R. K. Narayan: The Man-Eater of Malgudi (1907 words)


In his 1974 essay, “The World of the Storyteller”, R.K. Narayan recounted the vast family tree of writing that is in every Indian writer’s DNA: the “24,000 stanzas of the Ramayana, the 100,000 stanzas of the Mahabharata, and the 18,000 stanzas of the Bhagavata” (x). In Narayan’s fiction, this sense of history—measured not in years but in eons—is always present, where protagonists assume the time-worn characters of ancient epics, despite professions (printer, tour guide, taxidermist) that seem to mock these ancient pretensions. In a single village we meet incarnations not only of Rama and Ravana, but of the various fools, tricksters, courtesans, and sages that are …

Citation: Grasso, Joshua. "The Man-Eater of Malgudi". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 13 January 2022 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=220, accessed 27 January 2022.]

220 The Man-Eater of Malgudi 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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