Free read ñ Bookless in Baghdad Reflections on Writing and Writers 108

Characters Bookless in Baghdad Reflections on Writing and Writers

Free read ñ Bookless in Baghdad Reflections on Writing and Writers 108 Ç 'A fluid and powerful writer one of the best in a generation of Indian authors' New York Times Book Review Shashi Tharoor the acclaimed author of six books all published by Arcade is once again at his provocative best Supremely personal yeToday's world are the relentless forces of globalization the same forces used by the terrorists in their macabre dance of death and destruction' Tharoor's astute views on Salman Rushdie India's love for P G Wodehouse Kipling Pushkin le Carr V S Naipaul and Winston Churchill make for fascinating reading His insightful takes on Hollywood and Bollywood will intrigue even the most demanding cinephile Together these 39 pieces reveal the inner workings of one of today's most eclectic write. This was the first time I read any of Shashi Tharoor's work Something about his writing was intriguing I loved his knowledge about various books and poems His words on various poets and their works just proved how inspiring their words were Such a fun read Perfect for a travel time Highly recommend it

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Libraries on the street helps some put bread on the table Tharoor reminisces about growing up with books in India and discusses the importance of the Mahabharata in Indian life and history There is also a poignant homage to Chilean poet Pablo Neruda whose home was raided by the oppressive military regime while he lay on his deathbed and who famously said 'There is only one thing of danger for you here my poetry' Pondering world affairs Tharoor declares that 'the defining features of. There are books and books about books Bookless in Baghdad is a collection of Tharoor's previously published articles about his own books and the books that made him What 'Bookless in Baghdad' does beyond being a collection of articles is it provides a better view of Tharoor's literary canvas In a few articles in Part one and Part three Tharoor reviews the reviews about his books I can imagine Tharoor knocking the pinhead reviewer in exasperation and clarifying Mahabharata's Its relevance to today's India is the relevance that today's Indians want to see in it After all the epic has throughout the ages been the object of adaptation interpolation reinterpretation and expurgation by a number of retellers each seeking to reflect what he saw as relevant to his time P22It is not hard to miss the seeds for his latest book 'An Era of Darkness' in his various articles where he makes a case against colonialism for appropriating the cultural definition of its subject peoples P25 There is a thin line between being self adulatory and clarifying one's work for the audience and Tharoor succeeds in pitching his books to the readers Tharoor's personal favourites Wodehouse and Rushdie receive a graceful tribute in the pages I feel both authors have influenced Tharoor's work Tharoor is a past master of the Wodehousian wit His book The great Indian novel is reminiscent of Rushdie's Satanic Verses for using tropes about religionmythology as a literary device Tharoor affirms that one can be patriotic and secular at the same time In these times when patriotism is euated with jingoistic nationalism and majoritarian politics Tharoor's book is an antidote for these tendencies and should be prescribed as a compulsory read in schools and collegesIn his words India has survived the Aryans the Mughals the British; it has taken from each language art food learning and grown with all of them To be an Indian is to be part of an elusive dream all Indians share a dream that fills our minds with sounds words and flavours from many sources that we cannot easily identify P106And again The suggestion that only a Hindu and only a certain kind of Hindu can be an authentic Indian is an affront to the very premise of Indian nationalismThe only possible idea of India is that of a nation greater than the sum of its parts P106The cynic in me feels this book is like a reuiem to the literary genius sacrificed at the altar of sycophantic politics of the Congress party Why ever would such a well read sane person want to tread the murky water of politics Well for that Tharoor has to definitely write another book and I certainly look forward to reading it

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Bookless in Baghdad Reflections on Writing and Writers'A fluid and powerful writer one of the best in a generation of Indian authors' New York Times Book Review Shashi Tharoor the acclaimed author of six books all published by Arcade is once again at his provocative best Supremely personal yet always probing and analytical this brilliant collection is part memoir part essay and literary criticism In the title piece we learn what Irais go through in their beleaguered land merely to get hold of a book and how selling books from their own. A four point guide to enjoying Bookless in Baghdad1 Skip the essays In Defence of the Bollywood Novel A Novel of Collisions and Art for Heart’s Sake These are essentially endorsements for his own books Worse they are pompous self indulgent and annoyingly serious in tone Tharoor’s trademark wit dries up when he starts talking himself and his books upExhibit A I have always believed that as the very word ‘novel’ suggests there must be something new or innovative about every novel one sets out to write; otherwise what would be the point This from a self professed devotee of Wodehouse that delightful writer who published roughly the same novel every year Exhibit B As a writer I had always believed that the way I tell a story is as important to me as the story itself The manner in which the narrative unfolds is asOH GOD PLEASE STOP SHASHI FOR THE LOVE OF GOD LET’S MOVE ON2 Any paragraph in which one comes upon the name of any of his books The Great Indian Novel Riot Show Business India From Midnight to the Millennium and Beyond should be immediately skipped for the next It is likely to contain self indulgent tripe 3 Tharoor’s reflections on other writers are a delight His ode to Wodehouse is replete with many of the Master’s celebrated turns of phrase She had curves than a scenic railway; her face was shining like the seat of a bus driver's trousers; I turned him down like a bedspread; and the much uoted if not actually disgruntled he was far from being gruntled but it also contains the slightly self conscious grief of the adolescent worshipper his death still came as a shock Three decades earlier Wodehouse had reacted to the passing of his stepdaughter Leonora with the numbed words I thought she was immortal I had thought Wodehouse was immortal too and I felt the bereavement keenlyHe offers a measured if trenchant critiue of R K Narayan Like Austen his fiction was restricted to the concerns of a small society portrayed with precision and empathy; unlike Austen his prose could not elevate those concerns beyond the ordinariness of its subjects At its worst Narayan's prose was like the bullock cart a vehicle that can move only in one gear is unable to turn accelerate or reverse and remains yoked to traditional creatures who have long since been overtaken but know no better Other writers featured include Pushkin Neruda Naipaul Le Carré Churchill and Rushdie among others This section of the book titled Reconsiderations makes the book4 The rest of the book blows hot and cold Tharoor tackles the Islamophobic right wing faction among Rushdie’s supporters in the wake of the fatwa pays a fitting homage to Orwell by visiting a Spanish Civil War outpost for a cup of coffee and wonders whether Westerners sometimes willingly indulge in “the pornography of povery” His felicity of language ensures that even the unremarkable among his essays make for breezy reading I realize now that my review has unintentionally transformed halfway from a guide to a commentary For some reason it makes me sympathetic towards Tharoor He’s a good ‘unAs Wodehouse immortally remarked in the introduction to Summer Lightning A certain critic for such men I regret to say do exist made the nasty remark about my last novel that it contained 'all the old Wodehouse characters under different names' He has probably by now been eaten by bears like the children who made mock of the prophet Elisha but if he still survives he will not be able to make a similar charge against Summer Lightning With my superior intelligence I have out generalled the man this time by putting in all the old Wodehouse characters under the same names Pretty silly it will make him feel I rather fancy