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Nepali Literature (Nepali: नेपाली साहित्य) refers to the literature of Nepal written in the Nepali language. The Nepali language has been the national language of Nepal since 1958. The Nepali language has also been recognized as a "major Indian literary language" by the Sahitya Akademi, India's National Academy of Letters.
The Nepali language evolved from Sanskrit and it is difficult to exactly date the history of Nepali literature since most early scholars wrote in Sanskrit. It is however possible to roughly divide Nepali literature into five periods.
It is thought that Nepali literature has existed in verbal folklore for the past hundreds of years; however there exists no evidence of a written literary work before the Bhanubhakta. Before Bhanubhakta, writing was done in Sanskrit, and because it was a language accessible by high-caste Brahmins only at that time, many Nepali people were not involved in literature. Few scholars have argued that poet Suwananda Daas was the first literary figure in the history of Modern Nepal.
Nepali speakers honor Bhanubhakta as the "Adikavi" (literally meaning 'first poet') of the Nepali language. Bhanubhakta's most important contribution to Nepali literature is probably his translation of the holy Ramayana into Nepali language, he wrote the Ramayana in metric form using the same form as Sanskrit scholars. Besides translating the Ramayana Bhanubhakta also wrote original poems on a diverse range of subjects: from family morals advocacy, satires of bureaucracy to poor conditions of prisoners.
Early 20th century
Motiram Bhatta (1923–1953) revived the legacy of Bhanubhakta and publicized the contributions of the latter. Motiram played such a fundamental role in the legacy of Bhanubhakta that some allege that Bhanubhakta was just a fabrication of Motiram's mind.
The Pre-Revolution Era was a very prolific time for creative writing despite the lack of freedom of expression, during the period the independent magazine "Sharada" was the only printed medium available for publication of Nepali literature. Short stories by Laxmi Prasad Devkota, Guru Prasad Mainali and Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala has become recognized as of tremendous importance. It is arguably the most significant period for the development of Nepali literature.
Plays like the influential "Muna Madan" by Laxmi Prasad Devkota tells the tales of human lives: the story is about a man who in order to gain money leaves his wife and goes abroad and tragically dies when he returns. However the story also portrays the life of the wife who suffered greatly without her husband. Other stories by Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala introduced psychology into literature, e.g. "Teen Ghumti", "Doshi Chasma", "Narendra Dai", etc.
This regime produced several prominent poets like Laxmi Prasad Devkota, Gopal Prasad Rimal, Siddhicharan Shrestha, Bhim Nidhi Tiwari and Balakrishna Sama. Later Period several poets come into light during one Panchayat regime. Indra Bahadur Rai, Parijat, Bhupi Sherchan, Madhav Prasad Ghimire, Bairagi Kainla, Krishna Bhakta Shrestha, Praijat, Madan Regmi, Dwarika Shrestha, Mohan Koirala, Upendra Shrestha, Ishwore Ballab and Tulasi Diwas and Krishnabhushan Bal can be named in this regard.
Nepalese Civil War 1996-2006
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There are many modern Nepali authors who has written groundbreaking innovative new Nepali literature e.g. Manjushree Thapa, Shailendra Sakar, Yuyutsu Sharma, D.B Gurung, Bimal Nibha, Narayan Wagle, Mahananda Poudyal, Toya Gurung etc.
Among the younger generation poets the names of Sarada Sharma, Ramesh Kshitij, Suman Pokhrel, Jyoti Jungle, Gyanendra Vivash, Vishnu Rai, Bimal Bhoikaje, Prateek Dhakal, Biplov Prateek, Ramesh Paudel, Vivash Basti, Hom Parbag, Netra Atom, Vyakul Pathak, Gayatri Bist, Khumnarayan Poudel, Shyam Rimal Promod Snehi, Rasa, R. M. Dangol, Buddhi Sagar Chepain, Chunky Shrestha, Lal Gopal Subedi, Raj Kumar Bania, Amog Kafle, Rajendra Shrestha, Saran Rai, Sudip Pakhrin,Padam Gautam, Khadga Sen Oli, Tanka Uprety, Prahlas Sindulee, Bimala Tumkhewa, Prakash Silwal can be cited.
Nepali speakers are rapidly migrating and wide-spreading around the globe and many books of Nepali literature are published from different corners of the world. Diasporic literature has developed the new ways of thinking and new branch in the Nepali literature. Some writers and novels, e.g. Hom Nath Subedi's 'Yampuri Ko Yatra', Pancham Adhikari's 'Pathik Pravasan', offer illuminating visions of new models of identity.
- Category: Nepalese writers
- Nepalese literature
- Bhanubhakta Acharya
- Laxmi Prasad Devkota
- Indra Bahadur Rai
- Parijat (writer)
- B.P Koirala
- Aswikrit Sahitya Andolan
- Himalayan Voices: An Introduction to Modern Nepali Literature (Voices from Asia), edited and translated by Michael J. Hutt, University of California Press, 1991. p. 5. ISBN 9780520910263
- Gorkhas Imagined: I.B. Rai in Translation, Eds. Prem Poddar and Anmole Prasad, Mukti Prakashan, 2009
- K. Pradhan: A History of Nepali Literature, New Delhi: Sahitya Akad., 1984
- Gorkhas Imagined: Indra Bahadur Rai in Translation, edited by Prem Poddar and Anmole Prasad, Mukti Prakashan, Kalimpong, 2009.
- Himalayan Voices: An Introduction to Modern Nepali Literature (Voices from Asia) [Anthology], edited and translated by Michael J. Hutt, Univ of California Press, 1991. ISBN 9780520910263
- Stewart: Secret Places (Manoa 13:2): Featuring New Writing from Nepal, ed. by Frank Stewart, Samrat Upadhyay, Manjushree Thapa, University of Hawaii Press, illustrated edition 2001
- Nepalese literature, ed. by Madhav Lal Karmacharya, Kathmandu : Royal Nepal Academy 2005
- Roaring Recitals:Five Nepali Poets, Translated into Nepali by Yuyutsu RD Sharma, Published by Nirala Publications, New Delhi, 1999
- Pratik: A Magazine of Contemporary Writing, Edited by Yuyutsu RD Sharma, Kathmandu
- नेपाली गजल : मलाई मात्र थाहा छ म पागल भा छु भन्ने
- The largest online magazine for Nepali Literature Online Sahitya
- Nepali Poems In Nepali By Popular Poets @ Sanjaal
- Nepali Stories In Nepali @ Sanjaal
- A Bangla Article on Nepali Literature
- Nepali Literature Website Collections of Nepali poems, articles, stories
- नेपाली कबिता - नेपाली मुक्तक, Love poem at mylove.com.np
- The Applicant
- नेपाली गजल : मलाई छाडी गा’की तिम्लाई सधै सुख होस्