This book is a comparative study of four novels respectively of Raja Rao and R.K. Narayan. Sourcing original works in Sanskrit and Tamil, this study attempts to tease out the similarities in themes and the common concern with traditional Hindu motifs and patterns that underlie these narratives, to reveal these authors’ engagement with various aspects of Hinduism, from the ‘ontological quest’ at its centre to the more contentious caste system.
The novels examined are Raja Rao’s
Kanthapura, The Serpent and the Rope, The Cat and Shakespeare and
The Chessmaster and His Moves and R.K. Narayan’s
The Man-Eater of Malgudi, Mr Sampath, The Guide and
The Painter of Signs. In the study, the terms ‘mythology’ and ‘philosophies’ include not just the legends and stories of the ancient texts and the associated philosophies, but a whole corpus of social attitudes these generate.