Martin Wickramasinghe
Martin Wicramasinghe,  The Great Author of Nation
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International Writers and Academics

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Martin Wickramasinghe in the eyes of International Writes and Academics

Professor Joseph Needham F.R.S.

"During my stay in Ceylon in the spring and summer of 1958 one of the things I most enjoyed and appreciated was the opportunity of getting to know Martin Wickramasjnghe, one of the most outstanding of Lanka's intellectuals, a truly original thinker and writer in literature and social studies.

In his study of the Jataka stories Wickramasinghe brings out again and again the relationship of the problems studied in analytic and introspective psychology of the Freudian era, and he links this similarity with the surprising resemblances that
Professor Joseph Needham F.R.S. in MW's library, prior to delivery of the inaugural, Martin Wickramasinghe lecture.
Professor Joseph Needham F.R.S. in MW's library, prior to delivery of the inaugural, Martin Wickramasinghe lecture.
he finds in the novels of the Great Russian writers
of the nineteenth century. "

(From a critical evaluation of MW's writings in English, in Joseph Needham's Within the Four Seas)
 
Mr. V. Korchitov,
Editor of the journal "Problems of Literature"

In the late 1950's, at a time when the classical novel familiar to most of us, was being rejected and discarded by some as an anachronism, two events of importance in the field of literature came to my notice. One of these events was the opportunity to read the novel 'The Leopard" authored by a Sicilian aristocrat, Giuseppe di Lampedusa, a novel in the familiar classical tradition. It was a novel, which received accolades not only of Italian, but also of French, English and American critics and readers. The reasons for its universal appeal was, I believe, the great depth and understanding and artistic skill shown in the presentation of the vicissitudes of a feudal class in a modernizing world, within the microcosm of a feudal family, the ups and downs in their circumstances, and their joys
Mr. I Korchitov, President of the soviet writers Union.

Mr. I Korchitov, President of the
soviet writers Union.

and sufferings.

 
The other important event was the publication in 1959 of the Russian language translation of Martin Wickramasinghe's novel "Gamperaliya", first published in Sinhala in 1944. What struck me was the close kinship of "Gamperaliya" in its theme, subject, high novelistic qualities and creative power to di Lampedusa's novel, "The Leopard", the first Italian edition of which was published in 1958, fourteen years after the publication of Martin Wickramasinghe's "Gamperaliya".
 
I consider it an honour that I can count the great Sri Lankan writer Martin Wickramasinghe amongst my friends.
 
Professor David Jackson,
Department of Languages, University of Texas
In the context of world Literature and intellectual history, Wickramasinghe can be compared to a generation of self educated writers from village or
rural origins who have brought about the modernistion of their national literatures: Faulkner in the
USA, Ramos in Brazil, di Lampedusa in Italy.




With Professor David Jackson, Department of Languages, University of Texas
With Professor David Jackson, Department of Languages, University of Texas
 
Visiting Professor Hao Wei Min of China.
Department of Oriental Languages, Kelaniya University.
 
I consider Martin Wickramasinghe to be the greatest writer to explore the society and culture of the
Sri Lankan people. I have read all his novels and short stories in the original Sinhala and have grasped the diversity and depth of the folk life re-created in them. He depicts the psycho-social evolution of Sri Lankan society in his famous trilogy Gamperaliya, Kaliyugaya, and Yuganthaya as eruditely as a professor of sociology. His published works in Chinese, namely Madol Doova and a volume of short stories are two favourite books among our readers. Martin Wickramasinghe's Viragaya is the best novel I have read not only in Sinhala but all other novels as well.
Professor Hao Wei Min of China.
Professor Hao Wei Min of China.

The foremost reason for this is that it lays bare, the inner most thoughts and feelings of a human being disciplined by traditional culture. Martin Wickramasinghe is recognised as the pioneer, not only of the modern Sinhala novel, but also of modern Sinhala literary criticism and cultural anthropology.
 
Professor Eric Meyer
Professor of Indian History, Institute of Oriental Languages, Paris
 
It is fortunate that the first Sinhala novel to be translated into French is Viragaya by Malalagama Martin Wickramasinghe. This beautiful book will amongst other things, help the French reader to understand the complexities of the inner life of a Buddhist.... The natural detachment of Aravinda makes him the spectator of his own story. Indifferent to social conventions and gossip, a stranger to his own destiny. As the anti-hero of Camus could be , Aravinda is at the same time the brother of Meursault and his anti-thesis: his non-violence is as detached as the violence of Merusault is pointless. But Aravinda's indifference is neither inhuman nor proud.


Book cover of French translation of Viragaya.
Book cover of French
translation of Viragaya.

In the admirable final pages that close the story of the life of Aravinda, Martin Wickramasinghe succeeds in bringing back to Buddhism all its human completeness. Viragaya shows the author's deep attachment to Buddhism, the prism through which he depicts the hidden nuances of the Sinhalese soul
 
Writer Thadushi Noguchi
Viragaya was published in Japanese language in the year 2002. The book launch of the translation by Dr. Thadushi Noguchi was held in Colombo to coincide with the 50th anniversary celebration of Japanese Sri Lanka relations. Dr.Noguchi's Japanese translation of Madol Doova is to be published shortly.






Book cover of Japanese translation of Viragaya
Book cover of Japanese
translation of Viragaya
 

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