|| MARATHI LITERATURE
Hari Narayan Apte
was the greatest philosopher-saint and progenitor of
the Bakhti Movement in Maharashtra. He is revered for
his great works like Bhawarthadipika, Anubhavamrita
(Nectar of Experience), Changadevaprasasti and Abhangagatha.
Bhawarthadipika is a commentary on the Gita running
into 9,000 couplets. It is the first religious treatise
written in the language of the masses with a view to
bring within the reach of the common man the highest
spiritual truths contained in the ancient Sanskrit scriptures.
(1528-'99): Eknath, respected greatly as
a major poet of the Warkari tradition after Jnaneshwar
and Namdev, was born in 1528 in Paithan, a well known
holy place in medieval Maharashtra. He was a preacher
of worldly and spiritual values. Eknath has to his credit
several significant works.., His commentary on the eleventh
chapter oof the Sanskrit Bhagwat is popularly known
as Nath Bhagwat. He wrote a long narrative poem entitled
Rukmini Swayamvar. In addition to these he composed
a large number of abangas, songs and folk-poems known
as bharudas. Bhavartha Ramayana is Eknath's magnun opus.
It is a massive narrative poem divided into seven cantos
and running into 40,000 ovis (metrical stanzas).
(1608-'81): Born as Narayan Suryaji Thosar
at Jamb in 1608 Ramadasa ran away from home as a boy
and devoted himself to the pursuit of spiritual attainment
for 12 years on the banks of the river Godavari near
Nasik. He was a devotee of Lord Rama. Known for his
saintliness, Ramadasa was an ardent social worker who
established many mutts (monastaries) for uplift of the
poor and the deprived. Dasabodha is a well known magnun
opus of Ramadasa. It is an independent treatise which
took 50 years of his life. It is a dialogue between
a teacher and a disciple, illustrating the path of Bakhti
(devotion). Consisting of 20 parts, with 7751 ovis (verses)
Dasabodha deals with a lot of conventional philosophical
issues like the nature of atman (self), jyana (knoweledge),
bhakti, death and renunciation.
Hari Narayan Apte (1864-1919): Influenced
by the reformist writings of Justice M.G Ranade, Hon'ble
G.K Gokhle and Principal H.N Apte, H.N Apte is the pioneer
novelist in the genre of social realism in Marathi.
Founder-editor of the periodical Karamnuk, Apte produced
a vast body of literature including translations, adaptations,
short-stories, essays, biographical sketches, poems
and novels. Apte wrote 18 novels eight of which depict
contemporary society in the realistic mode and the rest
historical novels. His Pan Lakshat Kon Gheto has become
a classic in Marathi literature.
Bapuji Thomre (1890-1918): Universally acknowledged
as one of the most outstanding nature-poets in Marathi
literature, Balakavi ( T.B Thomre) wrote some 200 poems
in his brief span of life lasting only 28 years. Samagra
Balakavi (Complete Works of Balakavi) is considered
to be one of the greatest anthologies in Marathi literature.
His famous poems are Anandi-Anand (Joy, Joy Everywhere),
Shravanamasi (In the Month of Shravan), Fulrani (Flower-Princess)
and Arun (Dawn).
Vinayak Joshi (1892-1963): One of the leading
masters of humour in Marathi literature, Chintaman Vinayak
Joshi, worked as a professor of Pali at Baroda.He has
published more than 10 collections of humorous stories,
sketches, etc. Influenced by Jerome K Jerome, Barry
Pain and P.G. Wodehouse, Joshi ushered in a new kind
of humour in Marathi which finds its utterance in Chimanravache
Charhat (The Long-winded Chronicle of Chimanrav), a
classic of modern Marathi literature. It is a collection
of 13 humorous stories narrating the inglorious exploits
of the unheroic hero Chimanrav.
Guruji (1899-1950): Sane Guruji was also
a freedom fighter. His major novels are Shyamchi Aai
(Shyam's Mother), Astik (The Believer), God Shevat (Sweet
Ending), and a marathi translation of Tolstoy's book
What is Art?, entitled Kala Mhanaje Kay? Guruji's contribution
to children's literature remains unparalled to this
day. His God Goshti (Sweet Stories) includes simplified
and abridged versions of world classics like Hugo's
Les Miserables and Goethe's Faust.
Khandekar (1889-1976): A famous writer who
dominated the Marathi literary scene from 1930 to 1960,
V.S Khandekar wrote, besides many novels, numerous short
stories literary essays and edited a number of books.
Apart from Yayati, Don Dhruv (The Two Poles), Ulka and
Krounchwadh (Killing of Krounch Birds) are major among
his other novels. Drawn towards mythology and disturbed
by the climate of nihilism and the loss of moral values
in the contemporary society, Khandekar sought to expand
the scope of the social novel. He won the Sahitya Academy
Award for Yayati in 1960 and the Jnanpith Award in 1975.
Mardhekar(1909-'56): Mardhekar published
three poetry collections in his lifetime: Shishiragam
(The Advent of Shishir) Kanhi Kavita (Some Poems) and
Anakhi Kanhi Kavita (Some More Poems). He also wrote
three novels, one play and four operas. His Saundrya
Ani Sahitya (Beauty and Literature)has greatly influenced
the development of Marathi critical thought. Mardhekar's
poetry is historically important because for the first
time it introduced in Marathi a modernist consciousness
and an idiom appropiate to it. His poetry is a classic
example of nativisation of Western influence.
Pendse (1913): A major novelist of the post-Indipendence
period, S.N Pendse has numerous novels to his credit
out of which Haddapar (The Outcast), Garambacha Bapu
(Bapu of Garambi) and Tumbadche Khot (The Khots of Tumbad)
are famous. His Rathachakra (The Chariot-Wheel) won
him the Sahatya Academy Award in 1963.
One of the most outstanding of Marathi dramatists, Vijay
Tendulkar started his career with Srimant. He has so
far written 20 plays including the highly acclaimed
Gidhade (Vultures), Sakharam Binder, Shantala! Court
Chalu Ahe (Silence! The Court is is Session) and Ghashiram
Kotwal. His plays are notable for their uncompromising
realism, merciless probing of human nature, candid scrutiny
of individual and group psychology and experimental
Dilip Chitre is a major and highly influential poet
in modern Marathi literary scene. Besides three collections
of poems entitled Kavita (Poems), Kavitenintarchya Kavita
(Poems After Poems) and Ekoon Kavita (Collected Poems),
Chitre has also to his credit a trendsetting collection
of short stories called Orpheus and a travellogue Shiba
Ranichya Shodat (In Quest of Queen Shib).
Nemade has taught Marathi, English and Comparative literature
at various universities including The School of Oriental
and African Studies,London. He is known by his first
novel Kosala. His other novels are Bidhar (House), Jareela
and Zool (Decorative Cloth-cover). His poetry collections
are Melody and Dekhani. His influential body of criticism
collected in Teekaswayamvara won him the Sahitya Academy
Award in 1990.
Dhasal is an influential Dalit poet of the post-1960
period. His very first collection of poems Golpitha
(name of a slum in Bombay) was a landmark in the history
of modern Marathi poetry. His other collections are
Murkh Mhataryane Donger Halwale (The Stupid Old Man
Has Moved Mountains), Priyadarshini, Tuhi Iyatta Kanchi
(What Standard Are You In), Khel (Play) and Gandu Bageecha