This book presents a comprehensive study of nearly 100 of Kaaroor’s short stories. Kaaroor Neelakanta Pillai is one among the Big Six of the ‘new wave’ in Malayalam literature which began in the mid-1940s. The Big Six and their immediate followers wrote about the common man, peasants, pavement-dwellers, fishermen, rickshaw-pullers, underpaid school teachers — their lives, aspirations and vulnerabilities. By treating Kaaroor’s stories as case studies, the book takes a sociological approach to understanding the representation of a wide array of themes: romantic overtones, erotic pursuits, marital episodes, issues of family, lives of children, behavioural patterns, shades of greed, the idea of spirituality and politics in Malayalam literature.
With its annotated transcreation and detailed commentary, this book brings Kaaroor’s works to the general reader, and will be useful to scholars and researchers of South Asian literature, English literature, linguistics, cultural studies, besides those interested in Malayalam literature and the Malayali/Indian diaspora across the world.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Shubha Mudgal and Aneesh Pradhan. Preface. 1. Introductory Notes on the ‘Big Six’ 2. Romantic Overtones 3 Erotic Pursuits 4. Marital Episodes 5. On Small Children and Teenagers 6. Families: Sinking, Troubled 7. ‘Sir’ Stories 8. Sirs: The Other Side 9. Dictates of Fate 10. Behavioural Patterns 11. Some Social Issues 12. Political Themes 13. Shades of Greed 14. Profiles of the Poor 15. Some Uncommon People 16. Social Dropouts 17. Spiritual Themes 18. Some More Episodes 19. Tuskers and Mahouts 20. Kaaroor’s Zoo 21. Sociology Through Literature: Some Endnotes. References. Index
S. Devadas Pillai is a research sociologist and was previously affiliated with the University of Mumbai, India for 15 years as Senior Research Officer and Deputy Director. Subsequently, he was with Amsterdam University on a WOTRO-ZWO fellowship, followed by visits related to two major Indo-Dutch research projects. For 30 years, he has been the Executive Editor of an encyclopedia project on performing arts. He completed his MA and PhD at the Department of Sociology, University of Mumbai, and is the author/editor of over ten books, including Rajahs and Prajas: A Princely State, Then and Now (1976); Slums and Urbanization (1991, 2nd edn); and Indian Sociology Through Ghurye: A Dictionary (2011).