Guggari Shanthaveerappa Shivarudrappa (7 February 1926 – 23 December 2013) was a Indian Kannada poet, writer and researcher who was awarded the title of Rashtrakavi (Poet Laureate) by the Government of Karnataka in 2006.
Shivarudrappa was born on 7 February 1926 in Issur Village, Shikaripura Taluk, in Shivamogga district of Karnataka. He died on 23 December 2013 in Bangalore. His father was a school teacher. He did his primary and secondary schooling in Shikaripura.
Shivarudrappa gained his BA in 1949 and MA in 1953 from University of Mysore, having secured gold-medals on three occasions. He was a student and follower of Kuvempu and was heavily inspired by Kuvempu’s literary works and life.
In 1965, G.S. Shivarudrappa secured a doctorate for his thesis Soundarya Sameekshe (Kannada: ಸೌಂದರ್ಯ ಸಮೀಕ್ಷೆ), written under the guidance of Kuvempu, a pioneering work in the field of literary aesthetics. This is an erudite study of the aesthetic dimensions of ancient and modern Kannada literature.
Shivarudrappa started his career in 1949 as a lecturer in Kannada language at the Mysore University. In 1963, he joined Hyderabad‘sOsmania University as a reader, eventually becoming the head of the Kannada department. He remained at Osmania University until 1966.
In 1966, Shivarudrappa joined the Bangalore University as a professor. He was later elected as the director of the university and he continued to contribute to the university’s Kannada Study Center (Kannada: ಕನ್ನಡ ಅಧ್ಯಯನ ಕೇಂದ್ರ).
He served as a lecturer in Kannada in places like Davanagere, Shivamogga and Mysore. He shifted his base to the Bangalore University in 1966 and retired from services in 1986 as the Director, Centre of Kannada Studies. He was the president of the Karnataka Sahitya Academy during 1987–90.
G.S.S. is prominent among the small band of scholars who have negotiated ancient Kannada literature from the perspective of a modern literary critic and a historian. He has not evinced much interest in elementary disciplines such as textual criticism and manuscriptology. He has not pursued disciplines like prosody and grammar in a mechanical manner. However, he has examined literary works in their cultural context and made a successful attempt to make them relevant in the modern society. His erudition in Indian Poetics, Western Poetics and literary theory has enabled him to use literary critical tools in the analysis of ancient texts. For instance, his ‘Kannada Sahitya Sameekshe’ is an invaluable attempt of delineating literary history in the context of literary movements and forms. He has written scores of articles on ancient poets of Kannada and most of them are illuminated by critical insights and innovative methodology. His writings on Harihara, Raghavanka, Ratnakaravarni and Pampa are particularly significant. ‘Kannada Kavigala Kavyakalpane’ delineates the literary theory propounded by our ancient poets in their creative texts. ‘Mahakavya Svaroopa’ enunciates the literary genre of the epic, again in the context ancient Kannada literature. He has published an abridged edition of “Shabarashankaravilasa’ by Shadakshradeva in collaboration with Prof B.N.Shastry. ‘Karmayogi’ is a novel based on the life of Siddarama the well known Veerashaiva saint of the twelfth century.
The publication of ‘Samagra Kannada Sahitya Charitre’ in six volumes under his editorship is an important contribution to the historiography of Kannada literature. ‘Samanyanige Sahitya Charitre’ is a ten volume series trying to bring the history of Kannada literature within the reach of an informed common man. This series does not make any compromise in terms of complexity but appeals to one and all with its non pedantic style. The annual seminars conducted by the department of Kannada during his tenure have occasionally addressed themes related to ancient literature. ‘Pampa-Ondu Adhyayana’, ‘Shravana Belagola-sameekshe’ and ‘Karnataka Janapada’ illustrate this point. He was the executive editor of six anthologies brought by the Karnataka Sahitya Academy. Two of them dealing with twentieth century literary research and literary criticism, include ancient Kannada literature and culture within their purview. He has penned a lot of BhavaGeethes in Kannada. The most famous being “Ede Tumbi Hadidenu”. His songs sung by C Ashwath mesmersied audiences.
Shivarudrappa was honoured with the title of Rashtrakavi (Sanskrit for “Poet of the Nation”) by the Government of Karnataka during the Suvarna Karnataka (Golden Jubilee celebrations of Karnataka) occasion on 1 November, the Kannada Rajyotsava day, 2006. He was the third Kannada poet to be honoured with this prestigious title ofRashtrakavi, after his mentor and guide Kuvempu, and Govinda Pai.
- Deepada Hejje
- Tereda Daari
- Kaadina Katthalalli
- Preeti illada mele
Prose and research works
- Vimarsheya Poorva Pashchima
- Soundarya Sameekshe (PhD thesis)
- Kaavyaartha Chintana
- Kannada Sahithya Sameekshe
- Mahakavya Swaroopa
- Kannada Kavigala Kaavyakalpane
- Samagra Kannada Sahitya Charitre – A history of Kannada literature and language and its growth over the centuries
- Kuvempu-a Reappraisal – A biographical work on Kuvempu, done for Government of Karnataka
- Moscowdalli 22 dina (22 Days in Moscow) – Winner of Soviet Land Nehru Award.
- Englandinalli Chaturmaasa (Four months in England)
- Americadalli Kannadiga (Kannadiga in America)
- Gangeya Shikharagalalli (In the crest of the river Ganges)
Awards and honours
- Soviet Land Nehru Award – 1973
- Kendra Sahithya Academy Award – 1984 (for the work, Kaavyartha Chintana)
- Pampa Award – 1998
- President of 61st All India Kannada Sahithya Sammelana, which took place in Davanagere
- Karnataka Sahithya Academy Honorary Award – 1982
- Nadoja Award from Kannada University
- Honorary Doctorate from Bangalore University and Kuvempu University
- Honoured as a Rashtrakavi (Poet of the Nation) – 2006
- Sahitya Kala Kaustubha-2010