Urdu literature

Urdu literature

Urdu literature has a long and colorful history that is inextricably tied to the development of that very language, Urdu, in which it is written. While it tends to be heavily dominated by poetry, the range of expression achieved in the voluminous library of a few major verse forms, especially the ghazal and nazm, has led to its continued development and expansion into other styles of writing, including that of the short story, or afsana. It is today most popular in the countries of India and Pakistan and is finding interest in foreign countries primarily through South Asians.

The beginnings

Urdu literature may be said to find its provenance some time around the 14th century in India amongst the sophisticated gentry of Persian courts. The presence of the Muslim gentry in a largely Hindu India, while clearly acknowledged, did not so nearly dominate the consciousness of the Urdu poet as much as did the continuing traditions of Islam and Persia. The very color of the Urdu language, with a vocabulary almost evenly split between Sanskrit-derived Prakrit and Arabo-Persian words, was a reflection of the newness of cultural amalgamation and yet the insistence on retaining what was best and most beautiful about the lands of Afghanistan and Persia.

A man who exercised great influence on the initial growth of not only Urdu literature, but the language itself (which only truly took shape as distinguished from both Persian and proto-Hindi around the 14th century) was the famous Amir Khusro. Credited, indeed, with the very systematization of northern Indian classical music, known as Hindustani, he wrote works in both Persian and Hindavi, frequently engaging in ingenious mixes of the two. While the couplets that come down from him in are representative of a latter-Prakrit Hindi bereft of Arabo-Persian vocabulary, his influence on court viziers and writers must have been mighty, for but a century after his passing Quli Qutub Shah was seen to take to a language that may be safely said to be Urdu.

Poetry and prose

Urdu literature was generally composed more of poetry than of prose. The prose component of Urdu literature was mainly restricted to the ancient form of long-epic stories called Daastaan (داستان). These long-epic stories would deal with magical and otherwise fantastic creatures and events in a very complicated plot.

Urdu poetry started after the period mentioned earlier in the Deccan (South India). With time the usage of Urdu for poetry spread to Northern India. The most well developed vessel of poetry has turned out to be the Ghazal which has by far exceeded all other forms of Urdu poetry by its quality and quantity within the cosmos of Urdu.

18th-century literature

Well known Urdu poets from this era include:
* Faaiz Dehlvi
* Khan Arzu
* Mubarak Abru
* Mir Taqi Mir
* Mirza Sauda
* Mir Dard

Later writers have come to identify this period as one of comparative political instability, economic depression and social devolution. Hence the literature of this period is either generally in keeping with the epicurian attitude of people trying to find solace in the arms of literature; or of those horrified by the inertia of the changes, and their inability to effect change

hort Fiction

Wellknown Urdu Short Fiction (AFSANA)writers of the century are:

Rajander Singh Bedi

Saadat Hassan Manto

Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi

Ashfaq Ahmad

Bano Qudsia

Bhupendra nath Kaushik"fikr"

Ghulam Abbas

Mumtaz Mufti

Masaud Mufti

Mansha Yaad

Rashid Amjad

Qisar Tamkeen

Sajid Rasheed

Musharaf Alam Zauqi

Khalid Javed

Asif Farrukhi

Mubeen Mirza

A. Khayam

Tahira Iqbal

Nelofer Iqbal

Muhammad Ilyas

Khakan Sajid

Hamid Saraj


* Muhammad Husain Azad: "Ab-e hayat" (Lahore: Naval Kishor Gais Printing Wrks) 1907 [in Urdu] ; (Delhi: Oxford University Press) 2001 [In English translation]
* Shamsur Rahman Faruqi: "Early Urdu Literary Culture and History" (Delhi: Oxford University Press) 2001
* M.A.R. Habib: "An Anthology of Modern Urdu Poetry" in English translation with Urdu text. Modern Language Association (2003). ISBN 0873527976
*Alamgir Hashmi, "The Worlds of Muslim Imagination" (1986) ISBN 0-00-500407-1.
*Muhammad Sadiq, "A History of Urdu Literature" (1984).
*"The Annual of Urdu Studies", 1981-.
*“Urdu Afsana : Soorat o Ma'na” (Urdu) by M. Hameed Shahid National Book Foundation Islamabad Pakistan 2006-1.

ee also

*Urdu poetry
*List of Urdu language poets
*List of Urdu writers
*Progressive Writers' Movement

External links

* [http://www.culturopedia.com/Literature/urdu_literature.html Culturopedia: Indian Literature - Urdu literature]
* [http://www.seasonsindia.com/art_culture/lit_urdu_sea.htm Seasons: Indian Literature - Urdu literature]
* [http://www.columbia.edu/itc/mealac/pritchett/00urduhindilinks/hu_urdu_learning.html Columbia University: Urdu Language Sources]
* [http://www.urdustuff.com Urdu literature Site:] One of the Largest Site of اردو Urdu literature.
* [http://www.awazsayeed.com/Ghazal/Ghazal1.html/ History of Urdu Ghazal- اردو غزل کی عہد بہ عہد ترقی]

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