The modernist movement (navya) in Kannada literature was significant in many ways. The navya writers created an idiom which even to this day resonates with the many new twists that came into the “being” of a literary work. The idiom of the navya writers was multi-dimensional and accommodated varied experiences and diverse ideas. However, the divergences that emerged from the writings of the ‘navya’ poets, short story writers, novelists and playwrights did have an underlying element of commonality—of examining the existential state of the modern individual situated as she/he was in a modernizing community/nation with very strong traditional roots. The navya writers were deeply preoccupied with the multiple realities of individuals, communities and societies in transition. Hence, in them, tradition and modernity are juxtaposed as antithetical bases upon which individuals inevitably rest, and, more importantly confront their dualities, contradictions and paradoxes.
December 2006, volume 30, No 12