SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Ralph Ellison

Ralph Waldo Ellison was an American novelist, literary critic, scholar best known for his novel Invisible Man, which won the National Book Award in 1953. He wrote Shadow and Act, a collection of political and critical essays, Going to the Territory. For The New York Times, the best of these essays in addition to the novel put him "among the gods of America's literary Parnassus." A posthumous novel, was published after being assembled from voluminous notes he left upon his death. Ralph Waldo Ellison, named after Ralph Waldo Emerson, was born at 407 East First Street in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, to Lewis Alfred Ellison and Ida Millsap, on March 1, 1913, he was the second of three sons. Lewis Alfred Ellison, a small-business owner and a construction foreman, died in 1916, after an operation to cure internal wounds suffered after shards from a 100-lb ice block penetrated his abdomen, when it was dropped while being loaded into a hopper; the elder Ellison loved literature, doted on his children, Ralph discovering as an adult that his father had hoped he would grow up to be a poet.

In 1921, Ellison's mother and her children moved to Gary, where she had a brother. According to Ellison, his mother felt that "my brother and I would have a better chance of reaching manhood if we grew up in the north." When she did not find a job and her brother lost his, the family returned to Oklahoma, where Ellison worked as a busboy, a shoeshine boy, hotel waiter, a dentist's assistant. From the father of a neighborhood friend, he received free lessons for playing trumpet and alto saxophone, would go on to become the school bandmaster. Ida remarried three times. However, the family life was precarious, Ralph worked various jobs during his youth and teens to assist with family support. While attending Douglass High School, he found time to play on the school's football team, he graduated from high school in 1931. He worked for a year, found the money to make a down payment on a trumpet, using it to play with local musicians, to take further music lessons. At Douglass, he was influenced by principal Inman E. Page and his daughter, music teacher Zelia N. Breaux.

Ellison applied twice for admission to Tuskegee Institute, the prestigious all-black university in Alabama founded by Booker T. Washington, he was admitted in 1933 for lack of a trumpet player in its orchestra. Ellison hopped freight trains to get to Alabama, was soon to find out that the institution was no less class-conscious than white institutions were. Ellison's outsider position at Tuskegee "sharpened his satirical lens," critic Hilton Als believes: "Standing apart from the university's air of sanctimonious Negritude enabled him to write about it." In passages of Invisible Man, "he looks back with scorn and despair on the snivelling ethos that ruled at Tuskegee."Tuskegee's music department was the most renowned department at the school, headed by composer William L. Dawson. Ellison was guided by the department's piano instructor, Hazel Harrison. While he studied music in his classes, he spent his free time in the library with modernist classics, he cited reading T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land as a major awakening moment.

In 1934, he began to work as a desk clerk at the university library, where he read James Joyce and Gertrude Stein. Librarian Walter Bowie Williams enthusiastically let Ellison share in his knowledge. A major influence upon Ellison was English teacher Morteza Drezel Sprague, to whom Ellison dedicated his essay collection Shadow and Act, he opened Ellison's eyes to "the possibilities of literature as a living art" and to "the glamour he would always associate with the literary life." Through Sprague Ellison became familiar with Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment and Thomas Hardy's Jude the Obscure, identifying with the "brilliant, tortured anti-heroes" of those works. As a child, Ellison evidenced what would become a lifelong interest in audio technology, starting by taking apart and rebuilding radios, moved on to constructing and customizing elaborate hi-fi stereo systems as an adult, he discussed this passion in a December 1955 essay, "Living With Music," in High Fidelity magazine. Ellison scholar John S. Wright contends that this deftness with the ins-and-outs of electronic devices went on to inform Ellison's approach to writing and the novel form.

Ellison remained at Tuskegee until 1936, decided to leave before completing the requirements for a degree. Desiring to study sculpture, he moved to New York City on 5 July 1936 and found lodging at a YMCA on 135th Street in Harlem "the culture capital of black America." He met Langston Hughes, "Harlem's unofficial diplomat" of the Depression era, one—as one of the country's celebrity black authors—who could live from his writing. Hughes introduced him to the black literary establishment with Communist sympathies, he met several artists who would influence his life, including the artist Romare Bearden and the author Richard Wright. After Ellison wrote a book review for Wright, Wright encouraged him to write fiction as a career, his first published story was "Hymie's Bull," inspired by Ellison's 1933 hoboing on a train with his uncle to get to Tuskegee. From 1937 to 1944, Ellison had over 20 book reviews, as well as short stories and articles, published in magazines such as New Challenge and The New Masses.

Wright was openly associated with the Communist Party, Ellison was publishing and editing for communist publications, although his "affiliation was quieter," according to historian Carol Polsgrove in Divided

V. R. Raghavan

Lt. Gen. Vasantha R. Raghavan is one of India’s leading military strategic thinkers, he served in the Indian Army for 37 years and retired as the director general of military operations in 1994. After retirement from the army, he has written several books and is the director of the Delhi Policy Group and president of the Centre for Security Analysis, Chennai. Raghavan was commissioned in the Punjab Regiment in 1957, he graduated in 1968 from the Royal Military College of Science and the Army Staff College in the UK. He was the commanding general in the Siachen and Kargil sectors during some of the intense combat actions in the area, he was involved in the formulation of the Sino-Indian accord on maintaining peace on the borders and in the series of negotiations with Pakistan on the Siachen dispute. As director general of military operations, he made a significant contribution to strategic planning and field force management of the army, he was awarded the PVSM, UYSM, AVSM honours by the Government of India.

Raghavan has written four books which have become essential reading in military colleges: By the Land and Sea: A History of the Punjab Regiment. Other than this he has edited many books: Internal Conflicts in Myanmar Nuclear Disarmament - India-EU Perspective Internal Conflicts in Nepal- Transnational Consequences The Naxal Threat: Causes, State Responses and Consequence Conflict in Sri Lanka: Internal and External Consequences Conflicts in the Northeast: Internal and External Effects, jointly edited with Sanjoy Hazarika Jammu and Kashmir - Impact on Polity and Economy Post Conflict Sri Lanka - Rebuilding of SocietyIn his book on the Siachen conflict, regarded as the definitive work on the subject, he notes that neither India nor Pakistan gains a strategic advantage from the occupation of the Saltoro range and offers a road map for conflict resolution, he has edited more than a dozen other books besides writing numerous articles on strategic issues relating to India’s security. His piece on Limited War and Nuclear Escalation in South Asia in The Nonproliferation Review in 2001 concluded that there was a high probability of a nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan in the event of a direct military conflict between the two countries.

Gen. Raghavan was a Commissioner on the independent Commission on Weapons of Mass Destruction set up at the initiative of the Government of Sweden and headed by Dr. Hans Blix; the Commission released a report titled Weapons of Terror: Freeing the World of Nuclear and Chemical Arms in 2006, notable for proposing that nuclear and biological weapons be outlawed and exploring the options for achieving this within a reasonable timeframe. He was a member of the Government of India Review Committee to review the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, opposed in Manipur and other parts of Northeast India. Although the government has not made the report of the Committee submitted in 2005 public, it has been reported that the panel recommended that the act be repealed. Raghavan has argued that security should be viewed in terms of human security in societal, environmental and political terms instead of the narrow military perspective. 1987 Sino-Indian skirmish Events leading to the Sino-Indian War Kargil War Origins of the Sino-Indian border dispute Sino-Indian War Sino-Indian relations The Hindu Website of Publisher of His books Centre for Security Analysis, Chennai Publication

Cave of Treasures

The Cave of Treasures, sometimes referred to as The Treasure, is a book of the New Testament apocrypha. It was written in Syriac and is believed to be a seventh-century adaptation of a fourth- or fifth-century text; this text is attributed to Ephrem Syrus, born at Nisibis soon after AD 306 and died in 373, but it is now believed that its current form is 6th century or newer. The assertion that the Cave of Treasures was written in the 4th century is supported by the general contents of the work; these reproduce Ephrem's peculiar methods of exegesis and supply many examples of his methods in religious argument, with which we are familiar from his other writings. His pride in the antiquity of the Syriac language appears in this work; that it was written in Mesopotamia by a Syrian, there is no doubt, if Ephrem was not the original author, or later editor, belonged to the school of Ephrem. The oldest Christian work on the history of God's dealing with man from Adam to Christ is the anonymous Conflict of Adam and Eve with Satan, which, in its original form, is from the 5th or 6th century AD.

The writer of the Cave of Treasures borrowed from the Conflict of Adam and Eve, or shared a common source with it. The Cave of Treasures was introduced to the world by Giuseppe Simone Assemani, the author of the Catalogues of Oriental Manuscripts in the Vatican Library, which he printed in Bibliotheca Orientalis in four thick volumes folio. In Vol. ii. page 498 he describes a Syriac manuscript containing a series of apocryphal works, among them is one the title of which he translates Spelunca Thesaurorum. He saw that the manuscript contained the history of 5,500 years, from the creation of Adam to the birth of Christ, that it was based upon the Scriptures, he says that fables are found in it everywhere concerning the antediluvian Patriarchs, the genealogy of Christ and His Mother. He mentions that the Patriarch Eutychius describes a cave of treasures in which gold and myrrh were laid up, refers to the "portentosa feminarum nomina," women of Jesus' ancestry. No attempt was made to publish the Syriac text.

And soon after this and others noticed that an Arabic manuscript in the Vatican contained a version of the Cave of Treasures, made from the Syriac. In 1883 Carl Bezold published a translation of the Syriac text of the "Cave of Treasures" made from three manuscripts, five years published the Syriac text of it, accompanied by the text of the Arabic version; some passages from the Cave of Treasures are found in the Coptic Enconium of Mary Magdalene of Pseudo-Cyril. Of the subsequent history of the Syriac Cave of Treasures, little is known; the knowledge of parts of it made its way into Armenia soon after the book was written, more than one translation of it was made into Arabic in the 7th and 8th centuries. In connection with the Arabic translations, they all end with the account of the cruelties perpetrated by Archelaus and Sâlûm after the death of Herod; the last paragraph of the Arabic text mentions the twelve Apostles who went about with Christ, refers to His baptism by John the Baptist, says that He lived on the earth thirty-three years, ascended into heaven.

Thus for the last twenty-six pages of the Syriac text there is no equivalent in the Arabic version. The same is true for the Ethiopic Conflict of Adam and Eve; the section of the Syriac for which there is no rendering in Arabic or Ethiopic contains a series of statements addressed to the author's "brother Nemesius." It is possible but unlikely that these were added to the work by a writer. As they do not deal with matters of genealogy, deal exclusively with Jesus Christ's life and crucifixion, they failed to interest the Arab translator, he left them untranslated, unless parts of the original Arabic translation have perished; that the Syriac Cave of Treasures was known and used by Solomon, Bishop of Perâth Maishân in 1222 is proved by the earlier chapters of his work the Book of the Bee. He excerpted from it many of the legends of the early Patriarchs, although his object was not to write a table of genealogical succession, but a full history of the Christian Dispensation according to the views of the Nestorians.

The best manuscript of the Cave of Treasures which we have to the Nestorians, in the British Library, Add MS 25875, was written by a Nestorian scribe in the Nestorian village of Alkôsh, was bound up by him in a volume which included a copy of the Book of the Bee, whose author, was the Nestorian Bishop of Al-Basrah early in the 13th century. The author of the Cave of Treasures called his work "The Book of the order of the succession of Generations," the Families being those of the Patriarchs and Kings of Israel and Judah, he did not accept the genealogical tables which were in use among his unlearned fellow-Christians, because he was convinced that all the ancient tables of genealogies which the Jews had possessed were destroyed by fire by the captain of Nebuchadnezzar's army after the capture of Jerusalem by the Babylonians. The Jews promptly constructed new tables of genealogies, which both Christians and Arabs regarded as fictitious; the Arabs were