Kannada language, with its various dialects, is widely used for communication in the South Indian state of Karnataka. The language has its footprints well beyond its borders too- in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Kerala, Andra Pradesh, Telangana and Goa. IAS aspirants, irrespective of their graduation subjects, can choose literature subject as an optional. So, any UPSC aspirant with a sound knowledge of Kannada Literature can choose this as an optional subject.

Given that Optional Subject score plays an important role in having ones name in the merit list, one is to dedicate time and efforts in right measure for any optional. However, with Kannada Literature as an optional subject one can allocate relatively less amount of energies and time to reap the benefits. All it requires is a proper strategy with the right set of books. The Syllabus is to be completed in an organised manner, and notes for every individual subtopic is to be prepared.

Having stressed the importance of the right set of books, here’s the list for Kannada Optional subject in Main UPSC Civil services Exam:

UPSC Kannada Literature Booklist with Syllabus

PAPER-I Books:

1. Linguistic History of Kannada Language-M.H. KrishnaiahKannada
2. Bhasha Shastra- R.Y. Dharwadkar
3. Kannada Sahitya Charitre- R.S. Mugali

Section A
History of Kannada Language: What is Language ? General characteristics of Language. Dravidian Family of Languages and its specific features. Antiquity of Kannada Language. Different phases of its Development. Dialects of Kannada Language: Regional and Social. Various aspects of developments of Kannada Language: phonological and Semantic changes. Language borrowing.

History of Kannada Literature
Ancient Kannada literature: Influence and Trends, Poets for study: Specified poets from Pampa to Ratnakara Varni are to be studied in the light of contents, form and expression: Pampa, Janna, Nagachandra.

  1. Medieval Kannada literature: Influence and Trends
  2. Vachana Literature: Basavanna, Akka Mahadevi
  3. Medieval Poets: Harihara, Raghavanka, Kumara-Vyasa
  4. Dasa literature: Purandara and Kanaka
  5. Sangataya: Ratnakarvarni
  6. Modern Kannada literature: Influence, trends and ideologies, Navodaya, Pragatishila, Navya, Dalita and Bandaya.

Section B syllabus
Poetics and Literary Criticism

  • Definition and concepts of poetry; Word, Meaning, Alankara, Reeti, Rasa, Dhwani, Auchitya.
  • Interpretations of Rasa Sutra. Modern Trends of literary criticism: Formalist, Historical, Marxist, Feminist, Post-colonial criticism.

Cultural History of Karnataka

  • Contribution of Dynasties to the culture of Karnataka: Chalukyas of Badami and Kalyani, Rashtrakutas, Hoysalas, Vijayanagara rulers, in literary context.
  • Major religions of Karnataka and their cultural contribution.
  • Arts of Karnataka ; Sculpture, Architecture, Painting, Music, Dance—in the literary context.
  • Unification of Karnataka and its impact of Kannada literature.

PAPER-II Books

1. Bettada Jeeva-Shivarama Karanta
2. Madhavi-Arupama Niranjana
3. Odalaala-Devanuru Mahadeva
4. Devaru- A.N. Moorty Rao
5. Janapada Swaroopa-Dr. H.M. Nayak.
6. Janapriya Kanakasamputa, Ed. D. Javare Gowda
7. Kannada Janapada Kathegalu-Ed. J.S. Paramashivaiah
8. Kannada Sanna Kathegalu- Ed. G.H. Nayak
9. Kumaravyasa Bharata
10. Nambiyannana Raagale- Ed., T.N. Sreekantaiah
11. Pampana Samasta Bharata Kathamrita—L. Basavaraju
12. Shudra Tapaswi-Kuvempu
13. Tughlaq-Girish Karnad.
14. Vachana Kammata, Ed: K. Marulasiddappa K.R. Nagaraj
15. Vikramarjuna Vijaya of Pampa

Section A syllabus

Old Kannada Literature

  • Vikramaarjuna Vijaya of Pampa (Cantos 12 & 13), (Mysore University Pub.)
  • Vaddaraadhane (Sukumaraswamyia Kathe, Vidyutchorana Kathe)

Medieval Kannada Literature

  • Vachana, Kammata, Ed. K. Marulasiddappa K.R. Nagaraj (Bangalore University Pub.)
  • Janapriya Kanakasamputa, Ed. D. Javare Gowda (Kannada and Culture Directorate, Bangalore)
  • Nambiyannana Ragale, Ed., T.N. Sreekantaiah (Ta. Vem. Smaraka Grantha Male, Mysore)
  • Kumaravyasa Bharata: Karna Parva (Mysore University)
  • Bharatesha Vaibhava Sangraha Ed Ta. Su. Shama Rao (Mysore University)

Section B Syllabus
Modern Kannada Literature

  • Poetry: Hosagannada Kavite, Ed. G.H. Nayak (Kannada Saahitya Parishattu, Bangalore)
  • Novel: Bettada Jeeva—Shivarama Karanta Madhavi—Anupama
  • Niranjana Odalaala – Devanuru Mahadeva
  • Short Story: Kannada Sanna Kathegalu, Ed. G.H. Nayak (Sahitya Academy, New Delhi)
  • Drama: Shudra Tapaswi—Kuvempu. Tughalak—Girish Karnad.
  • Vichara Sahitya: Devaru—A.N. Moorty Rao (Pub: D.V.K.Moorty, Mysore.)

Folk Literature:

  • Janapada Swaroopa—Dr. H.M. Nayak. (Ta. Vem. Smaraka Grantha Male, Mysore.)
  • Janpada Geetaanjali—Ed. D. Javare Gowda.(Pub: Sahitya Academy, New Delhi).
  • Kannada Janapada Kathegalu—Ed. J.S. Paramashiviaah (Mysore University).
  • Beedi Makkalu Beledo. Ed. Kalegowda Nagavara (Pub: Bangalore University).
  • Savirada Ogatugalu—Ed. S.G. Imrapura.

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