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Sunday, January 04, 2004
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Between two tongues: Falling at the speed of light
Novel as critique
This article draws from the introduction to J.J.: Some Jottings by Sundara Ramaswamy, translated by A.R.Venkatachalapathy, Katha, 2004. Sundara Ramaswamy received the Katha Choodamani award on January 2, 2004 at New Delhi.
"I Dreamed My Genesis": Fifty years he is a-dying
The public image of Dylan Thomas as the quintessential Romantic poet dying tragically young has been of greater fascination to the public than an understanding of his prose and poetry. HAVOVI ANKLESARIA looks back on the man and his work.
These three poems were written because war was impending, constantly on the horizon: America bombarding on a moonless night and the British have always gazed on Mesopotamia. Saddam's cruelty was well chronicled, but the cruelty of war hung ...
Open to life and art
Rajam Krishnan, at 78, still has an insatiable appetite for life and art. A portrait of the artist as a woman-still-going-strong by PADMA NARAYANAN and PREMA SEETHARAM.
On fathers and sons
IF English literature (that which we have been fed) has little taste for ideas disguised as literature and not much for ideas at all the Europeans, especially the Russians, have even less for creative work without theories to ...
The French connection
IN response to last "Wordspeak" "X as in Xmas", reader Tommy Chandana, a journalism student, wrote back: "I congratulate you for taking such a risk to inform the readers when Christmas is coming near." Since he advised me to continue writing ...
WHAT, exactly, is Ira Levin's notion of suspense? It works on the deliciously paranoid theme that no one is who they seem to be. It's the suspense that arises from ambiguity which is at the core of every Levin thriller. Are those dotty, old ...
WHEN Helen Fielding invented Bridget Jones, little did she realise the phenomenal success her character would turn out to be. Here was the 1990s girl, alone, with plenty of panache, never mind if it bordered on the ridiculous. Of course, like in ...
Metaphor for a generation
THERE are not many writers who would take up a theme and do thorough research on that and then turn it into fiction. Turning fieldwork into fiction has been attempted by very few writers. This is because this involves travel, preparing field ...
Diplomat into novelist
`Sarna has described the middle class Indian's many dilemmas... with moods ranging from cynicism to frustration but never without compassion.'
Indictment of Bush
`Newhouse's book is a perceptive and mercilessly critical account of the wasted opportunities of the Bush Administration, post-9/11.'
Voices behind the words
THE first impression the book makes is a sense of intimacy. Written in a question-answer format and preceded by a representative piece of the writer, editor Joel Kuortti chooses seven contemporary Indian women fiction writers and poets: Shashi ...
AMERICAN SHORT FICTION
Best of 2003
SINCE its inception in 1915, the Best American Series have been annually bringing out delectable volumes of both fiction and non-fiction. The collection includes writings of celebrities and novices and present a profile of the outstanding ...
`The book dovetails the powerful insights of two women of our times. It takes a diamond to cut a diamond.'
Control of identity
`Chandak Sengoopta focuses on the flow of ideas, evidence and administrative practice from colonial India to the metropolis, which persuaded men of science, government and the public of the value of the fingerprint.'
The ebb and the flow
`In popular lore, rivers are easy shorthand for the maternal, the nourishing, the munificent... But in their physicality, rivers aren't entirely benevolent... the struggle to control riverine bounties is echoed in the synonym for "opponent" rival.'
Against `state' theory
On the one hand this book is a storehouse of important details... on the other, it inspires renewed conviction about the logical strength of the theory of the Harappan state(s).
TWO years ago on a nippy December afternoon, I was at a little tribal village Nenmenikunnu in Wayanad district in Kerala. There were volunteers there to help de-silt the reservoir and raise the bund of the check dam; and artists to be part of an ...
A touch of the serene
`The novel, its title borrowed from a phrase in the Gita, is remarkable for the ease with which it achieves a denouement without any drama.'
`Worth mentioning about this volume is the equal importance the editors have given to original English writings and to translation from the regional languages.'
Under alien skies
AMITAVA KUMAR'S Away: The Indian Writer as an Expatriate is an interesting collection of 33 extracts from distinguished writers of Indian origin both expatriates and those domiciled in India. The book reflects on Indian writers' ...
War as spectacle
`A melding of wisdom from theoreticians and practitioners, this book explores themes which cut to the bone of the billion dollar, high-tech industry that media has become.'
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