8.291 Several views were expressed concerning the use of the National Anthem as a unifying factor, and in bringing about greater understanding among the communities. One view was that it would be advisable to reflect the two national languages policy by symbolically introducing at least two lines in Tamil to the National Anthem.172 It was pointed out that this would be a major step towards healing the wounds of the past.
A Valedictory in American Academia
James Wells Gair, Ph.D. ’63, professor emeritus of linguistics who throughout a long and distinguished career produced groundbreaking work on South Asian languages and their relation to other languages, died Dec. 10 in Ithaca. He was 88.“Jim Gair was in many ways the paradigmatic Cornell linguist,” said John Whitman, chair and professor of linguistics. “He had a language passion for Sinhala, the language of Sri Lanka, and he threw himself entirely into it, teaching the language, writing textbooks for its learners, and analyzing both the colloquial language and its classical texts.
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Thiru Arumugam, Courtesy of The Ceylankan: Journal of the Ceylon Society of Australia, journal 76, Vol. XIX, 4 November 2016
Woolf and his dog “Charles” in Jaffna
Introduction: The Ceylankan has carried three articles about Leonard Woolf. In the May 2004 issue Vama Vamadevan wrote an article titled Leonard Woolf which mainly covered Woolf’s years in Ceylon (1904-1910). In the November 2004 issue Yasmine Gooneratne wrote an article titled Lone Woolf in which she presents a scholarly analysis of Woolf’s book Village in the Jungle and describes a forthcoming new edition of the book with misprints in the first (1913) edition corrected and excised passages restored. Yasmine’s article mentions Leonards “patient devotion with which he had nursed Virginia Woolf through her spells of mental illness, thereby guaranteeing to the world the emergence of its foremost female literary genius”. Finally, in the February 2009 issue Philip Sansoni wrote an article titled Leonard Woolf – The Lonely Cadet and the Maiden in which he describes in great detail Woolf’s affair in Jaffna with Kitty Leyden. Woolf in the second volume of his autobiography1 says briefly that it was only a one-night stand where he lost his virginity, which had survived his days at Cambridge. However, in a letter to his good friend Lytton Strachey in England dated 12 November 19052 written from Jaffna, Woolf said something more “… what do you think of my new one alone with a burgher concubine in a long whitewashed bungalow overlooking a lagoon, where time is only divided between reading Voltaire on the immense verandah and copulating in the vast and empty rooms …” Continue reading
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addendum:Joe Kovacs in Literary Traveller, 23 June 2005, …. http://www.literarytraveler.com/articles/leonard_woolf_ceylon/ where the title runs “The Accidental British Servant: Leonard Woolf in Ceylon”
When I joined the Peace Corps and went to Sri Lanka in 1997, I took a leave of absence from a graduate program in English literature at Fordham University. I was unhappy with academia as an aspiring creative writer; I wanted to make literature, not analyze it. I had no idea how international development work in Asia could help, but at least it would provide a long-overdue vacation from education. I’d never left the United States before, and after an exhausting trip west from New York through San Francisco, Tokyo and Bangkok, the third flight of my trans-global journey arrived in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo at two in the morning. I spent the rest of those benighted, pre-dawn hours in a retreat center in the jungle, trying to sleep. But the dense heat drenched me in sweat, even as I lay still in bed, the uncompromising mattress made my back sore and a swooping blue mosquito net left me entombed. Had I just made a mistake? From the jungle outside came a sudden high-pitched screech, convincing me that I’d come to a land of monsters.
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