The Nation's Taxidermist: Ungovernable Bodies in R.K. Narayan's The Man-Eater of Malgudi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The taxidermy animal confronts the viewer with an array of strange contradictions, in part owing to the strong colonial resonance of taxidermy as a form. This article examines the representation of taxidermy in R.K. Narayan's 1961 novel The Man-eater of Malgudi. It considers how the novel utilizes the taxidermy body as a conduit for its political critique aimed at the modernization and capitalist expansion of the post-Independence period. At the same time, the taxidermy animals exceed the project of the novel, and expose Narayan's Malgudi itself as a taxidermic representation. By cutting away the complex realities of its context, The Man-eater of Malgudi conducts a problematic act of preservation, one that constructs and holds in stasis an imagined India. This reading connects taxidermy and literature as forms that aim to place nonhuman animal bodies, both spatially and ontologically, within anthropocentric frames.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-89
JournalUniversity of Toronto Quarterly
Volume84
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Nov 2015

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The Nation's Taxidermist: Ungovernable Bodies in R.K. Narayan's The Man-Eater of Malgudi'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this