By Wiesław Myśliwski
Our hero and narrator is the getting older caretaker of cottages at a summer season inn. A mysterious customer conjures up him to proportion the tale of his lengthy existence: we witness a cheerful early life reduce brief via the conflict, his hiding from the Nazis buried in a heap of potatoes, his plodding makes an attempt to play the saxophone, the brutal homicide of his kinfolk, loves misplaced yet remembered, and footloose travels overseas. advised within the demeanour of pals and acquaintances swapping tales over the mundane activity of shelling beans—in the grand oral culture of Myśliwski’s celebrated Stone Upon Stone—each anecdote, lived event, and reminiscence accrues cross-stitched layers of which means. through turns hilarious and poignant, A Treatise on Shelling Beans is an epic recounting of a existence that, whereas common, is whatever yet traditional.
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Additional info for A Treatise on Shelling Beans
What affection and sympathy in her gaze! Every new-moon Monday, she would circumambulate around me, praying to god. How can I explain the affectionate gaze she bestowed on me at that time? Even my withered-away tiny branches would —spring new shoots! Ayyo, my darling Rukmini, when will I see children like you again? Ever since she was a child and till the day she died, there wasn’t a day when she didn’t come here. When she was about five or six, she would be forever playing here. There wasn’t a person who didn’t want to gather her and kiss her.
As she got older, what can I say about the ever-growing grace of her affection? Even as a child, she was close to everyone. This quality increased day by day. She never differentiated between herself and her friends. She held the same affection for every friend, rich or poor. Why, she showed more love for the poor. She couldn’t bear it if anyone suffered. She gave beggars handfuls of rice. How often I’ve seen tears pouring down her —eyes when she saw blind beggars. She would give more alms to them.
However, during that time many other writers too published stories in magazines and also as anthologies. Hence, we decided to explore a bit beyond the three established names. Following the references made by Tamil critics Chitti and Sivapadasundaram in their book Tamil Sirukadaiyin Varalarum Valarchchiyum and the Tamil short story writer Pudumaippittan’s essay on ‘Tamil Short Story’ we managed to locate three very important stories of that period – ‘Sankalppamum Sambavamum’ (1913) by Ammani Ammal, ‘Subbayyar’ (1921) by Selva Kesavarayar and ‘Moondril Edhu’ (1924) by V Visalakshiammal.
A Treatise on Shelling Beans by Wiesław Myśliwski