Fall 1969 • Vol. XXXI No. 4 The International Symposium on the Short Story, Part ThreeJanuary 1, 1969 |

India

Who says the short story is dead? In India it has only recently had its rebirth, and literary pundits who make horoscopes have forecast a long and prosperous life for it. In India, as in most other underdeveloped countries, where paper, printing, and mass literacy are a phenomenon of recent years, the two literary forms that were cultivated most were poetry and folk drama—both memorized and thus passed on from generation to generation. To a lesser extent so also was the fable (Iateefa)—short, calculated to convey a lesson using a minimum of words, and almost universally ending with a punch line which rounded off the tale. The novel was practically unknown until the British introduced it into the country. With the turn of the century, things began to change. Poetry began to lose ground. Although poetic symposia (kavi sammelan) remained as popular as ever, not as many people cultivated the habit of reading poetry in print. Drama suffered because of the absence of theaters

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