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U. R. Ananthamurthy  [ India ]

Biography

U. R. Ananthamurthy Portrait
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Guest 2002.

Bibliography

Das verborgene Feuer
Mangalam
Urach, 1986

Yatra
Indus
New Delhi, 1993

Samskara oder Was tun mit der Leiche des Ketzers, die uns im Weg liegt und das Leben blockiert
Waldgut
Frauenfeld, 1994
Übersetzung: Gernot Schneider

Avastai
Aam
Civacacai, 1996

Bharathipura
Macmillan India
Madras, 1996
Übersetzung: P. Sreenivasa Rao

Leben und Lehren von Shri Sai Baba von Shirdi
Sathya-Sai-Vereinigung
Dietzenbach, 1997
Übersetzung: Verena Huber

Bhava
Penguin
Neu-Delhi, New York, 1998
Übersetzung: Judith Kroll

Stallion of the Sun and other stories
Penguin
Neu-Delhi, 1999
Übersetzung: Narayan Hegde

Literature and Culture
Papyrus
Calcutta, 2002

Divya
Aksara Prakasana
Heggodu, Karnataka, 2002
Übersetzer: Gernot Schneider

U. R. Ananthamurthy is one of the most important representatives of the "Navya" movement ("The new movement") in the literature of the Kannada-language and is counted among the most eminent Indian authors Both his books and his social engagement made him known far beyond the Indian language borders and later abroad. To Ananthamurthy's central themes belong the examination of the caste system, religious rules and traditions, as well as the ambivalent relationship between the handed down cultural value system and the new values of a changing world. Born in 1932 in the village of Melige in Karnataka, Ananthamurthy there~visited a traditional Sanskrit school, grew up, as he says, as a "Ghandian socialist" and later studied English and Comparative Literature in Mysore and Birmingham, where, in 1966, he studied for a PhD. He was professor of English Literature for several years at Mysore University, later vice chancellor of the Mahatma Ghandi University in Kottayam, chairman of the "National Book Trust" and president of the Sahitya Academy, the Indian Literature Academy in Delhi. Many guest professorships led him to Europe and the USA. Ananthamurthy began his literary career in 1955 with the story volume "Endendhigu Mugiyada Kathe". Since then he has published four novels, one play, six short story collections, five poetry~collections and six collections of~essays in Kannada and several pieces on literature in English. His works have been translated into several Indian and European languages and have been awarded with important literary prizes, including the "Jnanpeeth Award" (1994), the most renown Indian literature prize. His most significant novel is "Samskara" (1966). "Samskara" means culture as well as ritual but it also means death rites. It tells the story of a young Brahman-priest, Naranappa, who pays little attention to the~strict rules of the village community. When he dies of an epidemic, the village inhabitants refuse~to burn~him after the funeral-rites. But as long as he is not burned, they have to starve. The novel looks for the answer to the question: What is "Samskara"? Is culture only maintained if tradition is followed with blind fervour? Ananthamurthy questions discrimination through the caste system, the repressive belief practice of the Brahmans. The filming of the novel in 1970 started a new wave of author films in India. In the novel "Bharatipura" (1973) the Brahman and land owner Jagannatha goes back to his home town, which is bound to tradition, after studying in England and tries to change the social structures there. He wants to enable the untouchables to enter the temple,~and with this meets the resistance of the higher castes. His attempt to create a just system around him and with this inner freedom fails. Ananthamurthy deliberately writes in Kannada and not in English.

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