Kannada Literature

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Kannada Literature


the literature of the Kanarese people; one of the national literatures of India.

The oldest monument of Kannada literature is The Way of the Poet King(A. D. 825), a treatise on poetics attributed to the poet and scholar Nripatunga. The formation of kannada literature is associated with the tenth-century jain poets Pampa, Ponna, and Ranna, Who Wrote Works On Themes From The Mahabharata and the Ramayana and used Sanskrit literature as their model. The 12th century saw the beginnings of a process of literary democratization that culminated in the rejection of Sanskritisms and a turn to the use of the spoken language (in the works of Nayasena and Basava). The genres of the campu (a combination of prose and poetry) and the ragale (a lyrical epic poem) became popular. The songs and hymns (padas) of Purandaradasa and Kanakadasa, poets of the antifeudal Haridasa (“slaves of the god Vishnu”) movement, were popular in the 15th and 16th centuries. Yakshagana, folk drama based on themes from epic legends, became widespread in the 18th century. In the mid-19th century press and publicism emerged in the language and modern genres and forms developed. Translations of novels appeared, followed by the first original novels in Kannada, which were imbued with the ideas of renewal (Shivarama Karantha, A. N. Krishnaraya, Ta Ra Su). Gorur and V. M. Joshi wrote in the genre of the short story. V. K. Gokak, D. R. Bendre, and D. S. Karki are regarded as the leading modern poets. National patriotic themes are predominant in narrative poetry, and themes of love and philosophy are popular in lyric poetry. Modern drama is also developing (Bendre, Sriranga).


Mariyappa Bhatta, N. Sankshipta kannada sahitya charitre. Mysore, 1960.
Mugali, R. Kannada sahityada itihasa. New Delhi, 1963.
Nayak, H. M. Kannada Literature—A Decade. Mysore, 1967.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
"Many great poets like Pampa, Ponna and Ranna are known as Ratnatraya or three gems of Kannada literature were Jains.
Amidst all this tension, the announcement of the award to Bhagwan by Kannada Sahitya Academy for his contribution to the enrichment of Kannada literature, further angered the Hindu groups, which have been forcing the Academy to withdraw the award.
M M Kalaburgi, 77, an educationist and veteran researcher of Kannada literature was shot down at around 8.40 AM on Sunday even as his wife who opened the door for the unidentified assailants ventured to the kitchen to fetch the visitors some coffee.
"It's going to be a colourful feast highlighting the diversity of Kannada literature and culture," said Sangha general secretary Kiran Upadhyaya.
Amur stands out as unique, (2) for his sheer profundity and range of engagement not only with Indian literature but also with American and postcolonial literatures and, more prominently, Kannada literature. He initiated interest in the field by conceiving the idea of a book on Indian literature in English, Critical Essays on Indian Writing in English (1968), which over the years became a standard reference on the subject.
At the function, the Sangha felicitated Professor Krishne Gowda for his contribution to Kannada literature. In his speech, the professor spoke at length on the Kannada language, its richness and history while exhorting the gathering to teach their children Kannada and contribute in promoting their mother tongue.
But also in Kannada literature we find evidence that these terms predate Basava.
"Many great poets like Pampa, Ponna and Ranna known as Ratnatraya or three gems of Kannada literature were Jains.
Narayan Award for Literature and the Padma Shri in 2006 and the Attimabbe Award from the Karnataka government for excellence in Kannada literature in 2011.
At the event, the Sangha will honour Professor Krishnegouda for his contributions to Kannada literature. Krishnegouda is arriving from Bangalore tomorrow.
For his contributions to Kannada Literature, the Government of Karnataka decorated him with the honorific Rashtrakavi (National Poet) in 1958 and Karnataka Ratna (Gem of Karnataka) in 1992.
Moily's most ambitious work, though, has been Shree Ramayana Mahanveshanam, which he chose to write in the classical Sanskrit mahakavyastyle -- a first for Kannada literature. The effort is laudable but also self-defeating as very few people have managed to read the original (in five volume) or comprehend every word of it.