Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 11 : 5 May 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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The Narrative Construct of Joshi's The Last Labyrinth

P. Bala Shanmuga Devi, Ph.D.

The cover page of The Labyrinth

Arun Joshi portrays reality blended with a judicious artistic manoeuver beyond the mere phenomenal world, but of actual experience. He gives a beautiful shape to his theme hidden in the actuality of his life in traditional social construct and the modern metro livelihood. His genius in depicting the world of human struggle in the novel The Last Labyrinth in a varied, spectacular motley mode is simply superb.

The acute trying situations in human life craving for solutions at any cost is described in a precise style interspersed with hints of Indian mythology such as age-old customs, faith, dreams, oracles, cycle of life and death, in a bewitching style.

The Last Labyrinth - The Flashbacks

The story is told in a series of flash backs with a clever ordering of past events, throwing together the past and the present, the real and the remembered, the world of imagination and the reality to maximize the suspense, "a poetic exploration of the past with a naturalistic sense of the presence - corporal, narcisstic, rebellious, and despairing" (Mohan The Fiction of Joshi 28).

Joshi's satire and irony aiming at economic disparity, moral lapses, corruption, despotism of the Government as well by the trading community engulfed in hoarding and tax evading are quite admirable. Flashbacks are accompanied by progressive events running simultaneously. This structural layout is surely a technical ingenuity and Joshi's special gift as a novelist. The flow of the narrative more than the theme of alienation keeps up our undivided interest. The monotonous tedium of introspection and inner life receives kaleidoscopic flavour through his deft handling. The restrained narrative design and the techniques of suggestiveness are simply overwhelming with parallelisms, juxtaposition and overlapping of dialogue sequences.

The Narrative Structure

The narrative structure in The Last Labyrinth, allows the real conflict to be projected in a dramatized form providing both a ritual enactment and a magical relief, for the society in question. Day to day activities of all types of human beings is imprinted on a wide canvas of fiction with adept use of allegoric mode and legends. A spectroscopic effect is lent by the pen of Joshi, imparting to the tales a universal and eternal significance. A number of literary devices are employed deliberately to highlight his cause.

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

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

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