We are living in the age of demons, says the writer
Malayalam writer M. Mukundan has said that he is deeply disturbed by the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in both Houses of Parliament.
“Yesterday, it was approved in the Rajya Sabha. I do not believe in spontaneous reaction. However, I had signed the memorandum by writers against the Bill,” he said at a seminar on ‘Tomorrow’s Literature’ organised by the Department of Malayalam at Maharaja’s College, Ernakulam, in association with Kerala Literary Festival here on Thursday.
Stating that we are living in the age of demons, Mr. Mukundan said his writing would naturally reflect the concerns and anxieties of the contemporary society. “I was only 25 years old at the time of writing Mayyazhipuzhayude Theerangalil. The focus then was on the individual. The problems and pain experienced by society got reflected in Thakazhi’s works. However, later I reached a stage where I realised that humanity was larger than individuals and society,” he said.
“Many of the yesteryear classics were heights of imagination. But today readers are looking out for works that narrate the stories of individuals or read books that re-create the slices of our history in a creative and interesting manner. Extraordinary Life and Death of Sunanda Pushkar had recorded the highest sale at the Goa Literary Fest. Such books are widely read in view of the interest among the readers to know about the lives of personalities,” he said.
Mr. Mukundan said that noted books in Malayalam were printing about 10,000 copies in the beginning itself at a time when the works of renowned Hindi writer Nirmal Varma had a print of only 1,000 copies. “Kerala continues to have a society that’s passionate about reading. We are now living in the age where books are available in plenty. Earlier, we used to wait for months to read a book penned by a Nobel laureate. It’s now available in three days as the market has grown exponentially,” he said.
K.V. Jayamol, Vice Principal; S. Joseph, Head of Malayalam Department; Sumi Joy Oliyappuram, faculty member and programme co-ordinator; and Aneeta Mathew, postgraduate student, spoke.
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