Having been a tree-spotter for over a dozen years, this reviewer was growing increasingly frustrated as every new book on trees-and a fair number of glossies have been published on the subject in the last five or six years-did nothing better than re¬chronicle the semals,
Those of us who grew up in the sixties and seventies, nurtured on Bangla literature, regarded Byomkesh Bakshi as our very own Sherlock Holmes and a very convincing and effective one at that. From the same standpoint Ajit, his assistant, emerges as an equally Dr Watson.
‘Life doesn’t have a plot. We don’t know what is going to happen next year, so I let the story develop like that. I like to write it that way, as the unknown unfolds’” It is thus that Ananda Mukerji commented on the unfolding of his first novel And Where, My Friend, Lay You Hiding? And, indeed, there is an unforced, dream-like quality about the book.
The book under review is a notable addition to the canon of literature in translation. It showcases fourteen stories of Raghbir Dhand who occupied a prominent place among the pioneer writers of the Punjabi diaspora, settled in England. His fictional world as represented in these stories offers a great range in terms of variety of themes, ideas, technique and craft.
Strangeness and surprise, endorsed by academic approval, are Lehman’s basic criteria of choice here. Realizing Americas multiplicity of taste and culture, he prefers to call the corpus ‘American poetries’ (p. viii) instead of just ‘American poetry’, and consequently offers a much wider canon than before.
There are three texts waiting to be discussed here: the ‘original’ Chaklet, a collection of eight Hindi stories written by Pandey Bechan Sharma ‘Ugra’ published in 1927 after five of them were serialized in Matvala, a Calcutta based Hindi weekly; its translation into English by Ruth Vanita titled Chocolate and also a detailed introduction by her, contextualizing both the texts in their different time zones i.e.
The East-West encounter literary genre is an axiomatic creative manifestation of our colonial/post-colonial inheritance. Both Indian English and Anglo Indian literary historiography is indelibly etched with the contours of this encounter. Hard to exorcise, the pulls and pressures of this tradition continue to enthrall Indian literary sensibility.
It would be unfair to place the present volume of ‘A History Of Indian Literature: From The Courtly To The Popular, 500-1399’ by Sisir Kumar Das in the context of his earlier well-received, critically acclaimed, scholarly yet reader-friendly volumes covering the period 1800-1910 (Western Impact: Indian Response) and 1911-1956 (Struggle For Freedom: Triumph And Tragedy) published in 1991 and 1995, respectively.
The line separating Narayan’s world from the world of Narayan’s fiction has always been a blurred one, and the viewer trying to distinguish between the two will tend to suffer from what Narayan himself inimitably called, in the autobiographical context of his tangential glimpses of his wife-to-be at the street tap, ‘a continually melting vision.
Intellectuals and academicians pre-occupied with ‘armchair theorisation’ in past have been showing much sentisation towards the present socio-economic-political crisis coming forward with their research and academic skills to take up the challenges of development and the incarnation of the book titled ‘Orissa Vision 2020: Towards Building a New and Modern Orissa’ represents this divergence of past and present.
The above book is a volume that has come out of a three day National seminar organised by the C.Achuta Menon Foundation , Thiruvananthapuram on 8, 9, and 10 December 2005. The volume has been deservingly dedicated to Comrade K.V.Surendranath, the founder secretary of the Foundation and whose first death anniversary took place recently.