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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: 23 October 2021

I Had Not Been False

I Had Not Been False

A Career

(p.14) 2 I Had Not Been False
R.K. Narayan

Ranga Rao

Oxford University Press

Narayan’s early hardships as an Indian novelist in English were aggravated by his resolve to do something different from his predecessors in south India: B. Rajam Iyer (1872–1898), A. Madhaviah (1872–1925), and K.S. Venkataramani (1891–1951). All three were bilingual, tended to be didactic, and employed large numbers of Indianisms. By the time Narayan began writing, nationalism had taken root in India under Gandhi’s leadership, but he did not carry on his back a patriotic burden. His admiration for the British authors he had read avidly led him to aspire for their public; London had a magic literary ring for this ambitious youth in distant Mysore. With English as the sole language of his literary life, however, Narayan succeeded in yoking the provincial to the cosmopolitan without hurting his roots in family, religion, and society: keeping at bay crippling dysculturation.

Keywords:   English as creative medium, B. Rajam Iyer, A. Madhaviah, K.S. Venkataramani, provincial and cosmopolitan, Indira Gandhi, London, British novelists

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