Simon Navagattegama

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Simon Navagattegama
Simon Navagattegama.jpg
Born(1940-09-15)September 15, 1940
Anuradhapura , Sri Lanka
DiedOctober 9, 2005(2005-10-09) (aged 65)
Nationality Sri Lankan
EducationScholarship to Central College Anuradhapura  : Universities of Peradeniya, Vidyodaya and Kelaniya; (did not finish at Peradeniya or Vidyodaya)
Occupation Sinhala novelist, playwright and actor.
Political partyLSSP (youth wing)...afterwards generally anti-establishment
Spouse(s)Mallika Navagattegama
  • Sunny Nawagaththegama,
  • Maya Nawagaththegama,
  • Kumara Kashyapa Navagattegama,
  • Suranimala Sudharshana Navagattegama,
  • Ayesha Navagattegama

Simon Navagattegama [also spelled Nawagattegama] (September 15, 1940 – October 9, 2005) was a Sinhala novelist, Sinhala Radio Play writer, playwright and actor.


He is well known for his novel Sansararanye Dhadayakkaraya (Hunter in the wilderness of the Sansara) for its magical realism which is influenced by Buddhist mythologies, Mahayana Buddhist concepts and Freudian and Jungian psychoanalysis. [1]

Literary style

K. K. Saman Kumara, a literary critic and writer in Sri Lanka, calls Simon as the predecessor of magical realism in Sri Lanka [2] and calls his literary style as a Buddhist Borgesian one. [3] Saman Kumara terms the Simon’s Literature as the ‘Buddhist Wisdom Literature’, taking it as a separate genre, which is unique to Sri Lanka. He compares Simon’s Literary endeavor to the philosophical attempts of Erick Fromm, who tried to merge Buddhism, Marxism, and Freudian psychoanalysis. [3] Malinda Seneviratne, who translated the Simon’s novel Sansararanyaye Dadayakkaraya (Hunter in the wilderness of the Sansara) into English, says that it "was an important literary landmark and Simon is one of the best writers in Sinhala in the second half of the last century." [4] Deepthi Kumara Gunarathna, has identified ‘Hunter in the wilderness of the Sansara’ as a novel which shows a postmodernism unique to Sri Lanka. [3]

K. K. Saman Kumara recognizes Simon Navagaththegama as one of authors, which he call as the ‘Modernist Trinity’ in Sinhala Literature, Tennyson Perera and Ajith Thilakasena among others. [5]


Film scripts

Radio play

Stage drama

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  1. Jayatunge, Ruwan M. (23 November 2016). "Psychoanalytic Novels of Simon Navagattegama". LankaWeb.
  2. Saman Kumara, K. K. (2014). සාහිත්‍ය ෂානර විමංසා [Analysis of Literary Genres] (in Sinhala) (first ed.). Sayura publishers. pp. 9, 17. ISBN   978-955-4788-08-4.
  3. 1 2 3 Saman Kumara, K. K. (2014). "බෞද්ධ ප්‍රඥා මාර්ගික සාහිත්‍යය [Buddhist Wisdom Literature]". සාහිත්‍ය ෂානර විමංසා [Analysis of Literary Genres] (in Sinhala) (first ed.). Sayura publishers. pp. 171–172. ISBN   978-955-4788-08-4.
  4. Seneviratne, Malinda (1 June 2014). "On Winning The Gratiaen". Colomco Telegraph.
  5. Saman Kumara, K. K. (October 5, 2017). "මම ඉතිං ජීවත් වෙන්න මේසන් බාස්ලා වගෙ එක එක වැඩ කරනවා - කේ. කේ. සමන් කුමාර". (Interview) (in Sinhala). Interviewed by Sunil Mihindhukula.