Month: February 2005

  • Guillermo Cabrera Infante

    The author of Three Trapped Tigers died of an infection at the age of 75 yesterday.From The Paris Review interview with Cabrera Infante: “INTERVIEWER: Surely you believe in immortality, a niche in that book called Literary History?CABRERA INFANTE: I don’t believe in immortality, either of the body or of the written word, my corpus. Remember, […]

  • It’s all about Geelani…oops, not quite

    Arundhati Roy is probably the only writer whom one admires with teeth clenched. She rises to the defence of beleaguered lecturer S R Geelani, which is deeply admirable and very necessary:“Geelani and his family have suffered enough. Can we stop using them to fuel our crude patriotic fantasies and simple-minded cloak-and-dagger theses?” She should have […]

  • The First Rule of Fight Club…

    …is don’t misquote Uncle Salman.Amit Roy reports on the makings of a fine literary kerfuffle:“Rushdie was irritated by a passage French wrote in the review. It said: “Most of India’s eminent writers live outside India, for economic and social reasons, so this is familiar stuff. The visiting insider-outsider can observe the old country with a […]

  • Why I Hate the 300-Word Review

    Because two hundred words is a blurb. Because three hundred words at an average book length of three hundred pages is one word per page and if you’ve written three hundred and twenty six pages tough luck.Because if it’s a good book all I can say about why in three hundred words is the equivalent […]

  • The one about Hunter Thompson

    Speaking Volumes, first published in Business Standard, February 22, 2005 Hunter S Thompson shot himself this week, before I could slide over to his “fortified farm” outside Aspen, complete with peacocks and an awesome collection of rifles, shotguns, and revolvers, and say thank you. We used him to deprogramme impressionable young Indian journalists who’d been […]

  • The SuperBooker? The Bobel?

    Brief riff on the subject of naming literary prizes: don’t. The Man Booker International Prize is already being called the Superbooker (I suggest the Bobel, as a sort of alternate Nobel thingie, but think that the Binternational might have certain undertones). Perhaps we should call them, I dunno, by fuzzy little Disneyesque names. The Betty […]

  • Room for Ms Nasreen

    Should the government of India allow Taslima Nasreen’s prayer to be granted citizenship so that she can write in a “familiar” environment, she’ll feel right at home. Sure we can accommodate another bad writer, there’s tons of them out here. We’ve even exported a few recently…

  • The Good Doctor exits

    Three things I learned from Hunter S Thompson, who killed himself today:1) the one thing you must never overdose on is vitamin pills.2) the only sane response to an insane world is paranoia (“there is no such thing as paranoia. It’s all true”–the Good Doctor.)3) I will never write an opening paragraph quite like this. […]

  • The Duke has left the building

    “The Edge…there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who know where it is are the ones who have gone over.”Woke up this morning with high fever and serious caffeine withdrawal symptoms, and heard that Hunter S Thompson hadshot himself. Still no coffee, and the Babu is currently teetotalling, so there’s […]

  • Me Talk Pretty One Day

    Someone reminded me of the standard grammar all of us Angrez-educated types learned the language from. It was a horrible instrument of torture, written by Wren & Martin. Mr Martin is irrelevant to this post, but Wren was none other than Percival C Wren, ex-Foreign Legionnaire and sometime Chief Inspector of Schools in the Bombay […]