Tag Archives: literary criticism

Bookmarked Musings: On reading Khaled Hosseini’s books By Riddhi Mistry

After about two months of non-fiction, self-help reads, I decided to go for fiction, a novel, a story that I can drown myself in. I decided to do a little readathon a few days ago and let the book completely hypnotize me and let it have my complete attention. After all, it deserves every bit of it because it had been a long time since I’d lost myself in a fictional world. 

And yet, only a few books and few writers have this power, something that seems to come almost naturally to them, this inexplicable talent to drown the reader in the book. You are lucky enough to have found a book that does that to you. I consider myself to be extremely fortunate to have got to read a few books that give me the same feeling. One of those and the most prominent of those have to be Khaled Hosseini’s books. 

“But it’s better to be hurt by the truth than to be comforted with a lie.” 

– Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner 
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Essay: Poe’s representation of ‘the life within’ by Shaswato Sarcar

In this literary essay, Shaswato Sarcar explores Edgar Allan Poe’s works highlighting how Poe flourished because of his unprecedented approach and narrative technique, which was one of a kind.

Even though Edgar Allan Poe was considered as one of the most popular figures in the genre of ‘Romanticism’, he did introduce the audience of that age to a completely distinct style and genre of his own. He was known around the world and still is, because of his signature genre of ‘psychological horror’. Though the Victorian era was flooded with horror story writers, still Poe flourished because of his unprecedented approach and narrative technique. His narrative style was one of a kind. He made sure that his readers were as much moved by his storytelling as by the context.

Poe was a pioneer of Macabre.

Poe was a pioneer of Macabre. He completely transformed the genre of the horror story with his masterful tales of psychological depth and insight not envisioned in the genre before his time and scarcely seen in it since.

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Essay: You Only Live Twice by Anusree Ganguly

Anusree Ganguly writes a literary essay exploring two novels (Jagari & Beloved) highlighting how both are a window into deplorable social conditions and say something about the herculean courage of its men and women.

Two masterpieces – ‘Jagari’ (The Night Vigil, in Bengali) and ‘Beloved’ – but both have a common thought as its takeaway – to have an upside-down world, made awry by outside forces, put right by combating fear with courage, once, to taste life at its toughest and, two, sometimes to look death in the face. If Jagari (author: Satinath Bhaduri) answers the imperative of “Who’s awake?” with the spirit of the one who owns his mind, even if the body is not free to roam; then Beloved (author: Toni Morrison) answers the imperative of the ‘red heart’ – the love for all experiences, good or bad, intensified by the fear of desolation that inheres in love displaced – by answering the stirrings of ‘rememory’ with love for life, and sometimes for death. Jagari is not just the story of an imprisoned freedom-fighter’s family (each chapter a look into the strength of the human mind – the husband, wife and the two sons – in distress but never sinking in it); and Beloved is not just the story of a slave who is also a runaway from the unhappy condition of slavery. Both authors evince an interest in the human being as survivors against ailing times taking a fall in life without fear, yet arms opened wide for memories or ‘rememories’. 

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Essay: Karukku- A Perpetual Memoir by Monisha Raman

Monisha Raman explores Karukku, a seminal work on Dalit life by Bama, which remains the most important work penned by a Dalit woman about living in a small town in Tamil Nadu as a member of a suppressed group, even after 25 years of publication.

When Karukku was first published in 1992, it came in for much criticism from many Tamil literary stalwarts. At a literary festival, an established writer called it reportage. The colloquial language used in the narration was not welcome by many in the writing community. However, the work established itself as among the most prominent voices in Dalit feminism. The English translation by Lakshmi Holmstrom, published by Oxford India Paperback in 2000, is having a successful run with its second edition.  This work holds the credit of being the first autobiography of a Dalit woman writer from Tamil Nadu.

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Essay: Hamlet- An Indian Interpretation by Ramlal Agarwal

Why does Hamlet dilly-dally in avenging the murder of his father? His father’s ghost clearly exhorts him to do it. He knows it is his duty and he must do it though he does not like it. 

“… O cursed spite 

That ever I was born to set it right.” 

Taking his cue from these lines, Goethe observes, “A beautiful, pure and most moral nature, without the strength of nerve which makes a hero, sinks beneath a burden which it can neither bear nor throw off; every duty is holy to him- this too hard. The impossible is required of him- not the impossible in itself, but impossible to him.” 

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Literary seminars for 13th Hong Kong Biennial Awards for Chinese Literature to be held at Hong Kong Central Library

he Hong Kong Public Libraries of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department will hold five literary seminars for the 13th Hong Kong Biennial Awards for Chinese Literature at the Lecture Theatre of Hong Kong Central Library during August and September. This year’s adjudicators will conduct literary exchanges, themed on poetry, essays, literary criticism, children’s and youth literature, and fiction, with seminar participants to promote the appreciation and creation of various types of literary work. Read more

Adil Jussawalla wins Sahitya Akademi Award 2014

adil.jussawalaPoet and critic Adil Jussawall’s “Trying to Say Goodbye” is among eight books of poetry conferred the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award 2014, it was announced here Friday.

Apart from this, five novels, three books of essays, three of short stories, one of literary criticism and an autobiography have also won the award that recognises premier works in 22 Indian languages. Read more

The first Partition was in the Mahabharata: Interview with Intizar Husain

Author Intizar Husain talks on how the 1947 partition inspired him to write: Meena Menon in The Hindu

Intizar_husainWriting was a hobby for Intizar Husain. He has a B.A. in English Literature, Urdu and Persian, and a Masters in Urdu. He enjoyed literary criticism; and didn’t like fiction much. But on June 3, 1947, his life was turned on its head. He had just completed his Masters in Meerut, when people began to flee the city.

“Every day, one house would be locked up and there was tension in the air. Soon the riots began,” Husain recalls in an interview on the sidelines of the second Islamabad Literature Festival. Read more