Nandana – Malayalam Scene: Waiting for Masterpieces?

Panikkar, G.N. “Malayalam Scene: Waiting for Masterpieces?” Indian Literature 32.6 (1989): 106-12. Jstor. Web. 23 June 2016.

In this particular article, G.N. Panikkar looks at the contemporary Malayalam literary and literary criticism scene with a sense of dismay and nostalgia. He presents the argument that Malayalam literary critics are pondering and discussing older works of literature than studying contemporary Malayalam fiction. He states that it might be because of two reasons: one, that the critics do not approve of the current practice of “mutual back-scratching ” that criticism has been reduced to; or two, that they are unhappy with the modern-day literature which does not account for much scope in serious criticism.

The author then lists out many critical works and literary texts in Malayalam literary scene and scrutinises it for instance works of MT Vasudevan Nair, M.M. Basheer’s Kumaranashante Rachanasilpam and other works. He laments the fact that Malayalam diction has been taken over by popular fiction and novels in weeklies and literary works are being sidetracked. Panikkar concludes that critics are perhaps “waiting” for a masterpiece from the writers in Malayalam. The limitation with this article is that is does not look at many other writers who are contributing much to the area. The article helps me gain perspective on contemporary Malayalam literature and will help me locate my topic within the broader framework.


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