We understand that in fiction , it is not possible to narrate the reality as in formal or scientific language The language used in the narrative is not transparent that can carry a single meaning , as compare to that of scientific discourse. In the other words, language used in reality fiction is not neutral but polyphonic. This plurality helps both writer and the reader for whom language is more than ‘just a medium of thought’ .
Story is art of fiction .Art of narration.
Can the reality fiction over come the hyperbole of the creativity? Can transparent language make fiction into reality ? Can we agree that the narrative , with usage of plural, complex and aesthetic language or simply ,literary language ,be classified as reality fiction ?
This has been discussed in detail by literary critics.
” It does not mean the all writing is absolutely transparent, but rather that the narration , the dominant discourse , is able to establish itself as a truth .The narration does not appear to be the voice of an author ,its source appears to be a true reality which speaks.” P5
Rearing until now , unable to foster further ,my mother earth asks to leave the village .. asks to migrate ..the town invites to join “(valaselli paathaandaa, Damugatla Hidayathulla)
“Have you ever seen death in a lap ? Look at Jahanara’s lap. Perhaps it may tell you something !”
(moya leni nijalu ,Nalluri Rukmini )
Both narrators are describing the adverse situation of drought.
The first narrator used a Telugu proverb ” The village asks to leave . The cemetery invites to join.”
The second narrator drags the readers with one simple question .And showing something real, Jahanara’s lap.
The inevitable exodus or migration after the catastrophe of natural calamity , is brought in one clever mimic-usage of proverb. The reader knows, the town is synonymous with “ cemetery. Mother earth is the field and the a burial ground. Either way the narrator is in trouble. The village is a death bed. And the destination is a burial ground. He is migrating like a corpse because his life is his mother earth , his field. His helpless mother asks him to leave her , like a motherless child , moving away.
Nalluri Rukmini strengthens her narrative description by showing the real Jahanara ‘s lap who has six children and hunger succumbed one by one. Right now, her dead child is lying before her .With a dying child in her lap, she is waiting to see the child pass away .So that, she can bury both children together .
These writers recreated the reality. Real people, plot, theme , incidents, experiences , discourse , language …everything that they can recreate. This recreation is strengthened by their reactions and reflections.
“Realism is a “Copy of a copy “ supported by connotation, a ‘perspective of citations “It’s a silent quotation without inverted comas, with no precise source” ..
“For Realism is not just a matter of literary form, it is the common sense expression in aesthetic terms of an ideology in which the unified individual human subject makes sense of his / her world by negotiation with eternal forces – nature ,society etc which presupposes a universe the can be made sense of and always potentially self determining human subject .”
G.Nirmala Rani writes about an young man in similar situation in her story ,Bite of Drought,
Lost in a city in his struggle of drought, Nagappa , returns home after a decade and finds his mother and sister are alone as his father passed away.
He laments his father ‘s death wondering how women could survive without a man at home. He regrets his prolonged absence and wants to take charge of the family immediately. Soon he realizes the situation is out of hands and the women “survived” the drought with their own solutions. Drought succumbed their family values and unspoken exploitation taken over them.
As himself returned home faceless as thief , his sister elopes with a man she confides and thus escapes from brothel hold…only to be filled by none other than, his mother..!
Here, the writer captured the realistic development in the people of the story and the narration takes its own “natural” way. Beginning to the end, the narrative is woven so casually that , the reader takes the writers argument , as naturally as her narration. The presumptions and perspectives shatter down. At the end, reader is prepared to face the anti –climax. The true life.
If the wrier has given a different END the story would not be this effective.
“If it is a movie ,one can revenge at the climax. If it was a story ,I would have given a solution to save Muthyalamma ..but, It is not a story !..” another writer A.Jaya Laxmi Raju ends her story about woman in a similar situation .
Why do we feel them true to life ?
Montrose explains ,“The behavior of the characters manifests certain general and universal realism. As begin to identify the general and universal human nature, we identify ourselves with the text , characters and story.
This identification involves readers in certain kind of realistic participation in the real text .The other way,“ by representing the world in discourse , texts are engaged in constructing the world and in accommodating their writers, performers ,readers , and audiences to positions within it “
Literary language can never be totally mimietic. In apparently claiming to capture reality in language , the realist fiction fundamentally differed. The plurality of language and aesthetic expression are inevitable rather , unconscious effort from any fiction writer.
The language used by the writers of this anthology, is not glossy, dull or neutral , but the literary language. The narrators understood the nature of words and exploited their textual diversity. The natural and casual usage of dialect grounds the text to reality.
George Eliot, opined , “that since form was unavoidable , one might as well foreground it in fiction and thus exploit it aesthetically rather than trying to pretend that the realist fiction could do with out it.”
And fiction writers of Inupa gajjela thalli did foreground and experimented with their form ,language and sensible reality all in a compassionate expression.
Right from the title, that says the realistic nature of the stories, the mother of iron anklets,
And , the narrative haunts all the way.
The End: Everybody here is kshamaam .
- Title of the Foreword, Singamaneni Narayana
There is only one alphabet difference in the Telugu word , kshemam and kshamam .
The first word conveys “ well being, safe and happiness.”
On the contrary the second means, drought.
In the common letter writing practice of Telugu , the letter starts with this line, “Everybody here is kshemam” ,safe.
And this one difference of alphabet used by the editor, speaks enough about the pathetic human situation, true to life.
My sincere thanks to Sri Singamaneni Narayana garu and Sri Shanthi Narayana garu , Editors and all the writers of inupa gajeela thalli.
1.Inupa gajjela talli , ( Mother of Iron anklets ) An anthology of Telugu stories Edited by Singamaneni Narayana , Shanthi Narayana.(2004)
2. Peter Widdowson ,”Hardy and History : A case study in the sociology of literature, literature and history,( 1983)
3.Louis Montrose ,’renaissance literary studies and the subject of history, ‘ English literary renaissance”
4..Rosaland Coward and John ELLIS ,language and Materailism: Developmetns In semiology and the theory of the subject (1977)
5.Barthes ,”Science versus Literature”
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