Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Some things I've been reading

Some things I've been reading recently: the philosopher Roger Scruton on the philosopher Mary Midgley (Scruton's book Beauty is out soon); "Looking For The Great Indian Novel" by Nilanjana Roy (which is really more about the search for great Indian novels across all languages, which laments the lack of good translations of novels in other Indian languages into English, and to which I can append my choice of what for me is both a great Indian novel and a great translation: Fakir Mohan Senapati's Six Acres and a Third); Toby Harnden's very amusing lists of top 10 most annoying Americanisms and top 10 most annoying Britishisms (to which I can add a eleventh: "To be honest", which translates as, "You deserve to be told this, but it's killing me to do so"); Arnab Chakladar's long and very interesting interview with the Hindi writer Uday Prakash;"Hanging On Like Death", Anjum Hasan's short story in Tehelka's year-end fiction special (what a pleasant surprise to see such a thing from a weekly newsmagazine); "The Centrality of Literary Study" by Marjorie Perloff, with whom I find myself greatly in agreement ("Why do we study literature anyway? To make the connections between the progress of human lives and their verbal representations. To thicken the plot."); and the ReadySteadyBook Books of the Year 2008 symposium, which lists a lot of great books of which I seem to have read not one.

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