Month: March 2010

  • Speaking Volumes: Faith and free speech

    (Published in the Business Standard, March 30, 2010) “As for Jesus, there isn’t any single Jesus. There are Jesuses and Jesuses and Jesuses and Jesuses.” Harold Bloom, in a 2005 interview for his book, Jesus and Yahweh: The Names Divine. Philip Pullman’s The Good Man Jesus and The Scoundrel Christ is part of Canongate’s excellent […]

  • Delhi: a partial reading list

    (This is an old story–compiled this list in 2006 for Outlook, but can’t find it in my archives. It needs updating, but I still love most of the books featured here.) The Delhi reading list City of Djinns: William Dalrymple (Penguin) First published in 1993, William Dalrymple’s exuberant account of a year in Delhi wears […]

  • Speaking Volumes: Under construction-the great Delhi novel

    (Published in the Business Standard, March 22, 2010)Drawing a literary map of Bombay, or Calcutta, is a relatively straightforward exercise: writers fall into neat categories, and time periods, and claim their neighbourhoods easily. But as a recent collection of writings on Delhi indicates, this is the original Trickster City. In most of its centuries, Delhi […]

  • Speaking Volumes: @famouswriter

    (Published in the Business Standard, March 15, 2010) If you track Facebook, Twitter and the arcane world of author sites, you’ll find more ghosts there than in the average cemetery. The hulks of sites circa the early 2000s, with their unlovely designs and basic, TimesNewRoman fonts, speak of books that have long since tumbled off […]

  • Speaking Volumes: Mieville’s Rules

    (Published in the Business Standard, March 8, 2010)Most readers hoard the memories of books that were turning points in their lives—the brief, fleeting crushes that left little lasting imprint, the ones that dented your heart, and the ones that rampaged like tsunamis through your tidily ordered universe. China Mieville’s Perdido Street Station was one of […]

  • Speaking Volumes: Draupadi’s literary chastity

    (Published in the Business Standard, March 1, 2010)As a bunch of ruffians disrupted the Sahitya Akademi award ceremony earlier this month in protest against Yarlagadda Lakshmi Prasad’s novel, Draupadi, I realized that it’s hard to defend the right of bad writing to exist. YL Prasad wrote his novel in Telegu five years ago; it became […]

  • Speaking Volumes: Plagiarism: the mashup defence

    (Published in the Business Standard, February 23; my apologies for the late post, haven’t had time to update this blog for a while.)The case of the estate of Adrian Jacobs versus JK Rowling is swiftly summarized: the late Jacobs wrote about wizards and wizard school before Rowling did, therefore she plagiarized him. And the case […]