(Last Updated on : 06/01/2009)
In the book the cat and Shakespeare, author Raja Rao offers answer to the philosophical questions. A metaphysical novel in the truest sense the novel is an illustrious creation by Raja Rao. The cat represents the Hindu concept of karma.
Raja Rao was born on 8th November 1908. in the state of Mysore the name of the place was Hassan. Now the place is under Karnataka district in South India. He born into a well-known Brahmin family. He was the eldest of nine siblings - two brothers and seven sisters. His native language was Kannada. He did his post-graduation course in France. All his books have been written in English. His father taught Kannada at Nizam`s College, placed in Hyderabad State at that time. The death of his mother, when he was four, left a lasting impression on the novelist. The absence of a mother and orphanhood effect him a lot and became the recurring themes in his work . Another influence from early life was his grandfather, with whom he stayed in Hassan and Harihalli. From his childhood Rao was educated at Muslim schools, the Madarsa-e-Aliya in Hyderabad and the Aligarh Muslim University.
He began learning French at the University. After matriculation in 1927, Rao returned to Hyderabad and studied for his degree at Nizam`s College. After graduation from Madras University he won the Asiatic Scholarship of the Government of Hyderabad in 1929, for study abroad. Rao moved to the University of Montpellier in France. He studied French language and literature to educate himself in a greater extent.afterwards at the Sorbonne in Paris, he explored the Indian influence on Irish literature. In 1931 Rao got married with Camille Mouly, who taught French at Montpellier. The marriage lasted until 1939. though he married two more times in his lifetime this first marriage of his left a mark on his life.
`The Cat and Shakespeare` is a gentle, almost teasing, fable of two friends by the legendary author Raja Rao. This story has an excellent presentation. A brilliant craftsman shows the raw texture of Indian life in this plain spoken and humorous tale. Raja Rao is a major novelist of this age, and this book is the most mature of his novels. This can be called as a refreshingly different novel. In this novel the conversation of two friends are narrated very nicely. Govindan Nair is a sharp, down-to-earth philosopher and clerk, who tackle the problems of routine living with, extraordinary, commonsense and zest, and whose refreshing and unorthodox conclusions continually panic Ramakrishna Pai. This person is Nair`s friend, neighbor and also the narrator of the story. Descriptions of daily concerns are compassionate and evocative as well.
Cat and Shakespeare was published in 1965 by Raja Rao is a metaphysical comedy that answered philosophical questions posed in the earlier novels.
An answer to the concept of Hindu karma, Raja Rao`s " Cat and Shakespeare is a metaphysical novel where the Indian philosophy ideally blends with the western thoughts. English is somewhat "de anglicized" and creatively unified with Sanskrit chants. The indo European affinity between Sanskrit and English is nicely braided in this novel whilst making the Sanskrit rhythm to gel well the sophistication of English.