December 12, 2016
In the first literary event in South India conducted to celebrate the life and work of late Tamil writer D Jayakanthan, writers and critics from the southern States joined together to emphasise the importance of taking the writer to the current generation.
Writers and critics who follow literary works in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam gathered at the N G P Arts and Science College on Monday at a symposium to discuss the impact Jayakanthan and his works had on the literary world.
The symposium was jointly organised by Sahitya Akademi, which had honoured the writer with an award for his novel ‘Sila Nerangalil Sila Manidhargal,’ and N G P Arts and Science College.
“At a time when not many young readers were reading literary works, Jayakanthan changed the order and started winning young readers, luring them to reading,” said K Nachimuthu, Convenor of the Tamil Advisory Board of Sahitya Akademi.
Tamil writer and poet Sirpi Balasubramaniam lauded Jayakanthan, saying that he was a colossus in modern Tamil literature who received accolades from his readers despite heavy criticism from critics.
“He was on a mission to widen modern Tamil literature to the maximum extent possible and brought in new ideas. While other writers wrote largely about urban middle class, Jayakanthan differed from them and brought out the troubles of people from all walks of life,” said Sirpi.
However, he opined that Jayakanthan never wrote to win over his readers, but to conquer time.
“He has said in interviews that the success of literature is standing the test of time and not just winning readers. Only then the excellence of the work can be ascertained,” Sirpi added.
In addition, Sirpi also lauded the love Jayakanthan had for his characters. “Jayakanthan never gave up his characters. Even when critics came down heavily on him, he would make sure that his work upheld the particular character even more,” Sirpi opined.
Later in the day, various sessions on the writer’s works were held, and eminent writers and critics addressed the gathering.