Prufrock's Page

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Malgudi Man

"Setting aside his plentiful and remarkable novels, Narayan firmly occupies a seat in the pantheon of 19th- and 20th-century short-story geniuses, a group that includes Chekhov, O. Henry, Frank O’Connor, and Flannery O’Connor...The artists who survive, and endure, are ones like Narayan: disciplined, unassuming, supremely gifted."

That's from Jhumpa Lahiri's appreciation of R.K. Narayan in The Boston Review. In passing, note the painstaking -- some would say fussy -- use of commas in the last quoted sentence above. (Link courtesy Moorish Girl, whose novel has, alas, yet to find its way to India.)

Update: Stumbled upon an earlier appreciation of Narayan by Amit Chaudhuri.


  • Rather fastidious writing from Jhumpa, as expected. There's an air of the most meticulous student in class about her writing. Perhaps it's due to the hot house environment of the MFA program she emerged from, or perhaps it's due to the fact that she wrote a history PhD. Whatever it is, it's a bit atonal for my tastes.

    Having said all that, Jhumpa's considerably more open and more readable in this essay than she's been elsewhere.

    By Blogger St Antonym, at 7:16 PM  

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