Search This Blog

Dec 18, 2011

Nissim Ezekiel

Nissim Ezekiel published his book The Unfinished Man in 1960. After working as an advertising copywriter and general manager of a picture frame company (1954-59), he co-founded the literary monthly Imprint, in 1961. He became art critic of The Times of India (1964-66) and edited Poetry India (1966-67). From 1961 to 1972, he headed the English department of Mithibai College, Mumbai. On the invitation of the US government, he went on a month long tour to the US in November 1974.

In 1976, he translated poetry from Marathi, and co-edited a fiction and poetry anthology. His poem "The Night Of The Scorpion" is used as study material in Indian and British schools. After a prolonged battle with Alzheimer`s disease, Nissim Ezekiel died in Mumbai, January 9 2004 at age 79. "The Exact Name", his fifth book of poetry was published in 1965. During this period he had short tenures as visiting professor at University of Leeds (1964) and University of Chicago (1967).

In 1967 while in America, he experimented with hallucinogenic drugs, probably as a means to expand his writing skills. He finally stopped using them in 1972. In 1969, Writers Workshop, Calcutta published his "The Three Plays". A year later, he presented an art series of ten programs for Mumbai television. Ezekiel received the Sahitya Akademi cultural award in 1983 and the Padma Shri in 1988. He was professor of English and reader in American literature at University of Mumbai during the 1990s, and secretary of the Indian branch of the international writers` organization PEN.

Nissim Ezekiel When he began his writing career in the late 1940s, his use of formal and correct English was criticized, given its association with colonialism. After 1965, he began experimenting with exaggerated `Indian English`. Ezekiel, being a member of the Indian Jewish community, approached poetry as an outsider and was different from the nationalistic Indian literature of that time.

Most of his poetry was that of the urban India, issues of alienation, love, marriage and sexuality. He acted as a mentor to younger poets, such as Dom Moraes, Adil Jussawalla and Gieve Patel. In the last few years of his life, he was deeply involved in helping Mumbai poets, his advice being forthright, but seldom blunt.

1 comment:

  1. Nissim Ezekiel is one of those poets of Indo-Anglican poetry whose names are connected with the furtherance and development of such a genre of evolving literature and he can be no exception to that. A Maharashtrian Jew, a professor of Bombay University, he is but in other words the poster boy of modernism as he has tried to experiment though had not been so prolific and successful, a poet he went by the British and American models, the Elizabethans and the metaphysicals he could not discern them. Walt Whitman he could not. A love poet, he was simple in thought and idea; a modern man he was after modernism. An ironical man he looked the things ironically with wit and humour, suspense and doubt; a non-Indian he viewed the things with his outsiderish look and India seemed to be a bundle of contradictions and contraries, medievalism and modernism both. A poet of Bombay he was a Bombayan, the urban city scape of it and he could not rise beyond that, the thought of karma and dharma he could just manage about,clutch along to grapple with Indianness rather than going deep into its ethos and historicity. The quest for identity often maligned his soul, baffled his spirit for which he stood nonplussed, answerless; the theme of Indianness questioned him so often.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

All Posts

A Fine Balance A House for Mr. Biswas Absurd Drama Achebe Across the Black Waters Addison Adiga African Ages Albee Alberuni Ambedkar American Amrita Pritam Anand Anatomy of Criticism Anglo Norman Anglo Saxon Aristotle Ariyar Arnold Ars Poetica Auden Augustan Aurobindo Ghosh Backett Bacon Badiou Bardsley Barthes Baudelaire Beckeley Bejnamin Belinda Webb Bellow Beowulf Bhabha Bharatmuni Bhatnagar Bijay Kant Dubey Blake Bloomsbury Book Bookchin Booker Prize bowen Braine British Brooks Browne Browning Buck Burke CA Duffy Camus Canada Chaos Characters Charlotte Bronte Chaucer Chaucer Age China Chomsky Coetzee Coleridge Conard Contact Cornelia Sorabji Critical Essays Critics and Books Cultural Materialism Culture Dalit Lliterature Daruwalla Darwin Dattani Death of the Author Deconstruction Deridda Derrida Desai Desani Dickens Dilip Chitre Doctorow Donne Dostoevsky Dryden Durkheim EB Browning Ecology Edmund Wilson Eliot Elizabethan Ellison Emerson Emile Emily Bronte English Epitaph essats Essays Esslin Ethics Eugene Ionesco Existentialism Ezekiel Faiz Fanon Farrel Faulkner Feminism Feminist Criticism in the Wilderness Ferber Fitzgerald Foregrounding Formalist Approach Forster Foucault Frankfurt School French Freud Frost Frye Fyre Gandhi Gender German Germany Ghosh Gilbert Adair Golding Gordimer Greek Gulliver’s Travels Gunjar Halliday Hard Times Hardy Harindranath Chattopadhyaya Hawthorne Hemingway Heyse Hindi Literature Historical Materialism History Homer Horace Hunt Huxley Ibsen In Memoriam India Indian. Gadar Indra Sinha Interview Ireland Irish Jack London Jane Eyre Japan JM Synge Johnson Joyce Joyce on Criticism Jumpa Lahiri Jussawalla Kafka Kalam Kalidasa Kamla Das Karnard Keats Kipling Langston Hughes Language Language of Paradox Larkin Le Clezio Lenin Lessing Levine Life of PI literary Criticism Luckas Lucretius Lyrical Ballads Macaulay Magazines Mahapatra Mahima Nanda Malory Mandeville Manto Manusmrti Mao Marlowe Martel Martin Amis Marx Marxism Mary Shelley Maugham McCarry Medi Media Miller Milton Moby Dick Modern Mona Loy Morrison Movies Mulk Raj Anand Mytth of Sisyphus Nabokov Nahal Naidu Naipaul Narayan Natyashastra Neo-Liberalism NET New Criticism new historicism News Nietzsche Nikita Lalwani Nissim Ezekiel Niyati Pathak Niyati Pathank Nobel Prize O Henry Of Studies Okara Ondaatje Orientalism Orwell Pakistan Pamela Paradise Lost Pater Pinter Poems Poetics Poets Pope Post Feminism Post Modern Post Structuralism post-Colonialism Poststructuralism Preface to Shakespeare Present Prize Psycho Analysis Psychology and Form Publish Pulitzer Prize Puritan PWA Radio Ramayana Rape of the Lock Renaissance Restoration Revival Richardson Rime of Ancient Mariner RL Stevenson Rohinton Mistry Romantic Roth Rousseau Rushdie Russia Russian Formalism Sartre Sashi Despandey Satan Sati Savitri Seamus Heaney’ Shakespeare Shaw Shelley Shiv K.Kumar Showalter Sibte Hasan Slavery Slow Man Socialism Spender Spenser Sri Lanka Stage of Development Steinbeck Stories Subaltern Sufis Surrealism Swift Tagore Tamil Literature Ted Hughes Tennyson Tennyson. Victorian Terms Tess of the D’Urbervilles The March The Metamorphsis The Order of Discourse The Outsider The Playboy of the Western World The Politics The Satanic Verses The Scarlet Letter The Transitional Poets The Waste Land The Work of Art In The Age of Mechanical Reproduction The Wuthering Heights Theatre of Absurd Theory Theory of Criticism Theory of Evolution Theory of Literature Thomas McEvilley Thoreau To the Lighthouse Tolstoy Touchstone Method Tughlaq Tulsi Badrinath Twain Two Uses of Language UGC-NET Ulysses Untouchable Urdu Victorian Vijay Tendulkar Vikram Seth Vivekananda Voltaire Voyage To Modernity Walter Tevis Webster Wellek West Indies Wharton Williams WJ Long Woolfe Wordsworth World Wars Writers WW-I WW-II Wycliff Xingjian Yeats Zadie Smith Zaheer Zizek Zoe Haller