Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 10 : 5 May 2010
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.
         K. Karunakaran, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.
         S. M. Ravichandran, Ph.D.



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Shashi Tharoor:
Transmuting Historical and Mythical Material into Literary Ideas

M. Venkatesan, M.A., M.Phil.

Adaptation of indigenous myth was regarded as an important mode of retrieval of the past. Using myths drawn from native tradition, postcolonial writers sought to integrate the cultural life of the past with their post-independence reality. They turned to their own cultural tradition both as the source of a new national identity and as a mythic resource with which they structure their works.

Shashi Tharoor adapted myth and real happenings in the past to write his first literary work. He appeared on the literary scene in 1989 with his first work of fiction, The Great Indian Novel. The book won two major literary awards and was highly acclaimed by critics in India and abroad.

Myth and Story-writing and Story-telling in Modern Times

Myth has often been defined as a complex of stories some factual and some fictitious and not so real. These represent some deeper experience and understanding of the societies in which they were and are current. The rediscovery of mythology as a twentieth century a literary device prompted creative writers to evince a new interest in the ancient myths.

Many twentieth century writers consciously used myth as a literary device in their works. In T.S.Eliot's The Waste Land, James Joyce's Ulysses, and Eugene O' Neill's Mourning Becomes Electra, for example, old myths reappear with a new meaning and an immediacy of appeal. O' Neill's play is a fresh rendering of an ancient Greek myth; Joyce's novel reinterprets Homer's Odyssey in the context of twentieth century Dublin: and T.S.Eliot uses the Grail legend to depict the spiritual crisis of modern man n the wasteland of war -ravaged Europe.

Despite their differences of intentions, scopes and techniques, there is one common factor among these writers. Each of them employs an ancient myth in a contemporary context, thereby attempting to examine the predicament of modern man in a larger perspective of time.

Discovering Connections Between Myth and Reality

An abiding characteristic of the Indian mind has been to discover connections between myth and reality. We have been always been conscious of the recurrence of mythic patterns in contemporary events. Characters from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata are perennial contemporaries for Indians who acknowledge the continuing influence of the two national epics on their private and public lives.

The first epigraph to Tharoor's novel, a quotation from C.R.Deshpade's Transmission of the Mahabharata Traditions, refers to the lasting influence of Vyasa's epic on India's social and cultural life. "The Mahabharata has not only influenced the literature, art, sculpture and painting of India but it has also molded the very character of the Indian people. Characters from the Great Epic… are still household words, stand for domestic or public virtues or vices… In India a philosophical or even political controversy can hardly be found that has no reference to the thought of the Mahabharata." The second citation from P. Lal's transcreation of the epic, The Mahabharata of Vyas, suggests its contemporancity and continuing relevance "The essential Mahabharata is whatever is relevant to us in the sacred by itself."

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

Interference of Mappila Dialect in the Standard Malayalam Language - with special reference to the writing performance of Primary School Children | Effect of Environmental Education to School Children Through Animation Based Educational Video | Women as Victors of the Social Milieu in Amy Tan's China | A Comparative Study of the Language Learning Strategies Used by the Students of Formal and Non-Formal Systems of Education in Pakistan | New Vistas in Comparative Studies | Comparative Analysis of MA English Results under Annual and Semester system: Quality Assurance in Pakistan | A Virtual Learning Environment in an ESL Classroom in a Technical University in India | When a School Becomes a Pool - What Can We Do to Make Language Learning Interesting to Yemeni Students | Does Number Affect English Pronunciation? | Shashi Tharoor: Transmuting Historical and Mythical Material into Literary Ideas | The Impact of Working Memory on Text Composition in Hearing Impaired Adults | A Study of the ELT Teachers' Perception of Teaching Language through Literature at the Higher Secondary School and Degree Levels in Pakistani Milieu | Some Aspects of Teaching-Learning English as a Second Language | Challenges Encountered by Teachers in Rural Areas and Strategies to Triumph Over | Variation of Voice Onset Time (VOT) in Kannada Language | A Comparative Study on the Efficacy of Two Different Clinical Language Intervention Procedures | Dilemma of Usage and Transmission - A Sociolinguistic Investigation of Dhundi-Pahari in Pakistan | Teaching Beyond the Regular Curriculum | Claustrophobia in Anita Desai's Cry, The Peacock - "From Defeat to Disaster" | Code Mixing and Code Switching in Tamil Proverbs | A Phonetic and Phonological Study of the Consonants of English and Arabic | HOME PAGE of May 2010 Issue | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR

M. Venkatesa, M.A., M.Phil.
Department of English
A.V.C. College (Autonomous)
Tamil Nadu, India

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