When it comes to speak of himself he speaks without false humility or irritating arrogance. He says of his poetry: ”I am a master of a style which is even by moderns acclaimed to be individualistic. There are not more than six or seven old authors who are known for this distinction. I am a conscious artist. My book, if read with no prejudice and a deep insight into things reveals the modernism, the high scientific modernism. At least two or three decades must pass after I pass away to estimate my poetry”.
In the speech he made when Jnanapith Award was conferred on him, Sri Viswanatha says, “Not to utter false hood is Tapas, to part with money to the poor and the needy is Tapas, mastery over the internal passions is Tapas”. He continues, “If you read between the lines of my writings, you can see that I want the type of government which now people are having in Russia, but at the same time, too, I don’t want to do away with our metaphysics, our mysticism, our spiritualism, our music, our culture, our fine arts, our philosophy of life and so on which are time tested”. In an interview with A.S.Raman with the caption “My self-My Work” Sri Viswanatha says “I may defend lost causes. I don’t want them revived”. How can we call this gentleman who holds on to these liberal views a conservative or an obscurantist?
* * *
The book is a humble but a fervent attempt to present the multifaceted splendour of the genius of Sri Viswanatha who has already elevated himself to the level of the greatest master writers of India.
One can say without fearing any controversy that his literary genius is such that we cannot find the like of which in anybody else in point of its quality, quantity and diversity. It takes ages to have such a genius once again. Perhaps one appears, as we have said elsewhere while writing about him, “after we are tired and tired of waiting for him”!