Zololmaran The collection has 1, poems in it. There was however a consistent and steady development of prose at this time. Learn how and when to remove these template messages. First novel printed and released in Malayalam First novel translated to Malayalam which was originally conceived in an Indian language Translation of The History of Phulmani and Karuna English, by Mrs.
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Pattu[ edit ] For the first years of the Malayalam calendar , Malayalam literature remained in a preliminary stage. During this time, Malayalam literature consisted mainly of various genres of songs Pattu. Prominent were songs praising the goddesses of the land, ballads of brave warriors, songs related to the work of a particular caste and songs intended just for entertainment.
Bhadrakali pattu, thottam pattu,Mappila pattu, mavaratham pattu, sasthanga pattu, nizhalkoothu pattu, sarpa pattu, sastham pattu, thiyyattu pattu, pulluvar pattu, mannar pattu, panar pattu, krishi pattu, thamburan pattu, pada pattu, villadichan pattu, onappattu, kummi and lullaby were some of the major subgenres.
These names were not used historically, but are used in modern times to describe the song genres of that time. It is the oldest Malayalam book available. The collection has 1, poems in it. Ramacharitham mainly consists of stories from the Yuddha Kanda of the Ramayana. George and P. Krishnan Nair, claim that the origins of the book can be found in north Kerala. They cite the use of certain words in the book and also the fact that the manuscript of the book was recovered from Neeleshwaram in north Kerala.
Rajaraja Varma, is of the opinion that Malayalam originated from ancient Tamil. Ramacharitham is considered a book written during the formative years of Malayalam.
According to Rev. Hermann Gundert , who compiled the first dictionary of the Malayalam language, Ramacharitham shows the ancient style of the Malayalam language. It points out that the rules of Sanskrit prosody should be followed in Manipravalam poetry. This particular school of poetry was patronised by the upper classes, especially the Nambudiris.
Dramatic performances given in Koothambalams , known by the names of Koothu and Koodiyattom , often used Sanskrit and Malayalam. In Koodiyattom, the clown vidooshaka is allowed to use Malayalam while the hero recites slokas in Sanskrit. Tholan , a legendary court poet in the period of the Kulasekhara kings, is believed to have started this practice.
The earliest of these works in the Manipravalam school is Vaisika Tantram written in the 13th century. It contains about quatrains in Sanskrit metres and is in the form of professional advice given to a prostitute or courtesan by her mother.
Each quatrain is composed with care and due weight is given to the rules of rhetoric. Several quatrains of this type are quoted in Lilathilakam by way of illustration for the several rules of grammar and rhetoric. The most representative of the early Manipravalam works are the tales of courtesans Achi Charitams and the Message Poems Sandesa Kavyas.
Unniyachi Charitam, Unnichiruthevi Charitam and Unniyadi Charitam are examples of the former type which is known by the name champu. The Padya verse portion is in Sanskrit metres and the Gadya prose portion is mostly in Dravidian metres. Authorship of Unniyachi Charitam and Unnichiruthevi Charitam is not known and only a portion of the works is now available.
Unniyadi Charitam, which also exists in a fragmented form, is supposed to be written by Damodara Chakkiar. The best known among these sandesas is perhaps Unnuneeli Sandesam written in the 14th century.
The poem is written under the pen-name Amruthanilakshi, and some believe that it was written in CE. The exact identity of the author remains a mystery, but it is widely believed that one of the members of the Travancore Royal Family wrote it. The next work to be mentioned is Ramakathapattu, as it is popularly known, though the author calls it Ramayanakavyam.
Narayana Pillai, who discovered the full text of the book in , calls "the Homer of Malayalam. They were influenced by the Bhakti movement. The Bhakti school was thus revived, and in the place of the excessive sensuality and eroticism of the Manipravalam poets, the seriousness of the poetic vocation was reasserted by them. It is believed that they all belonged to the same Kannassa family and that Madhava Panikkar and Sankara Panikkar were the uncles of Rama Panikkar, the youngest of the three.
Ulloor has said that Rama Panikkar holds the same position in Malayalam literature that Edmund Spenser has in English literature. The language of the later Champus reads more like modern Malayalam than that of the earlier Champus and Sandesa Kavyas. Champus were mostly works of satire and hyperbole was a regular feature of it.
Punam also wrote a Bharatam Champoo. There are also many others, the authorship of which is ascribed to him. The later Champus came to be used for dramatic oral narration by performing artists in their Koothu and Patakam. Mahishamangalam or Mazhamangalam Narayanan Nambudiri who lived in the 16th century is the author of some of the best Champus of all time.
The most widely known of these is Naishadham followed by Rajaratnavaliyam and Kodia Viraham. Chandrotsavam, whose authorship is unknown, is a long narrative poem written in Manipravalam. The elitist Manipravala Champu school disappeared by the end of the 16th century. The average readers without much grounding in Sanskrit had their favourite poems and poets in the so-called Pattu school.
With the writing of Krishnagatha by Cherusseri , the validity of the use of spoken Malayalam for literary purposes received its ultimate justification. Unlike the language of Ramacharitam and the works of the Niranam poets , the language of Krishnagatha marks the culmination of a stage of evolution. Some scholars are of opinion that he was the same as the Punam Nambudiri of the Champus.
It is widely believed that Cherusseri lived in the 15th century CE and was the court poet of Udayavarma of Kolathunadu. Medieval literature: 16th to 19th century[ edit ] Thunchaththu Ezhuthachan Malayalam literature passed through a tremendous process of development in the 15th and 16th centuries.
Alongside this, there flourished numerous Sanskrit poets who were very active during this period. The greatest of them was Melpathur Narayana Bhattathiri — , the author of Narayaniyam. The most significant development of the time took place in the field of Malayalam poetry. Thunchaththu Ramanujan Ezhuthachan wrote his two great epics Adhyathmaramayanam and Srimahabharatam and two shorter pieces, Irupathinalu Vrittam and Harinama Kirtanam and thereby revolutionised Malayalam language and literature at once.
Ezhuthachan refined the style of Malayalam language and it was during his period that Malayalam literature attained its individuality and Malayalam became a fully fledged independent language.
Today he is known as the father of Malayalam language and its literature. The Kilippattu form he adopted in Ramayanam and Bharatam may be a pointer to his recognition of the importance of sound effect in poetry. Ezhuthachan is perhaps the greatest spokesman of the Bhakti movement in Malayalam but he is more than a writer of devotional hymns. Ayyappa Paniker has noted that "the transition from Cherrusseri to Ezhuthachan marks the triumph of modernism over medievalism.
Performance arts[ edit ] The 16th century also saw the writing of some dramatic works in Manipravalam and pure Malayalam, Bharatavakyam, often described as a choral narration, is a work in Manipravalam which was used for stage performance. The main development in the cultural field in Kerala in the 17th century was the growth of a new form of visual art called Kathakali , which brought into being a new genre of poetry called Attakkatha consisting of the libretto used for a Kathakali performance.
The origins of aattakatha literature dates back to the 12th century and it emerged as a literary genre in the 17th century. The earliest of the aattakathas is believed to be a cycle of eight Ramayana stories collectively known as Ramanattam , composed by Kottarakkara Tampuran and about whose date there is an ongoing controversy.
Next in importance are the works of Kottayathu Tampuran whose period is about the middle of the seventeenth century. Since the four aattakathas he wrote Bakavadham, Kalyanasaugandhikam, Kirmeeravadham and Kalakeyavadham punctiliously conform to the strict rules of Kathakali, they are particularly favoured by orthodox artistes and their patrons. Another poet of this category is Irayimman Thampi — Margamkali was the form of ritual and entertainment among the Syrian Christians corresponding to the Sanghakali of the Brahmins.
Margamkalippattu is the song for this performance depicting the story of Thomas the Apostle. This was one of the numerous pieces of Christian literature that must have gained currency in the 16th and 17th centuries. Kathakali In the court of Travancore king Marthanda Varma — and his successor Dharma Raja Kartika Tirunal Rama Varma , there flourished a number of poets distinguished in several ways. Ramapurathu Warrier — , the author of Kuchela Vrittam Vanchippattu, was one of them.
The Vanchippattu or Boat song is a poetic form of folk origin composed entirely in the Dravidian metre nathonnata. Kunchan Nambiar — , the founder of Thullal and its rich literature, is often considered as the master of Malayalam satirist poetry. Born in Killikkurussimangalam , he spent his boyhood at Kudamalur and youth at Ambalappuzha.
The word "Thullal" literally means "dance", but under this name Nambiar devised a new style of verse narration with a little background music and dance-like swinging movement to wean the people away from the Chakkiyar Koothu , which was the art form popular till then. He used pure Malayalam as opposed to the stylised and Sanskritised Malayalam language of Chakkiyar Koothu. He also adopted many elements from Padayani and Kolam Thullal and certain other local folk arts. Dravidian metres are used throughout although there is a quatrain in a Sanskrit metre.
Prose literature[ edit ] There was a great lull in the field of literary creation in Malayalam for nearly a century after the death of Kunchan Nambiar. There was however a consistent and steady development of prose at this time.
The evolution of prose literature in the early centuries was a very slow process. In the wake of Bhashakautaliyam several translations began to appear in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The prose of Attaprakarams was meant to aid the Chakiyars in learning the art of Koodiyattom. Doothavakyam 14th century CE is one of the earliest of these works.
A large number of prose works appeared during this period, most of which are either narrative based on puranas and religious works in Sanskrit or commentaries on similar works. With the starting of the first printing presses in the 16th century by Christian missionaries, prose literature received a great boost.
Several regional versions of Keralolpathi , tracing the beginnings of Kerala history, began to appear in the 18th century. The works of Christian missionaries like Arnos Patiri Johann Ernst Hanxleden , — and Paulinose Patiri John Philip Wesdin, — also led to a widening of the range of topics and themes in Malayalam literature.
Main article: Venmani School The third quarter of the nineteenth century bore witness to the rise of a new school of poets devoted to the observation of life around them and the use of pure Malayalam. The style of these poets became quite popular for a while and influenced even others who were not members of the group like Velutheri Kesavan Vaidyar — and Perunlli Krishnan Vaidyan — The Venmani school pioneered a style of poetry that was associated with common day themes, and the use of pure Malayalam rather than Sanskrit.
The poetry was therefore easily understood by the common man. The works were known for its humour, wit, and lyrical metre. Modern prose literature[ edit ] Herman Gundert Nineteenth century was not a very creative period for Malayalam literature except towards the end from the point of view of imaginative writing. But the foundations for the great renaissance that began at the end of the century were laid during this period.
The establishment of colleges for imparting English education, the translation of the Bible and other religious works, the compilation of dictionaries and grammars, the formation of the text book committee, the growth of printing presses, the starting of newspapers and periodicals, the introduction of science and technology, the beginning of industrialization and the awakening of social and political consciousness: these constitute the giant strides towards modernisation.
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