Sunday, November 01, 2009

Tripuraneni Gopichand is severely criticised by Marxist and Rationalist critics

Most writers in India, who grew up in the 40s and 50s received influences from different sources because that was the age of ‘imports’ from all over India as well as from the West. Tripuraneni Gopichand (1910-1962) was no exception to this; the major influence on him was his father, Tripuraneni Ramaswamy Choudary, who spear-headed the Rationalist and anti-Brahmin movement in Telugu literature. Later, he was influenced by Marxist thought, Aurobindo and M N Roy’s philosophy; as for literature, he was influenced by Bernard Shaw, Henrik Ibsen and Oscar Wilde, by his own admission.
But the best thing about this vociferous reader and prolific writer, was his openness to new thoughts and ideas. Admittedly, this openness may have given an impression of vulnerability and inconsistency; but, he was first and foremost a creative artist and only later a theoretician. Though he was influenced by most philosophers and social theorists, he did not bow in to them, without applying them to life and experience. That was where he differed from many of his great contemporaries; he put all his theories to test in life and accepted only those which reflected in his experience; and others, which remained only abstract theories without base of experience, he rejected.
In his magnum opus novel, Asamarthuni Jeevayatra (The Life of an Imbecile) this is the theme he discusses; in this exquisitely written novel (the very first psychological novel in Telugu, written in 1945) the protagonist cannot make adjustment with life and his theoretical world and ultimately commits suicide. [...]
Gopichand, cannot probably be described as a universally admired writer; he is severely criticised by Marxist and Rationalist critics of present day; but he left an indelible mark on Telugu fiction with his deep concern for huma­nity which came out in all sincerity through his novels and short stories.

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