Month: June 2004

  • Life After Corelli

    The Independent has a profile of Louis de Bernieres–Birds Without Wings is just out. “Visiting the battle sites, he found their past darkness made all too visible. ‘The bones of the corpses come to the surface,’ he recalls. ‘I found quantities of bones when I was there. You look on the war memorials and it […]

  • Ghosh on Ray

    I’ve got just a couple of minutes before an old friend drops by for dinner–enough time for two quick posts. Outlook carries an essay by Amitav Ghosh on Satyajit Ray: “Ray was for me, not just a great artist; he was something even rarer: an artist who had crafted his life so that it could […]

  • The Knowledge Web

    I find Danny Hill’s idea of the Knowledge Web deeply seductive, though possibly this is the outcome of studying in a convent school where knowledge was disseminated via the Turkey Stuffing method: how much can you cram into the trussed-up object before you, how humiliating can you make the experience, and never mind that most […]

  • Banned Books in India: Call for Help

    Kitabkhana’s trying to put together a list of books banned by the Indian government or by various state governments from 1947 onwards in independent India. The obvious examples are there: Stanley Wolpert’s Nine Hours to Rama, Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses, but we can’t locate a broader master list. We did the rounds of the Ministry […]

  • "I read; I sail; I write"

    Arturo Perez-Reverte, once a captain in the merchant marines, now hailed as Eco’s heir, is interviewed by the Baltimore Sun: “Every one of my novels is a story of a lost soldier in enemy territory,” he said. “But instead of placing the person in a war, I put the person in cities, in history, in […]

  • Text message

    The new Indian government has finally agreed to scrap the hideous, error-filled, ungrammatical and violently biased abominations their predecessors had commissioned as history textbooks. (For background on India’s textbook wars, read this article.) “Asked what students may do with the existing books, ‘perhaps, they be could be good souvenirs’, Prof Settar quipped.”

  • How Late It Was, How Late

    Should’ve posted this link eons ago, but my erratic blogging practices got in the way. (The Babu is slightly alarmed; his blogging follows exactly the same patterns as malarial fever, manically up one moment, desperately down the next.) Anyway. Maud has a new short story, Post-Extraction, up at Swink. If you’ve noticed, I steal my […]

  • Saddam, Rose of Romance

    From Jo Tatchell’s piece on dic(tator)-lit in Prospect (link via Arts & Letters Daily): “Does Saddam have talent in the romantic fantasy genre? To determine the answer, I sent extracts of Zabibah and the King ‘blind’ to some experts. The editor at Mills and Boon, after agreeing to comment, backed out when she discovered who […]

  • Dasht-e-Tanhaii, United Kingdom

    Kamila Shamsie explains the setting of Nadeem Aslam’s Maps For Lost Lovers: “The English town of Dasht-e-Tanhaii? It sounds more like something out of a fairytale than a place off the M4. But no, it is a town with a large community of Pakistani migrants who have renamed their new home Dasht-e-Tanhaii: The Wilderness of […]

  • Poison PEN?

    “When it reached the point where Mr Niven sought a vote of confidence in his leadership the dispute became one of freedom of expression after Ms Smith demanded an opportunity to refute allegations the president had made against her, but was refused. She had allowed her letter appealing to members to be edited after objections […]