India Literature

This entry is intended to deal in their widest range with the literatures of India on which, in the past, attention was not adequately focused and which recent studies bring to full evidence.

Assamese literature. – In the earliest period, most of the works written in the Assamese language, or Ahamiya, have a religious character and mostly consist of versions or reworkings of the great Sanskrit epic poems. The first translation of R ā m ā ya ṇ a is due to Mādhava Kandalī, a poet praised by his much more illustrious successor Saṅkaradeva (1449-1568), who spread the bhakta movement in Assam and wrote, as well as several works inspired by the Bh ā gavatapur āṇ a, an important collection of religious songs entitled K ī rtanaghoṣā, songs (ã arag ī t) and dramas (a ṅ k ī yan āṭ a). The arrival of the English in 1826 and the introduction of printing in 1836 gave rise to modern literature, characterized by the use of new Western-type literary genres.

Gujarati literature. – One of the most illustrious works of the ancient literature of Gurjaradeśa (today’s Gujarat) is the K ā nha ḍ adeprabandha, composed by Padmanābh towards the middle of the century. 15th: it is a poem which, in the style of chansons de geste, narrates the epic struggle of Kānhaḍade, king of Jhalor, against the sultan Allā-ud-din. A great impetus to literature was given by the bhaktas visnuiti, among whom Narsiṃha Mehtā (circa 1500-1580) occupies a prominent place. Modern Gujarati literature developed from the 13th century. 19th onwards. The first representative of the new poem was Dalpatrām Dahyābhāī (1820-1898), a collaborator of AK Forbes, who founded the Gujarat Vernacular Society in 1848 in Ahmedabad. Naturally a place of primary importance belongs to Mohandās Karamcand Gāndhī, the “father” of the India, who not only in his Ā tmakath ā, but also in a large series of articles, proved to have a simple and vigorous style that was example to subsequent prose writers.

Oriya literature. – Among the modern Indo-European languages ​​of India, Oriya, spoken in Orissa (the ancient Kaliṅga), boasts the most ancient document, the inscription of Ananta Varma Vajrahasta Deva (1051 AD). The literature of the first period is mostly anonymous, and his most important works are a chronicle of the events of the kingdom entitled M ā da ḷ ā P ā ñji and the Brata kath ā (Tales of the cult). Towards the middle of the century 15th lived the first great poet of Orissa, Sāraḷā Dāsa, author of a remake of the Mah ā bh ā rata, which also includes parts of the Bh ā gavataeven āṇ a and which is still very popular today. At the beginning of the century. 16th wrote five bhakta poets known as the “five friends” (Pañca Sakh ā), while in the 16th century 17th and 18th the prevalence of a court poem in an ornate style is accompanied by political decline; Upendra Bhañja (1670-1720) is perhaps the most prolific author of this age. In modern times there are two poets, Rādhānātha Rāya (1848-1908), whose masterpiece is Mah ā y ā tr ā, and Madhusūdana Rao (1853-1912), mystical poet and fervent follower of the Br ā hma Sam ā j, who also carried out, through a series of periodicals, an extensive educational work. A notable modern prose writer is Phakīrmohana Senāpati (1843-1918), author, among other things, of a very successful novel; Chaa m āṇ a āṭ ha gu ṇṭ ha (Six and a half acres).

Literature hind ī. – The modern Hindī language, based on the spoken kha ṛī bol ī of the Delhi region, has become the national language of the Indian Union, where it is increasingly spreading as an official language. The father of Hindī literature of the modern period is Bhārtendu Hariścandra (1850-1885) and his importance is such that the period in which he lived is remembered as the “age of Bhārtendu”. But perhaps the most fruitful moment of the whole modern era is the one that goes from 1920 to 1935, a period in which not only the most beautiful novels and short stories of Prem Cand (1880-1937) appear, the Verga of the India (his Godan it has been translated into many languages, including Western ones), but the most important poetic school of the twentieth century is also established. This is the Ch ā y ā v ā d or “shadow school”, a romantic movement whose poets make up the famous quartet, and are: Sūryakānt Tripāṭhī “Nirālā” (1896-1962), the founder of the school, Jayaśaṅkar Prasād (1889-1937), Sumitrānandan Pant (born in 1900) and Mahādevī Varmā (born in 1907). After 1935 a progressive movement in literature has established itself, which has Agyey among its major exponents; in 1943 an anthological poem entitled T ā r Saptak was published, whose authors define themselves as “experimentalists”.

Dravidian literature: v. Dravidian, languages, XIII, p. 207.

Tamil literature ??? . – The earliest documents in the Tamil language date back to the 2nd century AD and are therefore the oldest documents in a Neo-Indian language. In the 3rd-4th century AD we already find two large anthologies, the Patir ??? r ??? uppattu (The ten idylls) and the Ĕṭṭ u ṭṭŏ kai (Eight anthologies) which include love poems (akam) and ballads heroic (even ??? am). The first grammar of the Tamil language ???, the T ŏ lk ā piyam, compiled by the Jaina Tŏlkāppiyar, also seems to belong to the same period ; the Kur ??? a ḷ Tiruvaḷḷuvar is instead a work of high moral value, which illustrates the three ends of earthly existence (puru ṣā rtha). Epic is the Cilappatik ā ram of Iḷaṅkovatikal, composed around the 6th century. Of extreme importance, between the 6th and 9th centuries, are the works of the Scivaite bhaktas (n ā yan ??? m ā r) and Visnuites (ā ḷ v ā r), collected respectively in the Tirumur ??? ai and in the N ā l ā yirappirapantam by Nātamuni. In the Col ??? a period (10th-13th century) the most important work is a free remake of the R ā m ā yan ??? a, due to Kampan ???. Among the modern poets stands out the figure of C. Subrahmaṇya Bhārati (1884-1922), author of Ka ṇṇ an ??? P ā ttu and P ā ñc ā li Capatam.

Literature t ĕ lugu. – The earliest writer of the Andhra area is Nannaya, who wrote his version of the Mah ā bh ā rata during the reign of the eastern ruler Cālūkya Rājarājanarendra (1022-1063). The work, which remained unfinished due to the premature death of the poet and his patron, was then completed by two later writers, Tikkapna (13th century) and Ĕrrāpragaḍa (14th century). Still very popular today is a free version of Bh ā gavatapur āṇ a composed by Potana (1400-1475), but classical literature in Tĕlugu lived its most splendid moment in the following century, under the rule of the emperor of Vijayanagar Kṛṣṇadevarāya (1509-1530), a distinguished poet himself. In the modern period, in addition to lyric poetry (bh ā vakavitvam), the theater and the novel are very cultivated, and there is also a lively literary activity through specialized magazines such as Bh ā rati, founded by K. Nageśvara Rao.

Kanna literature ḍ a. – The “three gems” of ancient Canarian literature (10th century) are Pampa, Pōnna and Ranna, the first of whom wrote a well-known remake of the Mah ā bh ā rata, with the title Vikram ā rjunavijaya or Pampabh ā rata. In the 12th century there is a work of particular interest, as it is a Jain version of the R ā m ā ya ṇ a, composed by Abhinava Pampa, or Pampa II. The first kannaḍa novel, the L ī l ā vat ī, was composed around 1370 by Nemicandra, in camp ū style. In the same style, one of the most famous works of this literature is written, the R ā ja ś ekharavil ā sa by Sadaksara Deva (1675). DR Bendre (born 1896), prose writer and poet, can be considered the founder of modern Kannada literature, while BM Shrikanthayya is known for introducing the loose verse. Famous contemporary lyric poet is VK Gokak (born in 1909), while in the prose the short story has established itself, in which the master Masti, a writer with a vigorous and personal style, is established. For India 1999, please check

Malay literature ā ḷ am. – The first works of some importance are dated from the century onwards. 9th, when, under the influence of the Nambūdiri brahmins, a particular style developed, rich in Sanskrit expressions and called Ma ṇ iprav ā lam (“Precious stone” or “Coral”). Other works, such as the R ā macaritam (10th century), reveal a marked Tamil influence ???. In the 14th century there is a very important work, the U ṇṇ un ī li Sande ś am, a valuable contribution of Kerala to the literature of the d ū tak āvya. The following century includes works such as Punam Nambūdiri’s R ā m ā ya ṇ acamp ū and Kaṇṇaśśa Rāman’s R ā m ā ya ṇ a, the latter written in pure Malayāḷam. Ĕl ??? uttaccan, whose name means “Father of letters”, author of the Adhy ā tmar ā m ā ya ṇ a, is a very popular poet of the century. 16th, and equally popular are the two forms of dramatic art, the Kath ā kali and the Tu ḷḷ al, which developed in the immediately following centuries. Among the modern poets Kumāran Āśān, Vallathol, Ullur and G. Śaṅkara Kurūp deserve to be mentioned, while the most original and valid novelist of our day is Śivaśaṅkara Pillai, author of Cemm ī n and other novels also with a psychological background.

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