Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 11 : 2 February 2011
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.
         S. M. Ravichandran, Ph.D.
         G. Baskaran, Ph.D.
         L. Ramamoorthy, Ph.D.



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Natural and Supernatural Elements in
Arun Joshi's The City and the River

P. Bala Shanmuga Devi, Ph.D.

Cover Page

Arun Joshi's Cultural and Literary Ethos

Arun Joshi's creations are enhanced by the three-fold faculty of a poet's expansiveness, minuteness of a scientist and the vision of a spiritual sage. Under the British rule Indians were exposed to Western culture, and of course to the potent English language which has become the most suitable backdrop for Joshi's creative frame of mind.

As befitting his period of dual culture exposure on most of the affluent, foreign educated elite, Joshi's heroes are all equipped with shrewd discerning intelligence, as sharp as the first intellectual hero depicted in Virgil's Aeneid and like the best intellectual hero of Indian Vedic literature Nachiketa who vied with Yama to learn about life. Through these characters Joshi deals with lofty themes springing from his moralistic inner soul, by plotting around them anecdotes that relate to the socio-cultural background. Simultaneously, he draws in huge Indian cities like Bombay and New Delhi, highly developed Western cities like New York and Boston, and the neglected primitive untrodden forest of Maikala hills in central India as well the Harlem of America.

The City and the River and the Mystery Around

The City and the River was the last novel of Joshi, published nine years after his previous Sahitya Akademi Award winning novel The Last Labyrinth. The City and the River is a parable of times, set in a wider backdrop, using an artistically satisfying mixture of prophecy and fantasy. The strong undertone in favor of environmentalism make this novel sound more as a political novel, couched in metaphors, etc.

Unlike Joshi's other four novels where the narration is to see the world through the eyes of the protagonist, this story is narrated by an omniscient narrator, a sage named Great Yogeswara, who is both within and without the narrative. This political fable also falls into a

New literary genre called apocalypse, from the Greek Apo-calyptein, meaning to 'un-veil'…in the form of a revelation of the end of history. Violent and grotesque images are juxtaposed with glimpse of a world between good and evil… Apocalypticism has been described as a genre born out of crisis, designed to stiffen the resolve of an embattled community by dangling in front of it the vision of a sudden and permanent release from his captivity. It is underground literature, the consolation of the persecuted. (Garrard 86)

The narrator recites to his Name-less disciple the events that took place in the city at a particular point of history. At the end of the recital, he commissions his disciple, the nameless child of the boatman to move forward to another historical point. The novel ends where it begins.

Relentless cycle of birth and rebirth is highlighted and man's endeavour to overcome this cycle of endless repetition of birth is dealt with. "On the ruins of that city, as always happens, a new city has risen. It is ruled by another Grand Master" (City and River 262). The city in question is governed by benevolent but greedy Grand Masters who are bent on lording over its citizens.

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

Call for Papers for a Language in India Special Volume on
Autobiography and Biography in Indian Writing in English
| Call for Papers for a Special Volume on Indian Writing in English - Analysis of Select Novels of 2009-2010 | Hoping Against Hope: A Discourse on Perumal Murugan's Koolla Madari (Seasons of the Palm) | Ghanaian English: Spelling Pronunciation in Focus | The Relationship between Gaining Mastery on 'Content' (School Subject Matters) and 'Linguistic Competence Level in Second Language' through Immersion Program | Reader-centric and Text-centric Approaches to Novel - A Study of Intertextuality in Salman Rushdie's The Enchantress of Florence | Which One Speaks Better? The Field-Dependent or the Field-Independent? On the Effects of Field-Dependent/Field-Independent Cognitive Styles and Gender on Iranian EFL Learners' Speaking Performance | A Critical Look into Basic Assumptions of Teaching English as an International Language (EIL) | Digital Storytelling - A Case Study on the Teaching of Speaking to Indonesian EFL Students | The Reasons behind Writing Problems for Jordanian Secondary Students 2010-2011 | A Multidimensional Approach to Cross-Cultural Communication | A Study to Identify Problems Faced by the Heads of Secondary Schools in Kohat in North-Western Frontier Province, Pakistan | Go Beyond Education to Professionalism - Transition from Campus to Corporate | Impact of Students' Attitudes on their Achievement in English - A Study in the Yemeni Context - A Master's Degree Dissertation in TESL | Natural and Supernatural Elements in Arun Joshi's The City and the River | Pedagogical Values Obtained from a Language Class in an EFL Context - A Case Study from Indonesia | A New Tone in ELT - Positive Uses of Translation in Remedial Teaching and Learning | Training Dilemma: Analysis of Positive/Negative Feedback from the Workplace Setting in Pakistan | Learning Styles and Teaching Strategies: Creating a Balance | A Study on Evaluating the Discourse Skills of Engineering Students in Coimbatore, Tamilnadu, India | Syntax and Semantics Interface of Verbs | History Revisited in Oral History by Nadine Gordimer | Provision for Linguistic Diversity and Linguistic Minorities in India - A Masters Dissertation in Applied Linguistics and ELT | A Speech Act Analysis of Jane Eyre | Matriarchal and Mythical Healing in Gloria Naylor's Mama Day | Impact of Project Based Method on Performance of Students | Computer: A Device for Learning English Language - A Summary of Advantages and Disadvantages | Mobile Phone Culture and its Psychological Impacts on Students' Learning at the University Level | Review of English and Soft Skills by S. P. Dhanavel (Orient BlackSwan, Hyderabad, 2010) | A PRINT VERSION OF ALL THE PAPERS OF FEBRUARY, 2011 ISSUE IN BOOK FORMAT. This document is better viewed if you open it online and then save it in your computer. After saving it in your computer, you can easily read all the pages from the saved document. | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR

P. Bala Shanmuga Devi, Ph.D.
Department of English
A. P. C. Mahalaxmi College
Thoothukudi 628 002
Tamilnadu, India

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