O. V. Vijayan was undoubtedly the early powerful generation of modern fiction in Malayalam. He was cartoonist, novelist and as well as short-story writer. Besides several short stories, Vijayan has also written five novels, articles and a book on his own masterpiece, 'Itihasathinte Itihasam' i.e. The Story of the Saga. He started his career as a lecturer. Vijayan soon opted for full-time journalism and left Kerala in 1958 to pursue his active interest in the world of cartoons in Delhi. History of modern fiction in Kerala can be halved in to two, pre-Khasak and post-Khasak period after the maiden write-up of the author 'Khasakinte Ithihasam' or Saga of Khasak in 1969. The language of Vijayan was very vibrant and it encompasses the whole rhythm of earth. By recreating the movements and essence of every activity that's going on around him in nature, he brought in elements like Wind, Bloom, Tree, Sand, Expanse of space etc. in his literary efforts, which were very lively at times. He often took the liberty of reinterpreting history to suit the needs of his story line. He pitted contemporary reality against the age-old insights propounded by Indian philosophy.
After the Hanging and Other Stories is known as O. V. Vijayan's best-known collection in English. In this collection there are several jewel-like masterpieces, in particular the title story about a poor, semi-literate peasant going to the jail to receive the body of his son who has been hanged. 'The Wart' and 'The Foetus' is all about the trauma of the fascist Emergency; the transcendental 'The Airport', 'The Little Ones', and several others. This collection is very famous for its extraordinarily lyrical language. The author is equally conversant with English and Malayalam. He did all his translation and sometimes these are even better than the originals.
The collection of stories 'After the Hanging and Other Stories' by O. V. Vijayan is published by Penguin books.
This is a very remarkable collection by the author. He writes in a very lucid manner that attracts the readers. The life of common people has always come up in Vijayan's story.
|More Articles in Indian English Novels (51)|