This book attempts to establish that a search for one's self in Indian English fiction distinctively enough, culminates in an identification of individual self with the Absolute. Three novelists - Arun Joshi, Raja Rao and Sudhin N. Ghose - who are considered to be representing three un-related concerns come in for analysis. It is interesting to see how these three richly complex novelists opt for a climactic non-dualist metaphysics, so much so, that their protagonists in their autological best congregate to proclaim not Hosanna but Tat Tvam Asi, that art thou.
T.J. Abraham is a lecturer in the post- Graduate and Research Department of English, St. Thomas College, Pala. He holds a Ph.D. degree from the University of Calicut.
This book attempts to establish that a search for one's self in Indian English fiction culminates in an identification of individual self with the Absolute. Metaphysical concerns relating to the nature of self, world and God, have a universal character, and philosophy and religion have been engaged with this sphere which in turn solidifies into culture. Culture, as it becomes self-conscious emerges as philosophy. Literature, fiction in particular, becomes a bearer of these concerns. In Indian English fiction, as a cultural correlate, the search for personal self transfigures itself into a search for the Absolute. With regard to the exact informing texture of self-Self relationship, there is no monolithic view in the Indian philosophy. However, excepting the explicitly dualistic streams like the Sankya school, the dominant pattern is set by non-dualist thought. Faced with diverse systems of thought, my own personal reading of the Upanisads has been the major basis of guidance for the study. The work is not meant to be yet another thesis on `Indianness' or a timeworn bromide on Indian spirituality.
The title of the work might suggest a rambling capaciousness, a Baconian enthusiasm to have all the Indian English fictional province under scrutiny. In fact, the thesis of the work may be applied to most major Indian English novelists with advantage. Had there been an alternative title, that would have run, "The self-Self Dynamics: A Study of the Protagonists of Select Novels of Arun Joshi, Raja Rao and Sudhin N. Ghose." This, I presume, explains the tenor of the work.
The introductory chapter analyses the nature of self in relation to the Upanisads and relates it to Indian English fiction. In the second chapter, all the five novels of Arun Joshi are studied. The third chapter focuses on Raja Rao's novel, The Chessmaster and His Moves, which alone of Raja Rao's novels, is considered. Sudhin N. Ghose's tetralogy of novels is examined in the fourth chapter. It has been my avowed intent to demonstrate how these three richly complex novelists opt for climactic non-dualist metaphysics.
I am happy to acknowledge the invaluable assistance I have received from C.P. Sivadasan, Professor and Head, Institute of English Foreign Languages, Thalassery. His profound, unassuming scholarship and warmth of humanity have been an unfailing source of inspiration. I have also profited from the scholarly suggestions and encouragement of Dr. T.V. Thomas, Dr. Mathew Joseph, and Prof. T.R.S. Iyer, all of the Department of English, St. Thomas College, Pala. I am grateful to L.S. Ramaiah, Librarian, CIEFL, Hyderabad, for the permission to use the library and to xerox a large quantity of research articles; to the Librarian, National Library, Calcutta, for making the novels by Sudhin N. Ghose available; to the librarians in the University Centre, Thalassery, Calicut University Campus and the Mahatma Gandhi University. My long discussions with Prof. C.D. Narasimhaiah were enriching and I gratefully acknowledge the hospitality extended to me during my stay at Dhvanyaloka. My profound sense of gratitude is also due to the University Grants Commission for the Junior Research Fellowship. Besides, numerous colleagues of mine have contributed to this by way of discussion and arguments.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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