Month: December 2005

  • Hush, hush, nobody cares…

    …Disney just kicked Chris Robin downstairs. Yup, they’re trying to replace the boy who loved Winnie the Pooh with a six-year-old redheaded girl. Pooh fans are furious, but then this is Disney. It’s best to take Eeyore’s view on this: “Ha-ha,” said Eeyore bitterly. “Merriment and what-not. Don’t apologize. It’s just what would happen.” P.S. […]

  • Stuart, Remembered

    Alexander Masters’ Stuart: A Life Backwards, about a homeless man, has won The Guardian First Book award, beating out aapro Suketu among others. Masters met Stuart in 1998 when he was interviewing homeless people for a Cambridge newspaper, and began slowly collecting Stuart stories. In July 2002, Stuart killed himself. It can’t have been easy […]

  • Hinglish accents

    Ruchir Joshi on fake Yankee twangs, Indian Neutral accents and the politics of language: “Can you really ask people struggling to learn English for their economic betterment, people who have no love a priori for the language, to not only appreciate say, irrelevancies such as Shakespeare or Yeats, but also to appreciate them in a […]

  • Calassol

    Roberto Calasso writes in The Kolkata Telegraph: Whoever becomes interested in India can only have as his invisible patron Anquetil-Duperron, the youth who boards a ship full of convicts in order to go and search for a book. Dozens of grave conferences on multiculturalism, hundreds of lofty mediations on the Other’s dignity (or rather, the […]

  • Pinter packs a punch

    Harold Pinter wasn’t well enough to show up for the Nobel banquet, but the Babu bets he enjoyed recording this acceptance speech. Love the expression on his face here, don’t you? The United States supported and in many cases engendered every right wing military dictatorship in the world after the end of the Second World […]

  • Wilson, Epsteined

    Joseph Epstein re-examines Edmund Wilson: “In the history of literary criticism written in English, very few names have survived, or probably deserve to survive. Samuel Johnson is one, perhaps the only true genius who put his mind chiefly to criticism; and Johnson also happens to have been a great man, which gives his writing all […]

  • Change your life…

    …in half an hour. Go read short stories by: A.L. Kennedy: The telephone rang again.I needn’t have answered. It’s partly the volume that seems demanding and a level of curiosity leaks in and there was a tiny chance that something important, some assistance, might be asked of me.So, “Hello.” Quite an abrupt tone from me, […]

  • Licence my roving hands and etc

    Giles Coren wins the Bad Sex award with an unpunctuated 138-word sentence; meanwhile, Belle du Jour examines Good Sex in literature, arriving via John Donne and Nabokov at this: “I particularly relish the description of Solanaceæ, the Nightshade family, in the Rev C. A. Johns’s Flowers of the Field (1905). Flowers are after all the […]

  • Leaflet Boy

    It happened several years ago. A week of writers–Pinter, Doyle, Irvine Welsh; musicians and Qi Gong enthusiasts doing their thing on the streets; an afternoon spent with no one but the seagulls; the Irish doctor who showed me around the Canongate and told stories about his favourite writers the way other people tell stories about […]

  • The BS column: The Ambedkar Letters

    A young person of enterprise could make a fortune in today’s India by modelling herself on The Hon Galahad Threepwood and setting up as an Unpublisher. For a modest consideration, such an enterprise would refrain from publishing salacious memoirs, period histories guaranteed to rattle many skeletons in many cupboards, and letters that would hurt the […]