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Decoding Gerard Gennette’s Narrative Codes in Mythical Retellings of Arun Kolatkar’s Sarpa Satra and Girish Karnad’s Yayati




Mythical tales echo the collective consciousness of the society, and so does their retelling. Arun Balakrishna Kolatkar’s magnum opus, Sarpa Satra (2004) retells the myth of the Mahabharata, the myth of the great Snake Sacrifice performed by Janmejaya, the great-grandson of Arjuna. Janmejay performs this  sacrifice to avenge his father’s death who was killed by the snake God, Takshak. The snake God killed Janmejaya’s father (Parkikshit) to avenge the killings of snakes at Khandava forest by Arjun, great-grand father of Janmejaya. Girish Raghunath Karnad’s Yayati (2009), the second text for analysis, revolves around the mythical frame-narrative of Yayati, who asked his sons to sacrifice their adulthood to gain youth and enjoy the same. These tales are already told as frame and meta narratives in the Mahabharata, but the manner and technique are modified. The paper relates the theory of narrativity and examines the texts with the postulates identified by Gerard Genette to illustrate that within the textual parameters, the narrative techniques employed by the authors bear common elements. Veritably, these elements surface with a common chord in different genres employed for the retellings.

Keywords: Retelling, Myth, Narrativity, Narrative Codes


Authors: Richa Mishra , Dhananjay Tripathi

Doi: https://doi.org/10.47012/jjmll.15.3.9


Cited by: Jordan Journal of Modern Languages and Literatures (JJMLL) 2023, 15 (3): 903-918


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