Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

"Malgudi" as the Nation-Space : a Critical Study of R.K. Narayan's The Guide (1958) and its Cinematic Adaptation

Shyamasri Maji


A study of the cultural ethos of a community initiates a dialogue between the people of that community and the place where the cultural ethos either originated or flourished. In R. K. Narayan's fiction, the town of Malgudi exudes such an in-depth connection with the characters living in and around it. Though Malgudi is an imaginary town, it has been regarded as "a real living presence" (Hariprasanna, 1994: 23) that "operates at two levels, the human and the topographical" (Hariprasanna, 1994: 23). This article aims to probe into this relationship between "the human and the topographical" by making a relative study of the presence of Malgudi (and its surrounding places) in the The Guide (1958) and the absence of it in Guide (1965)—the cinematic adaptation of the novel. First, the article would analyse the spatial significance of ‘Malgudi' in relation to the author's style of representing the Indian nation in the printed text. Secondly, it will critically examine the backdrop in the film text as a crucial deviation from the source text.

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