Nepali literature (Nepali: नेपाली साहित्य) refers to the literature written in Nepali language inside Nepal as well as in any part of the world. The Nepali language has been the national language of Nepal since 1958.
Nepali language evolved from Sanskrit and it is difficult to exactly date the history of Nepali language literature since most of the early scholars wrote in Sanskrit. It is, however, possible to roughly divide Nepali literature into five periods.
It is thought that Nepali literature has existed in verbal folklore for the past hundreds of years; however, there exists no evidence of a written literary work before the Bhanubhakta. Before Bhanubhakta, writing was done in Sanskrit, and because it was a language accessible exclusively by high-caste Brahmins at that time, common Nepali people were not involved in literature. A few scholars have argued that poet Suwananda Daas was the first literary figure in the history of modern Nepal. Being contemporary of Bhanubhakta but still representing Nirgun Bhakti Dhara (attribute-less devotional stream) Saint Gyandil Das was an outlined poet in Nepali who wrote Udayalahari.
Nepali speakers honor Bhanubhakta as the "Adikavi (Nepali: आदिकवि)" (literally meaning 'first poet') of the Nepali language. Bhanubhakta's most important contribution to Nepali literature is probably his translation of the holy Ramayana into the Nepali language. He transcribed Ramayana in metric form, using the same form as Sanskrit scholars. Besides translating the Ramayana, Bhanubhakta also wrote original poems on a diverse range of subjects: from advocacy of family morals to satires of bureaucracy and poor conditions of prisoners.
Early 20th century
Motiram Bhatta (1923–1953) revived the legacy of Bhanubhakta and publicized the contributions of the latter. Motiram played such a fundamental role in the legacy of Bhanubhakta that some allege that Bhanubhakta was just a fabrication of Motiram's mind.
The Pre-Revolution Era was a very prolific time for creative writing despite the lack of freedom of expression, during the period the independent magazine "Sharada" was the only printed medium available for publication of Nepali literature. Short stories by Laxmi Prasad Devkota, Guru Prasad Mainali, Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala and Gadul Singh Lama (Sanu Lama), has become recognized as of tremendous importance. It is arguably the most significant period for the development of Nepali literature.
Plays like the influential Muna Madan by Laxmi Prasad Devkota tell the tales of human lives: the story is about a man who leaves his wife, mother, and home, to earn money abroad and the tragedy of his mother's and wife's deaths when he returns home. However, the story also portrays the life of the wife who suffered greatly without her husband. Other stories by Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala introduced psychology into literature, for instance through creations such as "Teen Ghumti", "Doshi Chasma" and "Narendra Dai".
This regime produced several prominent poets such as, Laxmi Prasad Devkota, Gopal Prasad Rimal, Siddhicharan Shrestha, Bhim Nidhi Tiwari and Balkrishna Sama. Later, several poets come into light during the Panchayat regime. Indra Bahadur Rai, Parijat, Bhupi Sherchan, Madhav Prasad Ghimire, Bairagi Kainla, Banira Giri, Ishwor Ballav, Tulsi Diwasa, Kul Bahadur KC, Toya Gurung, Vishnu Raj Atreya and Krishna Bhooshan Bal can be named in this regard.
Nepali language authors contributing after the democratic revolution of 1991 to present day could be listed as Khagendra Sangraula, Ashesh Malla, Yuyutsu Sharma, Suman Pokhrel, Shrawan Mukarung, Geeta Tripathee, Nayan Raj Pandey, Ramesh Kshitij, Narayan Wagle, Buddhi Sagar, Mahananda Poudyal, Deenbandhu Sharma among many more.
Nepali language speakers are rapidly migrating around the globe and many books of Nepali language literature are published from different corners of the world. Diasporic literature has developed new ways of thinking and created a new branch in Nepali language literature.
- List of Nepali language poets
- List of Nepali-language authors
- List of Nepali poets
- List of Nepali writers
- Bhutanese Nepali literature
- List of Nepali literature in English, the translated literatures
- Himalayan Voices: An Introduction to Modern Nepali Literature (Voices from Asia), edited and translated by Michael J. Hutt, University of California Press, 1991. p. 5. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css" />ISBN 9780520910263
- Ācārya, Naranātha; Śivarāja Ācārya; Sāmbkslo thiyoarāja Ācārya; Jayaraj Acharya (1979). Ādikavi Bhānubhakta Ācāryako saccā jı̄vanacarittra. Tanuṅa: Naranātha Ācārya. OCLC 10023122. Unknown parameter
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- "Motiram Bhatta - Legend of Nepali Literature". Kathmandu: We All Nepali. Retrieved 2019-02-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- "The Gentle Literary Giant" (PDF). Government of Sikkim. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 8, 2015. Retrieved December 3, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- Gorkhas Imagined: I.B. Rai in Translation, Eds. Prem Poddar and Anmole Prasad, Mukti Prakashan, 2009
- Jagannath Adhikari, David Seddon (1 January 2002). "Pokhara: Biography of a Town", p. 185. Mandala Book Point, Original from the University of Michigan.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css" />ISBN 9789993310143 Retrieved on 29 January 2020.
- K. Pradhan: A History of Nepali Literature, New Delhi: Sahitya Akad., 1984
- Gorkhas Imagined: Indra Bahadur Rai in Translation, edited by Prem Poddar and Anmole Prasad, Mukti Prakashan, Kalimpong, 2009.
- Himalayan Voices: An Introduction to Modern Nepali Literature (Voices from Asia) [Anthology], edited and translated by Michael J. Hutt, Univ of California Press, 1991. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css" />ISBN 9780520910263
- Stewart: Secret Places (Manoa 13:2): Featuring New Writing from Nepal, ed. by Frank Stewart, Samrat Upadhyay, Manjushree Thapa, University of Hawaii Press, illustrated edition 2001
- Nepalese literature, ed. by Madhav Lal Karmacharya, Kathmandu : Royal Nepal Academy 2005
- Roaring Recitals:Five Nepali Poets, Translated into Nepali by Yuyutsu RD Sharma, Published by Nirala Publications, New Delhi, 1999*
- Pratik: A Magazine of Contemporary Writing, Edited by Yuyutsu RD Sharma, Kathmandu
- The largest online magazine for Nepali Literature Online Sahitya
- A Bangla Article on Nepali Literature
- Nepali poetry