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The man from a lost world

Published @ The Bengal Post
Facsimile of the published article Amitav Ghosh is great hope for fiction in the 21st century and now, at the height of his powers, his influence is all set to grow bigger, writes Sayandeb Chowdhury Amitav Ghosh’s novels are an Olympian event; a peripatetic storm in the largely sterile cultural topography of this ‘city of lost causes’ as he calls Calcutta succinctly and appropriately. On his arrival, the city’s literati suddenly wake up to the possibilities of fiction, a possibility…

New and improved Tagore

Published @ The Bengal Post
Two of Tagore’s numerous endorsements. Rabindranath was not just pen and ink, but as Sayandeb Chowdhury finds out from a set of new exhibitions, a regular endorser of indigenous enterprise and a great believer in the potential of the moving images One problem with the traditional appraisal of Rabindranath Tagore, in which the Bengali community, the chief benefactor of the great man’s infinite genius, has usually regaled, is that such a disposition obliterates larger spheres of reception and cognition. Tagore,…

Narratives which make pictures move

Published @ Bengal Post
Poster of Satyajit Ray’s Charulata (The Lonely Wife, 1964). Auteurs of Bengali cinema has adapted Tagore’s stories to some of the most memorable films ever made, even if that meant going beyond the written text, writes Sayandeb Chowdhury While filming Inner Eye, his bio-docu on the blind artiste Binodbehari Mukhopadhay, Satyajit Ray is said to have asked his former teacher at Kalabhavan and the man he deeply admired for his amazing murals, what drives him to create works of such beauty…

Europe is long dead, long live Europa

Published @ Bengal Post
Milan Kundera’s last book was non-fiction. His last novel about the impossibility of the Odyssian return to one’s homeland, written in the wake of the collapse of Communism, was published way back in 2002. When Encounter was announced late last year, for a moment it seemed that the Czech maestro was returning to fiction after eight years. In every way ‘Encounter’ was a very apt name to follow his mono-worded titles (originally in French) Slowness (1997) and Identity (1998). But…

The life of the novel is elsewhere

Published @ Daily News & Analysis
It is a known fact that literary criticism from practising authors/ poets carry a whiff of fresh air as compared to those by professional critics and academics. Not that in the case of the former, the end result is necessarily superior, but they do not have that extra burden of proving the probable and extricating the improbable. Instead, as Milan Kundera’s The Curtain amply exhibits, a writer engages with the unencumbered flow of discourses and ideas that a…

Return to the ethnic orchard: Desai’s book inherits what was best lost

Published @ Daily News & Analysis
So another Indian gets the Booker Prize. What shall we feel, smug or smart? Being Indian is tough enough. Being an Indian writer in English is tougher. And being an Indian writer in English who has won the Booker is the toughest business of them all. So hail the Thane of London’s Guildhall, who shall be the Queen hereafter!  If we look at the beginnings of our efforts at writing in English, it would be amusing to note how Indians…
By Sayandeb Chowdhury | | Tags: Literature, Opinion | Read More