Thursday, September 30, 2010

Cutting near the aching nerve

GA Kulkarni (1923 - 1987) is one of the great Marathi short story writers.

He received the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1973. Film buffs, too, might know of him as one of his stories, Kairee — meaning raw mango — was made into a movie by Amol Palekar. In the introduction of one of his short story collections, Kulkarni quoted August Strindberg: “Shallow people demand variety—but I have been writing the same story throughout my life, every time trying to cut nearer the aching nerve!” The line sums up Kulkarni’s approach to writing perfectly, for one way or the other, all of his stories revolve around the theme of immutable fate and man’s struggle to make a mark against it.

Through his career, the settings and style of the stories evolved — ranging from rural Maharashtra, to ancient Greek myth, to imaginary fantasy lands. The same over-riding theme, however, comes through in various guises: When characters are confronted by an odd situation, we find them stopping to think over their lives, trying to understand how they got here, whether any of their efforts made any difference in the larger scheme of things.

Full review here Deccan Herald

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