A Systematic Review and Research Agenda of Portrayal of Cities in Select Indian English Fiction: Neti Neti: Not This, Not This by Anjum Hasan, The Lives of Others by Neel Mukherjee and Chennaivaasi by T. S. Tirumurti
Keywords:City in Novels, Sense of Place, City in Literature, Spatiality, Literary Cartographer
Purpose: Cities have always found a place in novels, as a setting which wields influence. Much great writing across cultures has been devoted to figuring out this intangible, yet resolute influence. The city is definitely an agent of transformation in many English works of fiction and this paper highlights the works of researchers who have examined the various ways in which cities are being foregrounded to offer them prominence in the narration and make them significant players in the overall presentation. The impact on the lives of the characters, plot and narration of the novels due to the spatial and cultural ethos of the city, the ways in which the city is portrayed and the reflection of this on the reader form the gist of the findings of the research
Design/Methodology/Approach: The review of literature is carried out using information from various online open access sources such as peer-reviewed journals, doctoral theses, websites and a range of portals such as Google Scholar.
Findings/Result: Optimizing the reading experience to help the reader move beyond a superficially touristy perspective of the space used as a setting and engage with the city’s complex social, political, historical, and cultural milieu requires a deeper study of the different ways in which the city can be foregrounded in novels.
Originality/Value: This paper examines the phenomenon of the projection of space in novels and memoirs. A novel concept of the author as a literary cartographer, who makes the work of fiction come alive by not only describing the city as text but also going beyond to offer maps as an aid to the narration and in the process enriching the total reader experience, is presented. Different ways in which the city has been melded into the novel, touching upon its history, architecture and cultural aspects so as to be a significant part of the narrative and wield influence, have been identified.
Paper Type: Content analysis and exploratory study.
How to Cite
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.