Sunday, 7 February 2010

R. K. Narayan

Antara pengarang yang saya minati ialah R. K. Narayan. Seingat saya, saya mula mengenali beliau melalui kumpulan cerpen A Horse and Two Goats (1970) pada tahun 1990.
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Malah, cerpen berkenaan "hadir" dalam cerpen "Mengubah Teks" yang boleh dibaca dalam Siru Kambam (1996).
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"Gaya penulisan R. K. Narayan banyak mempengaruhi gaya penulisan saya." Demikian saya mengakui dalam Prakata kumpulan cerpen Siru Kambam.
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Jika R. k. Narayan melihat dunia manusia melalui kaca mata seekor harimau dalam novel A Tiger for Malgudi, saya pula cuba melihatnya melalui kaca mata seekor burung nuri dalam cerpen "Sebuah Cerita Biasa" (Siru Kambam, 1996).
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Saya memiliki dan amat menyayangi karya-karya R. K. Narayan yang terkumpul dalam The World of Malgudi, A Town Called Malgudi, The Magic of Malgudi dan Memories of Malgudi.
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Berikut pula catatan pengalaman saya membaca salah sebuah novel R. K. Narayan.
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R. K. Narayan* has always been my favourite writer in English. Recently, I re-read my wifes copy of Waiting for the Mahatma and I realized how the story is still fresh and as exciting as it was before.
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First published in 1955, the story about Sriram, Bharati and Mahatma Gandhi has been reprinted many times worldwide. This is not just another boy-meets-girl story. Instead, it deals with the situation in India when her people were struggling for independence.

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Narayan is witty in portraying the situation in the fictional village of Malgudi as it welcomes the great soul. Re-reading this book seemed even more interesting to me after watching Ben Kingsley as the Mahatma in Gandhi (1982) as well as Kamal Hassan’s Tamil/Hindi movie, Hey Ram (2000).

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(Uthaya Sankar SB, “Remember This?” New Straits Times, 2 May 2001)

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* R. K. Narayan was born on 10 October 1906. He died on 13 May 2001. Please CLICK HERE for more information about him.

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