Bal Sitaram Mardhekar
Born: 1 December 1909
Died: 20 March 1956
- He was a Marathi writer who brought about a radical shift of sensibility in Marathi poetry.
- He was born in a town called Faizpur in the Khandesh region of Maharashtra.
- He was educated in Pune and London and worked at All India Radio until his death.
- His earlier collection of poems, Shishiragam (शिशिरागम), was a product of Ravi Kiran Mandal poetry: sentimental and lyrical.
- But his later avant-garde poetry brought about a storm in the Marathi literary world.
- His poem with the title “पिपात मेले ओल्या उंदिर” (Mice Died in the Wet Barrel) appeared in Abhiruchi (अभिरुची) magazine in 1946.
- Similar to what Baudelaire did in French poetry, Mardhekar brought a decadent urban ethos into Marathi poetry.
- Marathi bhakti (भक्ति) poetry and the poetry of T. S. Eliot and W. H. Auden had an influence on him.
- In 1948, he was charged and tried for obscenity for some of his poems in Kahi Kavita.
- He was declared innocent of these charges in 1952.
- He was also an influential critic and an experimental novelist.
- He attempted to bring in the consciousness technique in Marathi novels.
- He received in 1956 Sahitya Akademi Award for his work Saundarya ani Sahitya (A study of aesthetics) (सौंदर्य आणि साहित्य).
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December 1, 2019