PAL holds thought-provoking discussion on evolution of novel


All we know about human existence is through fiction

Zubair Qureshi

Human existence is at the center of novel and all we know about it is through the spectrum of novel.

Since establishment of Pakistan, a number of literary movements influenced this genre and a galaxy of high level novelists further enriched its domain.

These views were expressed by Dr. Yousuf Khushk, Chairman, Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL), while delivering the key-note address at the 70th programme of the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations organized by PAL entitled “75 Years of Pakistani Urdu Novel.”

Eminent literary figure Dr. Zia-ul-Hassan presided over the ceremony while Dr. Ravish Nadeem was the chief guest.

Essay writers presented their writings and participated in the discussion online.

Among the essayists, Dr. Sumaira Omar presented her dissertation online from Lahore on the topic of “The Right to Marriage, Marital Life and Pakistani Urdu Novel”. Dr. Azra Parveen paid tribute to women writers through her essay from Multan on “The Female Voices of a 75-Year-Old Pakistani Urdu Novel”.

Dr. Zaheer Abbas from Lahore spoke on the topic of “Technical and Physical Diversity in Pakistani Urdu Novel”. Dr. Sajid Javed highlighted “Different Shades of Women Empowerment in Pakistani Urdu Novel”.Dr. Mazhar Abbas from Bahawalpur presented his dissertation on “Special Pakistani Novel with reference to the tradition of anti-novel in Urdu”.Dr. Muhammad Naeem offered his perspective on the theme “The World of Pakistani Urdu Novel and Its Sources”. M. Khalid Fayyaz shared a talk with Gujarat on “The Tragedy of the Past and the Pakistani Urdu Novel of the 21st Century”.

Dr. Iftikhar Shafi from Sahiwal summarized his dissertation on “Dimensions of Pakistani Society in New Century Urdu Novel”. Chief guest Dr. Ravish Nadeem shared his views on “Intellectual and Thematic Diversity of Pakistani Urdu Novel”.

Dr. Salahuddin Darwaish discussed the “creative world of novels and novel characters”.Dr. Amir Sohail, Dr. Tariq Javed, Hussam Hur were also present on the occasion.

The book “Seventy-Five Years of Pakistani Urdu Novel” published under the PAL was also introduced on the occasion. In addition to the zoom participants, the event was well attended by writers, intellectuals, teachers and students . The proceedings were conducted by Dr. Shahid Nawaz۔

Dr. Yousuf Khushk said that the history of Pakistan has experienced many ups and downs and all this is reflected in the Urdu novel. It can be said that the Urdu novel tells the history of this 75-year life of Pakistan. He said that all the work done in the field of science and literature in Pakistan during these 75 years, especially in the field of genres, should be turned into a document so that a platform for researchers, critics and creators could be made available through these documents. Then we are ready to take a new flight. Of course, there will be many dynamic things in them from different angles, but the main purpose behind all of them is the leading role of literature from this literature platform.

Dr. Zia-ul-Hassan thanked Dr. Yousuf Kushk, Chairman PAL, for organizing the discussion on “75 Years of Pakistani Urdu Novel” and said that hundreds of novels have been written in Urdu, including historical, romantic and detective novels. He said that literature is written for two kinds of people, for a common man whose mental level is not in accordance with high literature or he is not as well trained as high literature requires. High literature requires that in order to talk about a novel, not only should we have read our novel in its entirety, but we should also read as much of the great world fiction as possible, as well as poetry, sociology, psychology, and philosophy. And all the sciences that are related to human existence, because the center of the novel is human existence. All we know about human existence is only from the novel. All we know is that novels written in different languages of the world in different parts of the world tell us about man.

Dr. Ravish Nadeem said that the novel is an expression of an urban situation of modern industrial age. Needless to say, this is a study and expression of man and his universe under a secular, minority and contemporary worldview. It is also representative of the multifaceted and layered cultural situation that studies human society, introducing cosmic questions into contemporary scientific and historical consciousness.

In this way, postmodern discourses, Plato and the Holy Bible are also placed under the novel and the novels are presented with new experiments of technique and style. It is the high intellectual artistic level of the world that has recognized its unique identity and presentation as a standard in the world mind.

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