I have a story in the wonderful Sheba Karim’s new anthology of Indian erotica, Alchemy, the Tranquebar Anthology of Erotic Stories II. It’s available only in India, so if you’re there, check it out. A lot of other great writers in it. Learn more here.
Stanford prof interrogates students and discovers — horror of horrors! — they live in an entirely different mental world from her own. They seem almost happy — if not normal. And what she gets from this are some fine observations on the history of Western literature and an excellent essay in general. Read it here.
More than love, sex, courtship, and marriage; more than inheritance, ambition, rivalry, or disgrace; more than hatred, betrayal, revenge, or death, orphanhood—the absence of the parent, the frightening yet galvanizing solitude of the child—may be the defining fixation of the novel as a genre, what one might call its primordial motive or matrix, the conditioning psychic reality out of which the form itself develops.
It’s a question I’ve come up against in writing my own fiction. I’ve always known that in Western literature it’s pretty much a requirement of entry to jettison the family. Not so much when writing about Indians, and for someone like myself, who prefers not to write about families generally, the problem of what to do with the family has always been there. Kill them? Drug them? Force them to live on a different continent? Or concoct a story brief enough the family doesn’t matter? With fiction broadly centered on Indians, the family must either be part of the narrative or somehow done away with. I prefer the latter.
A cramped performance at Green House in Haus Khas Village last night. Villa Lobos and others. It was the first night of an Open Village night, meant to draw crowds to the shops. The tiny alleys were packed, the heat almost unbearable, everyone pouring sweat with no idea where to go. Not bad on the whole.
I took the plunge into marvelous Old Delhi today.
The first band up was menwhopause who’ve been around for nine years and rocked. After them, some other jokers stuck around for way too long.
There’s a throwaway line in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, which I’ve been watching again, when Jim Prideau, who’s in hiding at a boy’s school, calls the Alvis the greatest car hands down that England ever made. He was teaching the kid Jumbo to drive. I’d never heard of the car, but being a lackadaisical gear head, I couldn’t resist.