Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Ediriweera Sarachchandra

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Ediriweera Sarachchandra (June 3, 1914 - August 16, 1996) was Sri Lankan playwright, novelist, poet, literary critic, essayist and social commentator. Considered Sri Lanka's premier playwright, he was a senior lecturer at the University of Peradeniya for many years and served as Sri Lankan Ambassador to France ( 1974 - 1977). His first play was Maname, which is generally considered the first real Sinhala drama, signalling the transition from the Nadagam or folk drama to the modern theatrical drama format. Most of his plays were adaptations from Buddhist Jathakas or Sinhala folklore giving his work instant and lasting popularity with the population that identified with their roots.



[edit] Early education

Sarachchandra was born on June 3, 1914. He completed his early education at Richmond College in Galle, St. John's College in Panadura, St. Thomas’ College in Mt. Lavinia and St. Aloysius College in Galle.

Sarachchandra started his career as a teacher at St. Peter's College in Colombo 4. He then joined the publishing company Lake House in an administrative position. 1933, gained admission to the University College, Colombo and offered Pali, Sanskrit and Sinhala for the first degree and passed out in 1936 with a first class and sat for the Ceylon Civil Service examination (because of his parents insistance) and came first in the island.[[1]] In 1939 Sarachchandra wed Aileen Beleth. He subsequently travelled to Santiniketan to study Indian Philosophy and Music. Sarachchandra returned to Sri Lanka in 1940 and resumed his teaching career at St. Thomas College in Mt. Lavinia. From 1942 to 1944 he worked on his Masters Degree in Indian Philosophy as an external student of the University of London while holding the position of Sub-Editor of the Sinhala Dictionary.

Sarachchandra returned to the University College (Now University of Colombo)serving as lecturer in Pali from 1947 to 1949. He gained entry to the University of London in 1949 to study towards a post graduate degree in Western Philosophy.

[edit] Theatre

Sarachchandra produced his first play Maname in 1956 to widespread acclaim. It was praised especially for drawing influence from the traditional nadagam play style. He continued as a playwright, developing his play Sinhabahu (1961), widely considered his best work.

[edit] Awards and honors

The University of Jaffna and the University of Peradeniya conferred Sarachchandra the degree of Doctor of Literature in 1982. Also in that year he was made an Emeritus Professor at the University of Peradeniya. In 1983 the State of Kerala in South India awarded Sarachchandra the Kumaran Asian World Prize. In 1988 he won the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Literature.

[edit] Plays

[edit] Books

[edit] Novels

  • Malagiya Eththo (1959)
  • Walmath Wee Hasarak Nudutimi (1962)
  • Malwunge Awrudhuda (1965)
  • Loku Putha Nohoth Bandulage Parawarthaya (1971)
  • Heta Echchara Kaluwara Ne (1975)
  • Wilasiniyakage Premaya (1988)
  • Curfew and a Full Moon (1978)
  • With the begging bowl (1986)
  • Foam Upon the Stream (1987)

[edit] Short Stories

  • Kalayage Awemen (1969)
  • Maya Roopaya (1974)
  • Roopa Sundari (1984)
  • Midiya, Gruhaniya ha Upasikawa (1993)
  • Of a Queen and a Courtesan (1970)
  • The Death of a Friend (1981)

[edit] Research, Literary Theory and Criticism

  • Sahithya Vidyawa (1949)
  • Sinhala Nawaatha Inthihasaya ha Wicharaya (1951)
  • Kalpana Lokaya (1958)
  • Natya Gaweshana (1967)
  • Sinhala Gemi Natakaya (1968)
  • Wes Muhunuda Sebe Muhunuda? (1971)
  • Modern Sinhalese Fiction (1943)
  • The Sinhalese Novel (1950)
  • The folk Drama of Ceylon (1952)
  • Budshist Psychology of Perception (1958)

[edit] Other

  • Ape Withthi (1942)
  • Asampurna Charika Satahan (1967)
  • Dharmishta Samajaya (1982)
  • Pin Ethi Sarasawi Waramak Denne (1985)

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