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Gateway LitFest 2024: Celebrating Marathi Literature’s Finest

Gateway Literary Festival Honors Marathi Literature


Gateway LitFest 2024: Celebrating Marathi Literature’s Finest

Mumbai’s prestigious Gateway LitFest is set to mark a significant milestone in Indian literary history as it commemorates the golden jubilee of the first Jnanpith Award in Marathi, awarded to Vishnu Sakharam Khandekar’s novel ‘Yayati’ in 1974. The festival, scheduled to take place on March 1-2 at the Convocation Hall, Mumbai University Fort Campus, will feature a special session titled ‘Impressions on Yayati’ on the second day, led by Jnanpith Award winner of 2022, Damodar Mauzo, and renowned writer and translator Prof Sachin C Ketkar.

‘Yayati’, a Marathi-language mythological novel, narrates the tale of the mythical Hindu king, Yayati, from the Hindu epic, the Mahabharata. Regarded as Khandekar’s masterpiece, it is considered one of the greatest works in Marathi literature, having received numerous accolades including the Sahitya Akademi Award, the Jnanpith Award, and the Maharashtra State Government Award. Translations of the novel are available in several languages, including English, Hindi, Malayalam, Bengali, and Gujarati, highlighting its universal appeal and literary significance.

Damodar Mauzo, expressing his thoughts on the event, stated, “I am very glad that Gateway LitFest is organizing such an event to celebrate the golden jubilee of VS Khandekar’s Jnanpith Award of 1974. An important aspect of this award is that the Jnanpith Committee first gave the award to his novel ‘Yayati’, and later they extended the award to all his literary contributions. In that way, the writer and his whole works were honored.”

Vishnu Sakharam Khandekar (1898-1976) is revered as one of the greatest writers of Marathi literature, having made significant contributions over his nearly half-century literary career. He published 11 novels, 31 short story collections, six allegorical story collections, and 15 volumes of critical essays, leaving behind a rich legacy that continues to inspire generations of readers and writers.

The Gateway LitFest (GLF) is making a grand return to Mumbai after a three-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, promising to reignite literary fervor with its seventh edition. Recognized as the largest platform for Indian language writers, the event will feature top writers, including Jnanpith laureates and Akademi awardees, from various regional languages, showcasing the rich diversity and talent of India’s literary landscape.

As literary enthusiasts eagerly await the commencement of the festival, the celebration of ‘Yayati’ and its creator, VS Khandekar, serves as a poignant reminder of the enduring power of literature to transcend time and touch the hearts and minds of readers across generations.

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