V.C. Harris, academic, critic, theatre personality, and head of the School of Letters at Mahatma Gandhi University, is no more. He was 59. His end came at the Government Medical College Hospital, Kottayam, where he was admitted after an accident last week.
Harris, who hails from Mahe, once remembered that his main source of knowledge was the nearby Azad Memorial Library. He just read whatever came by. “From Dostoevsky to Muttathu Varkey.”
A Left fellow traveller in his college days, he was bewildered by incidents such as the 1971 riot at Thalassery and the police station attack by the Naxalites, he once said. It was during his days at the Institute of English at Thiruvananthapuram as a research scholar that he became more active in films and theatre.
Starting his academic career at Farook College, Kozhikode, Harris also became an active member of Odessa, the film fraternity. It was from there that he joined School of Letters at MG University, Kottayam.
One of the finest contributors to the post-modernist dialogues in the past two decades, Harris had written a series on these conversations.
He had also translated works of Samuel Beckett into Malayalam and translated works of Madhavikutty, Methil Radhakrishnan, P.T. Narendranath, Narendraprasad and others into English. He was also an actor who played roles in the dramas that he produced and at least in seven movies.
His relationship with his students was so warm that when the MG University authorities chose to remove him from the directorship of the School, they took out protest marches and got him reinstated.
His mortal remains will be placed at MG University at 10.15 a.m. on Tuesday and later at KPS Menon Hall in the town for the public to pay homage. His funeral will be held at his residential compound near Ettumanur.