29 November, 2020

Absinthe-Soaked Eurodreams

This debut repri­ses the poshness of l’art pour l’art. It is an artist’s unabashed monument to pure pleasures.

Absinthe-Soaked Eurodreams
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Supriya Dravid’s debut repri­ses the poshness of l’art pour l’art. Built word by word, trope by clever trope, enfrilled by luscious prose, A Cool, Dark Place is an artist’s unabashed monument to pure pleasures. And that, in the recent times of cautious and non-hedonistic writing, is itself cause for celebration. It is neither to be shelved as a confessional piece nor as a conscientious political allegory, reflecting contemporaneity or the seamy underbelly of life as it were. Supriya Dravid, with the disarming elan of a young writer, crafts a world out of the choicest artifacts, assembles this and that, leaving a trail of family lores, grief and memory. The title itself, for those of us stuck on Sylvia Plath, recalls the dark basement where the master-crafter of death lay dying for days.

The novel curates madness, holding up lovingly and with acute grasp the intertextuality and fierce logic underlying it. The tale of Zef, her child-mot­her Gravy, the hired father and preser­ver Sancho, the grandmother who reveals herself through...

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