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Kuvempu, Kannada Theatre Personality
Kuvempu is a literary acronym of Kuppali Venkatappa Puttappa - a popular Kannada actor-playwright.
 
 Kuvempu, Kannada Theatre PersonalityKuppali Venkatappa Puttappa was an eminent actor-playwright in Kannada language and popularly known as Kuvempu.

Early Life of Kuppali Venkatappa Puttappa
He was born in 1904. He was brought up in a place in the lush Malenadu region of Tirthahalli, called Kuppali, of Shivamogga district. His education began at his home by an appointed teacher from Dakshina Kannada. He joined Anglo Vernacular School in Tirthahalli to continue his middle school education.

His father, Venkatappa Gowda, died at an early age of 12 due to ill health. Kuvempu finished his lower and secondary education in Kannada literature and English in Theerthahalli. He moved to Mysore for further education and completed his high school from the Wesleyan high school. He pursued his college studies in from Maharaja College of Mysore and graduated in 1929 majoring in Kannada. He married Hemavathi on 30 April 1937.

Life in Theatre for Kuppali Venkatappa Puttappa
Kuvempu contributed significantly to Kannada theatre with fourteen plays. Yamana solu in 1927 celebrated Savitri`s mythical heroism. Kuvempu was one of the first Kannada radicals to revolt against the caste system; Kuvempu delineated the social evil of untouchables perpetrated by Brahmanical values mjalagara i.e. `Scavenger` in 1928. The ominous Smasana Kurukshetra i.e. `Kurukshetra, the Cremation Ground` in 1930 symbolically depicted the tragedy of the Mahabharata war. Maharatri i.e. `Momentous Night` in 1931 dramatized Siddhartha`s life and renunciation in ten scenes. Valmikiya bhagya i.e. "Valmikian Fate" in 1931 was the well-known episode of Lord Rama`s abandonment of Sita. The controversial Sudra tapaswi i.e. "Sudra Ascetic" in 1944 highlighted the sublimity of the Sudra saint Sambuka mentioned in the Ramayana and questioned the supposed superiority of Brahmanism. Balidana i.e. "Sacrifice" in 1947 dealt with India`s independence. Bharatasuta, the protagonist, stands for all Indians and is required to sacrifice his life for the motherland. Beralge koral i.e. "A Throat for a Thumb" in 1947 was a philosophical play on the legend of Ekalavya, the self-made man. Chandmhasa in 1963 described the life of the eponymous hero through classical diction and convention. Kanina i.e. `Virgin-born` in 1974 related the mythological encounter between Kama and Parasurama, foregrounding the contrast between the accident of birth and man`s inner worth.

Kuvempu wrote two children`s plays in 1930-31. The names can be mentioned as Nanna Gopala i.e. `My Gopala` and Modannana tamma i.e. "The Cloud`s Little Brother". He also adapted two Shakespeare plays. Birugali i.e. `Tempest` in 1930 freely draws on the history of Keladi kingdom in Karnataka to parallel Shakespeare`s drama but makes it look like an original Kannada work. Raktakshi i.e. `Bloody-eyed Maiden` in 1945 based on Hamlet, borrows the historical events of Bidanur kingdom, and indianizes the sexual and political aspects convincingly. All of the plays by this eminent Kannada theatre personality are poetic drama, known for their mellifluous Sanskritic Kannada. Amateur groups in different parts of Karnataka have performed many of them. Kuvempu also published Nenapina doniyali i.e. `In the Boat of Memory` in 1965. This was a very detailed autobiography by him. Kuvempu died in 1994 at the age of 90.

Awards Received by Kuvempu
* Jnanpith Award - 1967
* Padma Bhushan - 1958
* Sahitya Akademi Award - 1955
* National Poet - 1964
* Pampa Award - 1987
* Padma Vibhushan- 1988
* Karnataka Ratna - 1992

Bibliography of Kuvempu
Novels
Kaanuru Subbamma Heggadati (1936)
Malegalalli madumagalu (1967)

Modern epic (Mahakavya)
Sri Ramayana Darshanam, Volume-1 (1949), Volume-2 (1957)

Collection of Poems
* Kolalu (1930)
* Panchajanya (1936)
* Navillu (1937)
* Kindarijogi Mattu Itara Kavanagalu (1938)
* Kogile Mattu Soviet Russia (1944)
* Shoodra Tapaswi (1946)
* Kavya Vihara (1946)
* Kinkini (1946)
* Agnihamsa (1946)
* Prema Kashmira (1946)
* Chandramanchake Baa Chakori (1954)
* Ikshugangotri (1957)
* Kabbigana kaibutti
* Pakshikaashi
* Jenaaguvaa
* Kutichaka
* Kadiradake
* Kathana KavanagaLu

Plays
* Birugaali (1930)
* Maharatri (1931)
* SmashaaNa kurukshetram (1931)
* Jalagaara (1931)
* Raktaakshi(1932)
* Shoodra tapaswi (1944)
* Beralge koral (1947)
* Yamana solu
* Chandrahaasa
* Balidaana

Autobiography
* Nenapina Doniyali (1980)

Collection Of Stories
* Malenaadina Chitragalu (1933)
* Sanyaasi Mattu Itare KategaLu (1937)
* Nanna Devaru Mattu Itara Kategalu (1940)

Literary Criticism
* Atmashreegagi Nirankushamatigalagi (1944)
* Kavyavihara (1946)
* Taponandana (1951)
* Vibhuthi Pooje (1953)
* Draupadiya Shrimudi (1960)
* Vicharakrantige Ahvana (1976)
* Sahityaprachara

Biography
* Swami Vivekananda(1926)
* Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa(1934)
* Guruvinodane Devaredege

Stories For Children
* Bommanahalliya kindarijogi(1936)
* Mari vijnani(1947)
* Meghapura(1947)
* Nanna mane(1947)
* Nanna gopaala
* Amalana kathe

Kuvempu`s Works In Visual Media
Movies
* Kanooru Heggadithi, directed by Girish Karnad.

(Last Updated on : 06/08/2014)
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