Harvard University and Harvard University Press (HUP) announced recently that the Murty family of Bangalore, India, has established a new publication series, the Murty Classical Library of India, with a generous gift of $5.2 million. The dual-language series aims both to serve the needs of the general reading public and to enhance scholarship in the field.Harvard Provost Steven E. Hyman noted that the Murty family gift will enable HUP to present the literary cultures of India to a global readership in an unprecedented manner. “The Murty Classical Library of India will make the classical heritage of India accessible worldwide for generations to come,” said Hyman. “We are truly grateful to the Murty family for their vision and leadership in making this historic initiative a reality.”The Murty family’s endowed series will serve to bring the classical literature of India, much of which remains locked in its original language, to a global audience, making many works available for the first time in English and showcasing the contributions of Indian literature to world civilization. Narayana Murty said of the new series, “I am happy that Harvard University Press is anchoring this publishing project.” His wife, Sudha, agreed: “We are happy to participate in this exciting project of bringing the rich literary heritage of India to far corners of the world.”Under the direction of General Editor Sheldon Pollock, William B. Ransford Professor of Sanskrit and Indian Studies at Columbia University, and aided by an international editorial board composed of distinguished scholars, translators will provide contemporary English versions of works originally composed in Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Persian, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, and other Indian languages.Each volume will present the English translation with the original text in the appropriate Indic script on the facing page. The books will be supplemented by scholarly introductions, expert commentary, and textual notes, all with the goal of establishing Murty Classical Library volumes as the most authoritative editions available.The Murty family’s vision has already begun to impress notable scholars, such as Harvard’s Thomas W. Lamont University Professor and Professor of Economics and Philosophy Amartya Sen, who expressed his appreciation for the initiative. “There are few intellectual gaps in the world that are as glaring as the abysmal ignorance of Indian classics in the Western world. It is wonderful that the Murty Classical Library of India is taking up the challenge of filling this gap, through a new commitment of the Harvard University Press, backed by the discerning enthusiasm of the Murty family, and the excellent leadership of Sheldon Pollock — an outstanding Sanskritist and classical scholar. This will be a big contribution to advancing global understanding that is so much needed in the world today.”HUP plans to make the works available in both print and digital formats. The first volumes are scheduled for publication in fall 2013. An Indian edition is being planned.Founded in 1913, Harvard University Press is a major publisher of nonfiction, scholarly, and general interest books with offices in Cambridge (Mass.), New York, and London.
Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has found another way to ruffle the purists’ feathers. That’s what Manfred is going for. He knows the audience he’s trying to cater to — one that will eat up pettiness like dessert and create storylines out of the slightest perception of animosity. It is, after all, what much of American culture thrives on — whether it’s entertainment, politics, sports, you name it. Nathan Ackerman is a sophomore writing about sports and sociopolitics. He is also an associate managing editor of the Daily Trojan. His column, “Courtside,” runs every Friday. Fans hate it. I had the same reaction at first glance. But despite all the questionable moves Manfred has made as commish, with this one, it seems that he might be onto something. And Manfred knows this. That’s part of why his initial vision involves this playoff draft taking place on a live broadcasted Sunday evening spectacle — it’s reality TV. Earlier this week, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported on the league’s supposed plan to shake up the current postseason format, and the changes are both sweeping and borderline radical. As the plan goes, the playoff field would be expanded from five to seven teams per league. The club with the best record in each league would get a bye past the first round of the playoffs, straight to the Division Series. And what, exactly, has that done for the NBA? The league’s popularity has exploded in recent years and, in turn, basketball has been brought to the forefront of almost every sports broadcast or talk show on television. Is it annoying to the real fans? Of course. But what does Adam Silver care? In his world, money really does grow on trees. Manfred knows this is the model. He knows it’s the model because his league has been embarrassingly surpassed by the NBA and its readiness to create, endorse and spotlight that same type of petty drama between players, coaches, executives and anyone remotely involved in the NBA sphere. I’m not talking the bottom of the ninth inning, bases loaded, full count, two outs type of drama. I’m talking the kind of drama that will inevitably ensue when teams are presented with the option to choose their opponents on the game’s biggest stage. That first round is where the chaos would ensue. The next-best team would choose between the three Wild Card teams to take on in the first round. The league’s third-best team would get the next choice, and the last two teams remaining would face off to round out the Wild Card Round. That round would feature three best-of-three series hosted exclusively by the team with the better record. There’s a slight catch, though. These beefs? They’re not real. They’re fabricated. The players open the door a crack by calling the other guy a stupidface, and the NBA sphere busts it open with a battering ram and paints the picture that they’re after each other’s families. Then the players publicly talk about how it’s not that deep and everyone needs to chill the fuck out, but the armchair analysts willfully ignore that part because that’s not as entertaining. While I’m a fan of the proposed format (I’m aware I’m in the extreme minority) for other reasons, I don’t think the increased drama is the right way to grow the game. Every time Damian Lillard looks in the general vicinity of Russell Westbrook, it sets the NBA world ablaze. Jimmy Butler made people actually give half a shit about T.J. Warren. Fans ogled over the momentary feud between young rookie Ja Morant and seasoned veteran, three-time champ Steph Curry. Be that as it may, Manfred isn’t totally insane to think it might be. Maybe Manfred is misguided. Maybe what works for the NBA and reality TV doesn’t work for MLB. But Manfred’s at a point where he has to find a way — some way — to increase the league’s appeal. Much more will be at play than pitching matchups and lineups. Yes, those will guide the actual selections, but the talk from the fans and pundits will circle around the side plots. Which teams had the biggest beanball war in the middle of May? Which team’s second-best starting pitchers talk the most trash to each other on social media? Will the Yankees pick the Red Sox just to beat their rival, or will they avoid the potential humiliation of losing to their hated enemy? Are they soft for choosing the latter? Bloodthirsty for choosing the former? The teams, players and coaches won’t give a shit about any of that. But it’ll get everyone else talking. MLB has struggled mightily with growing the game of baseball among younger generations, in part due to its slower pace of play and in part due to its bizarre unwillingness to market its players. But this move represents a deliberate attempt by Manfred and the league to sell the sport on what American society craves: drama. People will eat it up. Think about it — we spend our downtime keeping up with the Kardashians and poring over who in “The Bachelor” will get the final rose (trust me, I know — I did the latter yesterday). Anywhere we smell drama, even if it’s petty and stupid, we’re sucked in.
Manchester United ‘face a battle with three other European giants’ for the signature of Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic. Rakitic, 31, will have two years left on his contract come the summer and is expected to have limited game time next season after the Catalan giants signed Frenkie de Jong from Ajax.The Red Devils are now looking to pounce on the opportunity in a bid to bolster their midfield.PSG are also interested having made a spectacular offer to sign Rakitic last summer according to Mundo Deportivo.Inter Milan have also entered the bidding war with reports that the Serie A side have met Ivan’s brother Dejan.Rakitic could also be heading back to the Bundesliga where he spent four years with Schalke as Bayern Munich are also interested.United will be hoping they can offer Champions League football to Rakitic with a top-four finish this season.Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side face rivals Liverpool on Sunday hoping to strengthen their grip on the Champions League qualification places. – Source: Dailymail Football