Vaadivaasal: The Arena

CS Chellappa, Late; N Kalyan Raman

Vaadivaasal, a novella published in 1949, is considered as a modern literary classic in Tamil. It describes the events of an afternoon in Periyapatti, a village in southern Tamil Nadu, where a jallikattu-contest involving the traditional sport of bull taming-is under way. The novella opens with the arrival of bulls in the village from near and far, excitement and anticipation from the crowd of onlookers, and tales of past heroics being exchanged among the villagers. The contest in a jallikattu is always between the bull tamer and a man of power, who is represented by the bull. Vaadivaasal is a masterful account not only of a traditional sport and the people who engaged in it, but also of the relations of power and how they played out in a bygone era. As a work that captures the tremors of a life-and-death battle between man and animal, it is an outstanding achievement in the annals of Tamil prose fiction.


Table of Contents:
CSC: My Appa ix
Translator's Note xiii
Introduction xvii
Vaadivaasal 1
Glossary 83
About the Author and Translator 87


CS Chellappa was a Tamil writer, journalist, literary critic and Indian independence movement activist. His novel 'Suthanthira Thagam' won the Sahitya Akademi Award in 2001. N Kalyan Raman is a bilingual translator and is best known for his English translations of the works of eminent Tamil modernist writer Ashokamitran. He has been translating Tamil fiction and poetry into English for the last two decades, for which he received the Pudumaipithan Award in 2017.