Chapter

A Novella in Two Voices

Velcheru Narayana Rao and David Shulman

in Śrīnātha

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199863020
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932900 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199863020.003.0004
A Novella in Two Voices

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Srinatha is also the inventor of the Telugu novel or novella—that is, a work of self-conscious fiction in which character can be developed and studied. His Siva-ratri-mahatmyamu tells the story of the arch-sinner Sukumara, an extreme iconoclast who nevertheless goes to heaven after dying, despite the protest of the God of Death himself. We show how Srinatha beautifully portrays his hero from a double-voiced perspective, at once empathic to the hero’s inner struggles and yet aware of the normative judgement built into his story. The Siva-ratri-puranamu has been misunderstood and undervalued by the South Indian tradition; we attempt to explain the power and originality of this neglected work.

Keywords: Sivaratripuranamu; Sivaratri; Sukumara; Kasikhanda; Deccan

Chapter.  13732 words. 

Subjects: Hinduism

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