The book A Study of R.K. Narayan's Novels : A Cerebration of the Carnival attempts to answer the debate on the view that critical theory is a self-sufficient entity, detached from literature. Its esoteric status renders it inaccessible and so the ethics of such an activity is suspected. The book seeks to show that theory would actually help the reader to be sensitive to the matter of the text and even provide an insight into the architectonics of literary creation. Above all, the book attempts to communicate the message that the integrated energy of creativity inherent in literature would modify theory, saving it from reification.
The book applies Bakhtin's theories on selected fictions of R.K. Narayan to show that the relation between theory and literature is dialogic and promotes open-ended truths. Bakhtin's theory of the carnival in literature motivates a Copernican revolution in the approach to literature. Contrary to popular ideas, Narayan's novels are episodic rather than epistemological, serious rather than mere caricatures, and depict a different reality about India hitherto unsuspected.
The book will be useful to both undergraduate and postgraduate students of English literature. It will be immensely beneficial to research scholars working on Indian writing in English as well as critical theory.