Friday, September 24, 2010

Don Delillo and ONV. Kurup

You call my today as: 24th September 2010 in India. And it is important for this day to be specified. For this day has given me an opportunity to cross the barrier of the normal or the ordinary. For me, the ordinary consists of the consistent flow of the present time. But today, I experienced a juxtaposing of the past and the present, in my intellectual environment—something that undid my ordinary relationship with the present time. The evening news of the day and an internet news paper reminded me of two great figures in literature, who were my inspiration and figures of respect in two different periods of my life. Mr. Don Delillo, and Mr. ONV. Kurup; the former belongs to my present literary career as a part of my understanding of world literature and the latter belongs to a stage in my life that could be called the beginning of my understanding of literature, during my teenage and youth; have now once again registered their presences not just in my subjective environment but also in the news streams of the busy media, at a time.

In the literary awards announced by PEN, Don Delillo secured a niche with the Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American fiction. In a different prize-news, the famous Malayalam poet O.N.V Kurup won the Jnanapidha Award, the most prestigious among the literary awards in India. Delillo's first book, Americana was published in 1971; his most recent Point Omega was released this year (2010). For the novel The White Noise he was conferred with the National Book Award in 1985.


                                              
O.N.V Kurup popularly known as ONV, was a lecturer at Maharaja’s College Ernakulum, University College - Trivandrum, Arts and Science College - Kozhikode, and Brennen College - Thalassery. He joined Government Women's College - Trivandrum as the Head of Malayalam Department. He was also a visiting professor at Calicut University. He retired from service in 1986. Lyricism was the literary trait that he followed successfully through his writings.

One crucial contradiction that can be identified between the two is Delillo’s attack on Communism as the white terrorism in his Falling Man, “which meant godless, Western white” (page: 195); and ONV’s lyricism that supported and watered Communism in the southern part of India, in Kerala. As communism assumed its withdrawal from the political ideology in Kerala and inflicted the cultural life, poets and writers who embellished the communist propagandist literary scenario became “Poet Laureates” of the cultural life of Kerala. But ONV, maintaining his position as a communist sponsored writer, transcended his limitations and achieved a unique position in the Kerala-culture through his sublime poetry, just like his own lyrics, maintaining the commitment towards reality and dreaming for the fantastic.
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