KUVEMPU, (PUTTAPPA K.V.) 1904-1993
Kuppalli Venkatappa Puttappa, (kuppaLLi venkaTappa puTTappa) (ಕುಪ್ಪಳ್ಳಿ ವೆಂಕಟಪ್ಪ ಪುಟ್ಟಪ್ಪ), popularly known by his no-de-plume, ‘Kuvempu’ is one of the greatest Indian writers of the twentieth century. His contributions to an understanding and dessimination of Kannada culture and literature cannot be measured only in terms books and documents. He gave a whole new perspective to the study of classical and modern Kannada literature by his original insights and modes of analysis. He was a trendsetter in liberating lirerary studies from the conventional narroaw aesthetic parameters and giving it a broader spectrum based on socio political realities such as caste, class and gender. He could bring about a synthesis between many binary propositions like East-West, Religion-Science, Kannada-Ensglish, Kannada-Sanskrit, Village-City etc.
Puttappa hailed from Kuppalli a
small hamlet in Teerthahalli talluk of Shivamogga district. After obtaining his
early education in Teerthahalli he moved over to
Kuvempu is perhaps the greatest
Kannada writer of the twentieth century and it is beyond the scope of this note
to enumerate his contributions to the genres of poetry, epic, drama, novel,
literary criticism and many other fields. However, it needs to be mentioned
that he could bring in a new perspective to the study of Kannada classics by
placing them in the context of Indian and Western poetic theory. This is
evident in his critical essays on poets such as Nagavarma, (‘mahAshvEteya tapassu’)
Kuvempu has recreated many a classic in his creative works also. ‘Sri Ramayanadarshana’ and ‘beraLge koraL’ are illustrative of this statement.
Kuvempu was instrumental in implementing many a seminal project that serve the cause of Kannada in general and classical Kannada in particular during his tenure in the University.
Kuvempu haf written more than seventy works in various genres. They include ‘Sri Ramayana Darshanam’, the most celebrated kannada epic of the 20th century, ‘Kanuru Heggaditi’ and ‘Malegalalli Madumagalu’, (very important novels), a number of plays such as ‘Smashana Kurukshetra’ and ‘Shudra Tapasvi’. ‘Nenapina Doniyalli’ is his autobiography. Some of the important works by Kuvempu with particular regard to the fields of literary theory and literary criticism are as follows:
1. ‘Atmashrigagi Nirankushamatigalaagi’ 1944
2. ‘Kavyavihara’ 1946
3. ‘Taponandana’ 1951
4. ‘Draupadiya Srimudi’ 1960
5. ‘Vibhutipooje’ 1953
6. ‘Raso Vai Saha’ , 1962
9. ‘Vicharakranitige Ahvaana’ 1976
10. ‘Sri Ramayanadarshanam’ (In two parts) 1949, 1957
Kuvempu has won all most all the major awards and accolades that a writer can aspire for in this country. They include the Jnanapeetha Award,(1967) Padmavibhushana award,(1989) Karnatakaratna award,(1992) Central Sahitya Academy award, (1955) Rajyotsava award, Pampa Prashasti’, (1988) ‘Rashtrakavi’ title, (1964) Karnataka Sahitya Academy award and honorary doctorates from the Mysore University (1956) the Karnatak University, Dharwar, (1963) and the Kannada Unversity, Hampi. (1995) He was the president elect of the 39th Kannada Sahitya Sammelana held at Dharwar.
Further reading and Links:
1. ‘Rashtrakavi Kuvempu’ By De. Javaregowda, 1983, Government of Karnataka.
3. ‘Kuvempu’ by Prabhushankara, University of Mysore, Mysore.