopala Reddy stayed in Viswa-Bharati for three years and studied Bengali with zeal. The personality and the poetry of Tagore cast a spell over him. He has been trying ever since to present to Telugu readers the poet’s message as expressed in his poems and plays. During his last term of imprisonment he rendered some of them from the original Bengali.


Devayani and Chitrangada are among the earliest of the Poet’s plays. Rich in phrasing and imagery, they defy the translator’s art. But it is always easier to translate from one Indian language into another, and Mr. Reddy has definitely chosen the medium of prose in preference to the blank-verse of the original, so that what is lost in music may be gained in clarity and accuracy. He has endeavoured throughout to convey the exact shade of meaning and the turns of phrase of the poet. While he has largely succeeded in transmitting the fragrance of the original Bengali, the Telugu idiom has suffered and the style has become stilted. Any translation into Telugu must be able to rank as good Telugu literature before it can win the approval of the Telugu reader. Mr. Reddy is conscious of this aspect of a translator’s task, but his effort to overcome this initial difficulty has not been quite successful.


This is not said to discount the value of Mr. Reddy’s work, but only by way of a friendly–and affectionate–appeal to him to improve the quality of the Telugu prose of his renderings. He will thus function as a cultural  ambassador between Vanga and Andhra.


Sri Mutnuri Krishna Rao, Editor of the Krishna Patrika, surveys the development of Indian literature through the ages, and commends Mr. Reddy’s, effort to interpret Tagore to the Andhras


K. Ramakotiswara Rau




Maxim Gorki Commemoration Volume–Edited by Mr. A. N. Krishna Rao, Published by the Progressive Writers’ Association (Bangalore Branch), Karnataka Sahitya Mandira, Dharwar, pages 376, 12 Art plates, Rs. 5-8-0.


Russia, as freedom’s chosen champion, has fought with such amazing heroism and doggedness against the barbarous Nazi hordes that she is a perennial source of inspiration to all freedom-loving peoples of the world. Everyone is eager to know something about the vital secret springs of her strength, of her social life and culture and about the mighty heroes who instilled into the revolting masses the spirit of freedom and sacrifice. This publication of the commemoration volume on Maxim Gorki, who stands out as a symbol of a momentous epoch in the history of her glorious fight for freedom, is opportune. It may be roughly divided into three sections, the first dealing with the life and work of Gorki, the second and the third giving his ‘Fragments of a Diary’, ‘Days with Lenin,’ ‘Reminiscences of Leo Tolstoy’; and some other beautiful short stories rendered into easy and readable Kannada. But a close and critical look into its pages reveals lapses of style and idiom partly due to haste and twist of expression and partly to a lack of corresponding vigor of sentiment or depth of insight. There is a challenging Introduction written in English, a signal piece of unorthodoxy. This tribute to the memory of one who became a herald of a new dawn of liberty and whose works vibrated with the passion of social justice will be welcomed by the Kannada public.


H. G. S