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UKL Post-colonial Indian Writing Appreciation Society watch

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    I felt like starting a particularly obscure society. Anyone with an interest in the works of Salman Rushdie, V.S. Naipaul, V.R. Ananthamurthy, Amrita Pritam, R.K. Narayan and their contemporaries: feel free to join. It would be nice to have someone to discuss my interest with.

    Note: 'Postcolonial' refers to work after 1947 - the date at which India and Pakistan ceased to be British colonies.

    Anyone who is thinking that this sounds exceptionally tedious, I would recommed picking up a copy of 'The Vintage Book of Indian Writing' (edited by Salman Rushdie and Elizabeth West). It only really represents Indian literature written in english, but its a good place to start.
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    (Original post by Mr White)
    Anyone who is thinking that this sounds exceptionally tedious, I would recommed picking up a copy of 'The Vintage Book of Indian Writing' (edited by Salman Rushdie and Elizabeth West). It only really represents Indian literature written in english, but its a good place to start.
    Obscure indeed. I'm not a fan of satire, but I love most of Rushdie's work. I've only got as far as reading Rushdie's introduction in the mentioned book. I just can't find enough time to work through the reading list I've been given :mad:
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    (Original post by waiting2smile)
    Obscure indeed. I'm not a fan of satire, but I love most of Rushdie's work. I've only got as far as reading Rushdie's introduction in the mentioned book. I just can't find enough time to work through the reading list I've been given :mad:
    Please tell me you've read Midnight's Children... You don't even have an inkling of his talent unless you've read that. The problem is that a lot of people focus on The Satanic Verses, because that's what got the publicity, thanks to the fatwa. MC is far, far better (although TSV is exceptional in itself).
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    I enjoyed the Satanic Verses, not easy to read but worth it.
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    (Original post by Lord Huntroyde)
    I enjoyed the Satanic Verses, not easy to read but worth it.
    I remember a comment you made aaaaaaages ago, saying that whenever you wanted to sleep you'd just read some Salman Rushdie. Tut tut tut, this is an appreciation thread, hunty.
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    (Original post by Mr White)
    Please tell me you've read Midnight's Children... You don't even have an inkling of his talent unless you've read that. The problem is that a lot of people focus on The Satanic Verses, because that's what got the publicity, thanks to the fatwa. MC is far, far better (although TSV is exceptional in itself).
    Actually the Satanic Verses is the most recent work of his that I've read...I would have thought most people would have come across Midnight's Children as that's one of his most recognised work and usually features in almost ever 'recommended 'books to read' list. When I stated I loved most of Rushdie’s work – the exception was the Satanic Verses. I hope I don’t crush you but I think it’s awful.
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    (Original post by waiting2smile)
    Actually the Satanic Verses is the most recent work of his that I've read...I would have thought most people would have come across Midnight's Children as that's one of his most recognised work and usually features in almost ever 'recommended 'books to read' list. When I stated I loved most of Rushdie’s work – the exception was the Satanic Verses. I hope I don’t crush you but I think it’s awful.
    Eh, everyone's entitled to their opinions. I didn't really enjoy Fury that much, to be honest. Rushdie's talents are nowhere more eminent than when he is describing India, but he chose to set this book in New York - it lacks the 'Rushdie charm', I think. Shame was enjoyable. I've always viewed it as a miniature Midnight's Children. Almost as good, but not quite as epic.

    Have you read Imaginary Homelands or Step Across this Line? They're both collections of his non-fiction, and are immensely enjoyable.

    What didn't you like about The Satanic Verses?
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    (Original post by Mr White)
    I remember a comment you made aaaaaaages ago, saying that whenever you wanted to sleep you'd just read some Salman Rushdie. Tut tut tut, this is an appreciation thread, hunty.
    You have a very long memory.

    But now, as I'm older and wiser, I can see the value in Rushdie.
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    (Original post by Mr White)
    Eh, everyone's entitled to their opinions. I didn't really enjoy Fury that much, to be honest. Rushdie's talents are nowhere more eminent than when he is describing India, but he chose to set this book in New York - it lacks the 'Rushdie charm', I think. Shame was enjoyable. I've always viewed it as a miniature Midnight's Children. Almost as good, but not quite as epic.

    Have you read Imaginary Homelands or Step Across this Line? They're both collections of his non-fiction, and are immensely enjoyable.

    What didn't you like about The Satanic Verses?
    Bless you, you really love Rushdie

    I agree with you about 'Shame' but if someone asked me which work of his was a favourite of mine I'd easily say 'Midnight's Children' and perhaps 'Grimus'.

    Whilst I admire him and his usually beautiful writing, his work tends to lack direction, and is unnecessarily complicated (e.g. 'The Satanic Verses').
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    (Original post by waiting2smile)
    Whilst I admire him and his usually beautiful writing, his work tends to lack direction, and is unnecessarily complicated (e.g. 'The Satanic Verses').
    Heh you can say that again.
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    (Original post by waiting2smile)
    Bless you, you really love Rushdie

    I agree with you about 'Shame' but if someone asked me which work of his was a favourite of mine I'd easily say 'Midnight's Children' and perhaps 'Grimus'.

    Whilst I admire him and his usually beautiful writing, his work tends to lack direction, and is unnecessarily complicated (e.g. 'The Satanic Verses').
    Grimus? Very strange. I didn't find it that endearing - a typical first novel from a good writer - shows potential, but flawed. You say that his work lacks direction, but, strangely, I find that that is what is most compelling about it. The way that he can spend 5 pages describing a character, only for them to never appear again is... unique. Its what I enjoy most. The attention to detail, and the immense density makes for superb reading. In Midnight's Children, the protagonist is only born a third of the way through the novel! In my opinion, there is no writer alive capable of writing such absorbing books.
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    Another thing about Grimus... Why are there no speech marks in the whole book? It's still generally clear who is speaking, but why on earth have inverted commas been replaced with hyphens?
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    (Original post by Mr White)
    a typical first novel from a good writer - shows potential, but flawed.
    A typical first novel? Yes it's flawed in many ways - I suppose you could say it's chaotic, clumsy and that his depiction of women is distasteful, and perhaps the novel isn’t as rich or complex as his later works. However, for a first novel it's confident, beautiful, fun, unsettling but striking. I have never been so easily disorientated and surprised by a book but that novel was fantastic.

    As for their being no speech marks...I don't know... Margaret Atwood also does the same, omitting the speech marks in her novel ‘The handmaid’s tale’. Maybe it's an odd literary technique? :confused:
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    (Original post by Mr White)
    In my opinion, there is no writer alive capable of writing such absorbing books.
    Well done, you saved yourself from an angry rebuke
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    (Original post by waiting2smile)
    A typical first novel? Yes it's flawed in many ways - I suppose you could say it's chaotic, clumsy and that his depiction of women is distasteful, and perhaps the novel isn’t as rich or complex as his later works. However, for a first novel it's confident, beautiful, fun, unsettling but striking. I have never been so easily disorientated and surprised by a book but that novel was fantastic.
    I am inclined to agree. It does bear the hallmarks of some of Rushdie's later works, but only in a nebulous and tenuous way. It isn't as complex or engrossing, either. Did you notice how the text slips from third to first person (always the first person is the voice of Flapping Eagle), but so irregularily and infrequently it's jarring each time; at best this technique is only somewhat effective.

    The depiction of women is, rather distasteful, as you say - they're all hollow, weak and one-sided, being either prostitutes, demented with love for a man, or adultresses. I suppose it adds to the second rate and unexceptional tone that pervades the entire novel.

    All in all, not a bad book, but very mediocre. Its hard to imagine that only 5 years later, Midnight's Children would be published. As with most first novels, in Grimus the author is trying to find his voice. He doesn't succeed, but the resulting novel is still readable.

    (Original post by waiting2smile)
    Well done, you saved yourself from an angry rebuke
    *taps nose* Yes, I've learnt my lesson. If its stated as an opinion, then I can't be proved wrong.
 
 
 

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