Rachakonda Viswanatha Sastry
|Rachakonda Viswanatha Sastri|
|Native name||రాచకొండ విశ్వనాథ శాస్త్రి|
Rachakonda Viswanatha Sastri|
30 July 1922
Srikakulam, Srikakulam district
Andhra Pradesh, India
|Died||10 November 1993(aged 71)|
|Residence||Tummapala village, Anakapalli|
|Awards||"Kalaprapoorna", voluntarily declined by the author|
Rachakonda Viswanatha Sastri (Ravi Sastri) (Telugu: రావిశాస్త్రి) (1922–1993) was a Telugu writer who published several novels and more than 60 short stories in six volumes. Often praised for his unique style, Ravi Sastry supported marginalized communities. Professionally, he was a lawyer.
Rachakonda Viswanatha Sastry graduated with honours to obtain his B.A. from Andhra University, Visakhapatnam. In 1946, he completed his B.L. degree at Madras University. Having gained professional expertise in law by working with Taatha Sriramamurthy, an established senior lawyer, he started his own law practice in 1950. He began his career as a dedicated congressional leader. In his later years (1960) he was influenced by Marxist theory.
As a writer
In 1947, he observed the lifestyle of the inhabitants of Srikakulam and Vizianagaram, as well as major changes in urban lifestyles at Visakhapatnam. The perceived inhumanity in these new ways of life caused much distress, and Sastry was the first, after Gurajada Apparao and Sripadala, to employ dialects in writing about the effect of these changes.
Written in 1952, the novel Alpajeevi (Telugu: అల్పజీవి) was an experimental foray into the world of Telugu literature. It was very well received and went on to become one of the most successful Telugu novels. Raavi Sastry was among the first authors in the region to write novels with syntactic similarity to the novels of James Joyce. Alpajeevi was the first novel with stylistic similarities to Chaitanya Sravanthi (Telugu: చైతన్య స్రవంతి).
After the novel Alpajeevi, he wrote two unfinished novels, Raju MahiShi (Telugu: రాజు మహిషీ) and Rattalu Rambabu (Telugu: రత్తాలు-రాంబాబు). Near the end of his career, he wrote the novel illu (Telugu: ఇల్లు). Alpajeevi is considered his best work among the several novels that he wrote during his career. But, "Raju Mahishi Prema Manishi" delved deep into the social fabric of the then middle class, lower class and upper class society and brought out the structural weaknesses plagueing those classes very articulately. In fact, it was compared to the beauty of the unfinished statue of lord Visweswara at Varanasi
List of his novels
- Kathasagaram (Telugu: కథాసాగరం) (1955)
- Aru sara kadhalu (Telugu: ఆరుసారా కథలు) (1961)
- Rachakonda kathalu (Telugu: రాచకొండ కథలు) (1966)
- Aru sorrow kathalu (Telugu: ఆరుసారో కథలు) (1967)
- Raju mahishi (Telugu: రాజు మహిషి) (1968)
- Kalakanthi (Telugu: కలకంఠి) (1969)
- Banisa kathalu (Telugu: బానిస కథలు) (1972)
- Rukkulu (Telugu: ఋక్కులు) (1973)
- Rattalu – rambabu (Telugu: రత్తాలు- రాంబాబు) (1975)
- Sommulu Ponayandi (Telugu: సొమ్ములు పోనాయండి)
- Govulostunnayi Jagratta (Telugu: గోవులోస్తున్నాయి జాగ్రత్త)
- Bangaram (Telugu: బంగారం)
- Illu (Telugu: ఇల్లు)
- Nijam – Natakam (Telugu: నిజం నాటకం)
- Tirasktruthi – Natika (Telugu: తిరస్కృతి నాటిక)
- Vishadam – Natika (Telugu: విషాదం నాటిక)
In 1983, he was honored with the “Kalaprapoorna” award by Andhra University. He refused this award. A Sahitya Academy Award he received in the 60s, he returned in 1975 as a mark of protest against Emergency and his incarceration during that period though he came out on parole
He was not only a writer, but an actor. He played the role of an artist in the playlets "Nijam" and "Kanyasulkam". "Nijam" had over 100 performances. Ravi Sastry said, "Every writer should think that my writings are neither harmful to the good nor helpful to the bad.".
Ravi Sastri died on 10 November 1993.
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