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T Wignesan Biography | Poet

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T. Wignesan was a pupil of the V.I. from 1947 to 1950. He was an assistant librarian and a member of the Hepponstall House cricket and hockey teams as well as a member of the V.I. Cricket XI in 1949-51. His working life in his teens and twenties had included stints as a manual labourer, clerk, journalist (Malay Mail & Malayan Times) and/or as a school teacher in the following towns/cities: Sungei Rengam, Seremban, Kuala Lumpur, London, and Heidelberg. For a brief period, 1964-65, he was the London Correspondent of the Straits Times Press Group. Later he taught English at the school and faculty level in Madrid and literatures in English at the European Division of the University of Maryland and at the University of Sorbonne-Nouvelle. He has also lectured for the Commonwealth Institute, London, on South and Southeast Asia. He has now retired as a Research Fellow in comparative literature (English, Spanish, Malay and Tamil) and in poietics/aesthetics (the science and philosophy of creation) with the French National Centre for Scientific Research, having been attached variously at the Sorbonne and at the School for Higher Studies in Social Sciences in Paris, from 1973 to 1998. After reading for the Bar at the Inns of Court School of Law, London from 1953 to 1956, Wignesan took to writing as a career and although he managed to publish several fictional pieces and a couple of books, he began his peripatetic studies again in literature and philosophy at universities in London, Heidelberg, Berlin, Madrid and Paris. He obtained distinctions in his diploma in Hispanic Studies (awarded the Extraordinary Prize in 1971), Madrid University, Master of Arts (Maîtrise) at the Institute of Hispanic Culture (Madrid) and the University of Paris-Vincennes, and for his higher French doctoral degree: Doctorat d'Etat ès lettres et sciences humaines from the University of Paris-I-Panthéon-Sorbonne. Wignesan has to his credit four collections of poems, one collection of short stories, two collections of selected essays and articles, two plays, three novels, one novella, one (Malaysian) memoir, two co-edited anthologies, a volume of translations of Malaysian poetry in French [cf. Bibliographie de la France], and over seventy articles on diverse subjects in learned journals and popular magazines. His Journal of Comparative Poietics, founded in 1988, is the first journal on the subject. At present he collaborates closely with the activities of the Institute of Asian Studies in Chennai, India, and is the Guest Editor and Editorial Advisor of the Journal of the Institute of Asian Studies. He also edits an online journal on Asian studies, The Asianists' ASIA.
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