Structural Drives and Common Sense: Building Conflict in Select Stories from B. P. Koirala and Guru Prasad Mainali
Social structures shape human self by develop a set of codes, also called common sense. The society founds certain type of knowledge over the other possible types that might challenge the existing mores of the society. In the meantime, it produces a set of generally accepted codes that also promotes certain kind of inequality in society. In literary writings, certain authors show the courage to challenge existing common sense, while other authors accept the existing mores of the society as the ultimate grammar of social life. In modern Nepali short stories, B. P. Koirala and Guru Prasad Mainali represent two such distinct camps of writings: Koirala explores the political functions of common sense but Mainali presents himself as the social conformist with the moral tone in each social affair. In Koirala’s world, the people attempt to find a new way of satisfying their body and their society. The psychological reality also reasserts the political quest for new order in society. On the other hand, Mainali’s world is fully peopled with the subjects that have lost their size to the social drives. He writes the stories of reconciliation. In this study, I plan to analyze Koirala’s Dosi Chasma (2066 B.S) and Mainali’s Naso (2012 B.S) as both the collection depict the same time period from Nepali society. Koirala’s psychological rendering of the society explores the inner drive of the people while Mainali presents the social reality, promoting the existing morality as such. By applying new historicist lens of reading from Michel Foucault, this study brings in the idea of common sense from Antonio Gramsci to analyse and understand its political function in both Koirala and Mainali.
Keywords: self, agency, structure, power, knowledge, common sense