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R.K. NarayanThe Novelist and His Art$
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Ranga Rao

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199470754

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199470754.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 22 October 2021

For God, Country—and Comedy!

For God, Country—and Comedy!

The Man-Eater of Malgudi

(p.158) 13 For God, Country—and Comedy!
R.K. Narayan

Ranga Rao

Oxford University Press

Ranga Rao discusses The Man-Eater of Malgudi in this chapter. In this work, Narayan’s major novel in the post-Independence phase, the peace of Nataraj, a printer of Malgudi, and of his community, is disturbed by the arrival of Vasu, a taxidermist from the city. Even as the outsider grows into a deadly menace, he self-destructs. Normalcy is restored. After Mr. Sampath, Narayan turns once again to a printer, Natararj, the citizen-hero of The Man-Eater of Malgudi. He is pitted against the tamasic Vasu, who sets himself against Nataraj, the citizen, his town, and, terminally, Nature itself. The fascinating aspect of the drama is Vasu’s extraordinary impact on the hero Nataraj and his friends, his vice-fection, an induction, landing Nataraj in unprecedented imbalance, distortion of personality. Thus, the focus is substantively on Nataraj; Nataraj and his mates work towards warding off the worst menace ever.

Keywords:   post-Independence novels, vice-fection, demos and democracy, bureaucracy, citizen-hero, Gandhian past, illicit sexuality, importance of astrology

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