History of Malayalam Literature   kmlnXy Ncn{Xw
Based on the nature of the changes affecting language and the trends set by the literary movements, the history of Malayalam literature could generally be classified into Ancient, Medieval and Modern periods.

The ancient period dates back to the beginning of the Malayalam era-9th century to the 13th century. One could find the immense influence of the Chentamizhu dialect in the works of that time. By the end of this period the spell of chentamizhu ceased and Sanskrit took over its place. This period saw the emergence of an abundance of various folk songs. Raamacharitam, the first work that observed the Paattu tradition and Vaishika Tantram, that belonged to the Manipravala tradition belong to this period.

The Medieval period is from 14th-18th century AD. In this period the language exhibited an intimate relation with Sanskrit. This period also witnessed the mergence of several new literary movements as like Gaatha, Champu, Sandeshakavya, kilippattu, Aattakatha, Thullal etc. There were several works that belonged to the Bakti movement.

Thunchathezhuttachan, Kunchan Nambiar and Cherushery form the ancient poet-triad and Puunthanam were poets who gave an identity to this period. It was in the final phase of this period that Malayalam received its present mould.

The period from 19th century is catogerised as the modern era. In the initial phase, a movement of Mahakaavyas was initiated owing to the Sanskritic influence. New trends, new genres were formed due to the interaction with literature from other languages especially English.

Thus, the popularity of Prose literature in Malayalam. The contributions of Gundert and Valiya Koyi Thampuran brightened the realm of Malayalam literature. Genres like Novel, Short story, Drama etc emerged.

The renaissance began by Asan's composition Viinapuuvu. The modern period was enriched by the contributions of Asan, Ulloor, Vallathol, the modern poet-triad. The freedom movement and new views towards political and social happenings turned the tide of literature.



 
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