Department of Cultural Affairs, Government of Kerala


Short Story: Second Phase

By the mid-1920s, there were many social changes in Kerala. These had a deep impact on the short story culture. For the first time, writers wanted their stories to be a reflection of the upheavals in society. Journalist Kesari Balakrishna Pillai critically analysed the structure and entertainment potential of short stories in his work Roopamanjari. This led to a strong literary consciousness in many Malayalam short story writers. Balakrishna Pillai also translated many European short stories into Malayalam. This too helped readers and writers understand the fine distinctions in structuring different types of short stories.

Different literary movements of these times, appealing for universal love, social progress, or removal of inequalities, gave new direction to literature in general. The writers who led such movements were V. T. Bhattathirippad, M.R.B., Muthiringode Bhavathrathan Namboodiripad etc.

As Malayalam short story thus matured into full bloom, five major writers arose as the majors of story-writing. They were, S. K. Pottekkatt, Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai, P. Kesavadev, Ponkunnam Varkey, and Vaikom Muhammad Basheer.


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