Month: June 2003

  • It can be quite refreshing, reading a review of a book written years after the book itself came out–the Babu is reminded that the culture of the instant review does us no favours. Tim Walker looks at Sir Vidia’s Shadow from a refreshingly different perspective: “To me, there can be something vaguely pornographic about digging […]

  • The Hype–from the days of Mark Twain and Charles Dickens (if you’re mentioning Rowling and hype, it’s obligatory to bring in Dickens these days) to you-know-who.

  • “To a cynical observer, the Emergency would seem no more than a mini-publishing industry,” writes Ashok Malik in the Indian Express before locking horns with Bipan Chandra’s new book on the days when democracy died in India.

  • An anthologist gets his (copy)rights: Penguin has to back down in the case everyone thought Stuart Silverstein would lose.

  • P Sainath on Indian troops in Iraq in the past and now: “[During World War I] they died for the British empire. Now, they’re being asked to die for the American empire. Then, it could be argued, we were a colony — and had no choice. Today, in the era of globalised markets, we’ll be […]

  • “Yet, although our stomachs turn at the prospect, we must sample the gruel Lewis offers, taste it, and analyze it, if only to identify the toxins that it contains and that have poisoned far too many Western minds for more than fifty years.” M Shahid Alam’s magisterial dismissal of Bernard Lewis’ The Making of Islam. […]

  • * “When it comes to issues like race, fudging the past can be an injury to the future.” Laura Miller on the N-word and why not to let today’s political correctness seep into yesterday’s history.

  • More on Uzma Aslam Khan (see post for June 18): a link to her April article, What America Says Does Not Go, and a review of Trespassing from Outlook.

  • “Flaubert only has to mention in passing a book he might have dipped into for Bruneau to give a succinct and pertinent summary of it. You begin with words and you end up with a world.” Julian Barnes pays tribute to the late Jean Bruneau, the man who made the compilation of Flaubert’s correspondence the […]

  • The war of words over the NCERT textbooks (see posts for June 03, 16 and 18) may have obscured other aspects of the government’s policy on education. Recently, Murali Manohar Joshi set up the Bharat Shiksha Kosh, a centralised repository for donations to educational institutions in India–in other words, no more direct funding, and the […]