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Thunder on Stage : A Study of Girish Karnad's Plays

C.L. Khatri & Sudhir K. Arora (Ed).
Book Enclave, Jaipur, India, 2008, Rs. 695

Girish Karnad (1938) is a significant name in Indian English drama. He has enriched the Indian drama by his dramatic skills. He wrote plays first in his adopted language Kannada and then translated most of then into English. His originality as a dramatist lies in his extraordinary skill of using myth, history and folktale to make the drama lively and thought provoking.

This anthology contains twenty two scholarly papers and these papers make an in depth study of Yayati, Tughlaq, Hayavadana, Bali : The Sacrifice, Naga Mandala. Tala-Danda. The Fire and the Rain. The Dreams of Tipu Sultion. A heap of Broken Images and Flowers.

Dr. Khatri and Dr. Arora make us familiar with Karnad in the scholarly written Preface, "for his contribution to literature, he got many prestigious award that include : Mysore State Award for Yayati (1962), Government of Mysore Rajyotsava Award (1970), Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for Play writing (1972), Padma Shri (1974)" "Writer of the Year" Award from Granthaloka Journal of the Book Trade for Taladanda (1990), the Karnatak Sahitya Akademi Award for the Most Creative Work for Nagam and ala (1992), the B.H. Sridhar Award for Taledanda (1992), the Padma Bhushan Award (1992) ...... the Sahitya Academy Award for Taledanda (1994), the Gubbi Veeranna Award (1997), the Bhartiya Jnanpith Award (1999) and Kalidas Samman by the Government of Madhya Pradesh (1999)."

In the first paper of the anthology entitled "Girish Karnad : The Man and The Play Wright", Dr. Khatre presents the marathon odyssey of Girish Karnad.

"Karnad wanted to be a poet of English but he became a play Wright in Kannada and Indian English of par excellence. His plays proved to be an epoch making both critically and in stage production."

The second paper entitled 'Brecht's Non-Aristotelian Theory of Drama and Dramatic Art of Girish Karnad' by Dr. R.N. Rai explores Brecht's theory of drama and compares it with the dramatic art of Girish Karnad. "Brechtian in fluency on Karnad made him sharply aware of the theatricality imaginativeness and inherent power of the Indian theatre. It sensitised him to the rich potentialities of non-naturalistic techniques of our traditional theatre. Admitting Brecht's influence on his dramatic works Karnad remarks that "Brecht's influence, received mainly through his writing and without the benefit of his theatrical productions, went some way in making us realize what could be done with the design of traditional theatre." (Karnad, 14)

The third paper by Dr. Jyoti Gupta and Dr. Sushma Sharma entitled 'Existentialism in Girish Karnad' Yayati presents existentialism in the play Yayati'. S.T. Kharat explores evil deception and violence in Karnad's play Tughlaq in his play ' The Projection of Evil, Deception and Violence in Girish Karnad's Tughlaq' "The play is thus packed with intrigues machinations, blood-shed, terrible murders, violence and horror. There is a long chain of deception and violence. Seven to eight major characters are killed and countless people die during the exodus."

Dr. Rajendra Prasad Y. Shinde presents Tughlaq as a political saga in his scholarly paper "Tughlaq : A contemporary play by Girish Karnad."

Dr. N.K. Neb has raised some issues regarding the dramatisation of the failure in the play 'Tughlaq' in his paper entitled "Girish Karnad's Tughlaq : Dramatisation of the Failure of Dialogical co-existence.'

"The failure of the dialogical discourse to take place lies in Tughlaq's centralising perspective. Even the play Wright seems to realise this."

Another scholarly paper by Dr. Ram Sharma entitles "Displaying the theatrical Effectiveness : (Re-) cording through Techniques in Girish Karnad's Tughlaq forces the theatrical effectiveness in this play.

Dr. G.S. Jha presents Karnad's Haya-vadana as a post colonial text is his scholarly paper entitled "Girish Karnad's Hayavadana : A Post Colonial Fruition'. "Post-colonialist, despite all controversies includes the question of identity, alienation, moral code, fulfillment, mythological orientation, gender placement, meta-physical dualism, neo-colonial dialectic etc, Karnad plays with historical and mythological episodes to prove his typical post-colonial stature."

Dr. A. Vanitha throws light on the magic realist attributes in Hayavadana (1975) in his paper "The Third Eye Vision in Girish Karnad's Hayavadana'.

Dr. Kumud Agarwal presents Hayavadana as evolutionary medium in her paper "Evolving the Man : A Note on Girish Karnad's Hayavadana as Drama of Evolutionary Impulse in Man."

Binod Mishra presents scholarly paper entitled "Girish Karnad's Bali : The Sacrifice : A voice of Reason against a saga of Myth."

"Thus we find that Karnad's Bali based on spiritual rifts between two religion us sects challenges the idiosyncratic practice and expose the hypocrisy of Man to God."

Dr. Anshuman Khanna presents dialogic ramifications in Karnad's Bali in his paper "Dialogic Ramifications in Karnad's Bale, The Sacrifice."

Dr. Madhubala Saxena peeps into the characters of Karnad's play Bali in her scholarly paper "Portraying the Inner Lands cape : A Peep into the characters of Girish Karnad's Bali : The Sacrifice.

Dr. Shubha Mishra explores foricairlt's Parropticism in her paper entitled" Reading and (Mis) reading Girish Karnad's, Bali : The Sacrifice, in the light of foucanlt's Panopticism.'

Dr. Anupam Bansal and Dr. Satish Kumar presents women empowerment in Girish Karnad's Naga Mandala in their paper entitled "Emanicipating Women : A Note on Women Empowerment in Girish Karnad's Naga Mandala."

Dr. R.R. Priyadharshini presents archetypal perspective in her paper entitled "Girish Karnad's Naga Mandala : An Archetrypal Perspective".

Dr. M.R. Verma explores Karnad's Tale-Tale-Danda : Present ness of the Past : Dr. G.A. Ghanshyan and Raj Ralcha Singh explores jealousy and ego-the two important human aspects in the Fire and the Rain in their paper entitled "The Fire and the Rain : A Tale of Inflated Egos', Dr. Archana Rathore explores classical myths in The Fire and the Rain in her scholarly paper entitled "Vivifying the classical Myths : A Note on Girish Karnad's.

The Fire and the Rain :

Dr. (Mrs.) Gulshan Das and Ms. Tanjiem Ara Khan finds myths in Girish Karnad's 'The Fire and the Rain' in their paper "Intertextuality and Retelling of Myths in Girish Karand's The Fire and the Rain.

This anthology contains last two scholarly papers by one of brilliant scholars of Indian English Literature Dr. S.K. Arora. In the first paper he presents Karnad's The Dreams of Tipu Sultan as a post colonial text.

"The story of Tipu Sultan clearly exhibits that the English were afraid of Tipu Sultan., the only person in South India, as they were very well aware of his capabilities and skill in handling the administration and the defense system of his Kingdom." Dr. Arora presents aesthetics and breaking of the Ethics in Karnad's Two Monologues in his scholarly paper.

This anthology is unique in its own kind and both Dr. Khatri and Dr. Arora kind and both Dr. Khatri and Dr. Arora are successful in their efforts. This anthology is a must read for every avid reader and student of English literature. Although the price Rs. 695 looks quite much.

Contributing Author: Dr. Ram Sharma, Lecturer in English, [email protected]





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