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The Dragon Arch

Authored by: Prabhath Jayasinghe

The Routledge Companion to Sinhala Fiction from Post-War Sri Lanka

Print publication date:  September  2022
Online publication date:  September  2022

Print ISBN: 9780367554682
eBook ISBN: 9781003094708
Adobe ISBN:


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This surrealist short story describes a process of getting and maintaining a live dragon to live ensconced upon a dragon arch – an often-found towering gateway in Buddhist temples. It uses the motif of the arch to show the increasing importance given to image and pomp in religion and the cost that it entails – the loss of spirituality and the loss of the basic principles that the religion stood for in the first place. The monk is also a victim by not being able to override the lay people’s desire to have a more magnificent temple than others. The protagonist, a small businessman who had hoped for peace at retirement, ends up losing his sanity in what he has to do to help the temple maintain its image – and even though he does survive, a part of him is dead.

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