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D D Kosambi: The Historian as Writer

This essay looks at D D Kosambi as a historian steeped in things literary, and the ways in which Kosambi's literary sensibility influenced the subjects, the structure, and the character of his history writing. Why should a reader who is interested in Indian writing in English read Kosambi? What would he find in his writings that he is unlikely to find in the historical writings of his contemporaries? How do his narratives reveal his interests, whose range extended far beyond the narrow specialisation of "Ancient India"? How did Marxism develop and hinder his insights and his writings? These are some questions that the essay tries to answer. It examines Kosambi's work and life together. Many elements of Kosambi's life figure in his historical works, and help in giving material substance to his writings.
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