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Myths of the NationNational Identity and Literary Representation$
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Rumina Sethi

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198183396

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198183396.001.0001

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The Future of a Vision

The Future of a Vision

(p.152) (p.153) 5 The Future of a Vision
Myths of the Nation


Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the trajectory of Rao's later fiction in terms of the earlier analysis of Kanthapura. While Kanthapura is contextualized in the history of the period, the ensuing analysis does not intend to pursue a similar exercise in the main, partly because the bulk of his fiction is written long after the achievement of independence, and partly since Rao's concern as an artist becomes more metaphysical and personal. It is possible, however, for the metaphysical to be seen as an extreme dimension of the nationalistic: having moved away from the political circumstances of the 1930s and the 1940s, Rao's metaphysical concerns are an assertion of the persistence of a fundamental Hindu tradition in a period of internal dislocation following independence, as also an anchor for personal dilemma. These are some of the issues that need to be mentioned in any consideration of Rao's later fiction comprising The Serpent and the Rope (1960), The Cat and Shakespeare (1965), Comrade Kirillov (1976), and The Chessmaster and His Moves (1988). The content of this chapter is ideological since it intends to raise questions related to the body of Rao's later fiction and to speculate on the development of his vision and its inherent contradictions through a brief internal study.

Keywords:   Raja Rao, Kanthapura, metaphysical, The Serpent and the Rope, The Cat and Shakespeare, Comrade Kirillov, The Chessmaster and His Moves

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