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The Lost Land of LemuriaFabulous Geographies, Catastrophic Histories$
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Sumathi Ramaswamy

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780520240322

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520240322.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 18 January 2020

Living Loss at Land’s End

Living Loss at Land’s End

(p.97) Chapter 4 Living Loss at Land’s End
The Lost Land of Lemuria

Sumathi Ramaswamy

University of California Press

This chapter examines devotees of Tamil in colonial and postcolonial India. It documents how and why Lemuria accumulated the density of commemorative meaning in the Tamil country by first considering its transformation from the homogeneous paleo and occult place-worlds of Euro-America into an intimate Tamil home-place that is catastrophically lost to the ocean. Labors of loss accompany paleo-scientific and occult placemaking around Lemuria in Euro-America, but the loss experienced by its Tamil place-makers appears much more profound and personal precisely because it is not some remote paleo land or occult domain that vanishes, but the very birthplace of the Tamil language, literature, and culture.

Keywords:   Tamil, colonial India, occult place-worlds, Euro-America, loss, occult placemaking

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