Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Gujarati Literature




Narasinh Mehta
Govardhanam Madhavram Tripathi
Kakasaheb Kalelkar
K.M Munshi
Rasiklal Parikh
Harindra Dave
Umashankar Joshi
Pannabhai Patel
Rajendra Shah
Bhagavati Kumar Sharma

Padmanabh (1296-1300):

Padmanabh is the composer of Kanhadde, a historical poem of epic dimensions. Padmanabh was a court poet of Akheraj Chauhan, ruler of Jhalor in Rajasthan. The poem is an eulogy of Kanhadde, the great grand father of the master of the poet who fought for 12 years without any respite against the Muslim invaders and became a martyr. Kanhadde is the only poem in medieval Gujarati literature which gives graphic descriptions of war and heroism in an enchanting manner.


Narasinh Mehta (1408-80): Mehta is generally acknowledged as the father of Gujarati poetry. He wrote poetry of Bhakti and Jnana and erotic mysticism and Advaita philosophy. His principal works are Harsamenang Pado (Songs of the Garlandtime), Prabhatiyaug (The Morning Hymns), Vaishnava Jana to Tene Re Kahie (Him We May Very Well Call a Vaishnav). Mehta continues to be the inspiring figure in Gujarati literature.


Akho (17th century): Akho, a major poet of the medieval period in Gujarati literature wrote in the tradition of the Bhakti movement. He was a goldsmith by profession and the disciple of a saintly figure of the times named Gokulnath. In the years 1645 and 1649 he composed two of his major works, namely Panchikiran (Mixture of five elements) and Akhegita (Gita by Akho). Among his other works are Chittavichar Samvad (A Dialogue between Mind and Thought), Gurushishya Samvad (A Dialogue between Teacher and a Pupil) and Anubhav Bindu (A Drop of Experience). Besides being a poet of great metaphysical experience, Akho displays a strong streak of satire in his works.


Dalpatram (1820-'98):

Dalpatram won the title of Kavishwar (God of Poets) from the people of Gujarat.. He is the author of the play Mithyabhiman (False Pride). His poem Bipani Pinpar (Pipal Tree of Fathers Time) is hailed as the first shot of modernity. His poems are collected in the anthology Buddhiprakash. His first play Laxmi is based on the Greek play Plutus.


Narmad (1833-'86): Narmad is known for inducting Western literary forms and expressions in Gujarati literature..He has been called the Arun (harbinger of Dawn) of modern era. his Mari Hakikat (My Reality) is the first literature in modern Gujarati literature.


Govardhanam Madhavram Tripathi (1855-1907): Considered as the greatest novelist of Gujarati, Tripathi is also a distinguished poet. His novel Sarasvatichandra occupies an important place in the history of Indian literature. An epic novel, its four parts were published as Buddhidhan-no-Karbhar (The Administration of Buddhidhan), Gunasundari-nun-Kutumbajala (The Family World of Gunasundari), Ratnanagari-no-Rajyakarbhara (The Political Administration of Ratnanagari) and Sarasvati-nun-Manorajya (The Fancy of the Goddess of Learning). The central issue of the novel is essentially love and its evolution, love which ultimately transends despair and tragic consciousness.


Kakasaheb Kalelkar (1885-1981): Kalelkar is considered as the master of prose in Gujarati. His forte was travelogue and essays. Himalayano Pravas (A Pilgrimage to the Himilayas), his magnum opus is a classic in Gujarati literature. His other travelogues are Bhrahmdeshno Pravas (A Pilgrimage to Burma), Purva Africaman (In the East Africa) and Ugamano Desh (The Country of the Rising Sun). Jivanno Anand (The Joy of Life) and Rakhadvano Anand (Wanderlust) contain the best specimens of his essays.

K.M Munshi (1887-1971): K.M Munshi was a litterateur with a wide range of interests. He has enriched genres like the novel, short story, biography, autobiography,etc. He was the founder of the Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan. He is specially known for his historical novels in Gujarati. His trilogy Patanni Prabhuta (The Greatness of Patan), Gujaratno Nath (The Ruler of Gujarat) and Rajadhiraj (The Emperor) is considered significant in the literature of Gujarat.

Rasiklal Parikh (1897-1982): A renowned Gujarati poet, short story writer and literary critic Parikh came to be known as a veteran scholar of Indian Culture, History and Sanskrit Poetics. He founded a school of drama called the Natya Vidya Mandir which gave rise to the famous Nat Mandal.. His plays include Shivilak and Mena Gurjari


Harindra Dave (1903-'95): Harendra Dave was an outstanding poet, fictionist and essayist of the post-Independence period. His book Krishna Ane Manav Sambhando (Krishna and Human Relations) is a monumental research work on the Krishna theme. He was the recipient of Sahitiya Academy Award, Ranjitram Gold Medal, Kabir Award of the Madhya Pradesh Government, Gujarat Sahitya Parishad and Goenka award for Journalism.


Umashankar Joshi (1911-1988): Joshi is an eminent poet, scholar and writer who received the Jnanpith Award in 1967 for his contribution to Indian literature.He is also the winner of the Soviet Land Nehru Award and Ranajitram Suvarna Chandrak. He was also the president of the National Sahitya Academy for five years from 1978. His works are Gangotri, Vishwashanti (World Peace), Nishith (The God of Night), Mahaprashtan (Great Departure) Abhijna (Recognition) and Satapada (Seven Poems)


Pannabhai Patel (1912-'89): A Jnanpith Award winner, Pannabhai Patel is one of the foremost fictionists in Gujarati. He has written more than 200 short stories and about 50 novels among which include Manavini Bhavai (Of Human Drama), Valamanan (The Send-off), Malela Jiv (The United Souls), Bhangyanan Bheru (Companions in Crisis), Pachhale Barane (From the Backdoor), Vatrakane Kanthe (At the Shore of Vatrak).

Rajendra Shah (1913): Rajendra Shah's first collection of poems Dhwani (Cosmic Sound) came out with a bang in 1951. He is known by his other literary works like Andolan (Resonance), Sant Kolahal (Quiet Noise), Ksana Je Cirantan (The Eternal Moment), Sankalit Kavita (Collected Poems) and Aranyak (Forest-dweller).

Bhagavati Kumar Sharma (1934): Sharma received the Sahitya Academy Award as well as the Gujarat Government Award for Asuryalok (The World sans the Sun). A journalist by profession, he started his literary career by writing poems but switched over to novels, short stories and essays. 

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