R. K. Narayan’s The Vendor of Sweets: A Study in the Dialectic of Being and Becoming
Rasipuram KrishnaswamiIyerNarayanaswami (1906-2001) popularly known as R. K. Narayan, an award winning novelist, essayist and storywriter is generally considered one of the greatest Indians writing in English. He shares this honour with Mulk Raj Anand and Raja Rao. D. S. Maini has observed in this regard: “Mulk Raj Anand, Raja Rao, and R. K. Narayan- brought the Indian novel to the point of ripeness”.But R. K. Narayan enjoys a place of rare distinction among these great writers too and it is partly because of the rare setting of his novels, his close association with the traditional Indian society, his simple language, his humour and irony, and his characterization, which is so varied and colourful. Many critics have praised R. K. Narayan for his literariness and for his aestheticism. V. Y. Kantak has observed, “...when we come to weigh Indian writing of fiction in English to date, Narayan with his penny whistle seems to have wrought more than most others with their highly pretentious and obstreperous brass” (21). R. K. Narayan has fourteen novels to his credit along with a large number of short stories. Narayan’s The Guide (1958) won him great fame and was widely acknowledged as a masterpiece by the world’s literary community. It also won him the much-coveted SahityaAkademi Award in 1960. Another novel which is considered one of his much acclaimed novels is his The Vendor of Sweets(1967).
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