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He was educated in Pathinettarayalam L.P. School, Kodungallur Boys High School, Ernakulam Maharajas College, and Ernakulam Law College. He was awarded a Master of Arts in Malayalam Language and Literature from Madras University. He joined Madras New College as a teacher in 1952. He joined Brennen College, Thalassery, in 1960 as a Malayalam Lecturer. He retired in 1985.
Most of Vijayan's publications are compilations of his speeches. He is considered to be a powerful orator. He used psychology, Marxism and social science as tools to analyse life and literature. Some prominent writers, including M. Krishnan Nair, Thinakkal Padmanabhan and V. C. Sreejan, have said that Vijayan's writings are difficult to understand, as he does not follow conventional grammatical structures.
Vijayan's critical analyses of the poetries of Vailoppilli are considered to be the inaugural works of using psychology for literary criticism in Malayalam. His studies of "Mambazham" and "Sahyante Makan" showed how author’s personality characteristics are reflected in the literary works, created sensation when they were first published. In 1982 his book 'Chithayile Velicham' received Kerala Sahitya Akademi award for literary criticism.