21 October, 2020

Non-Fiction

Bloodaxe’s edition of the Collected Poems of Arun Kolatkar, edited by Arvind Krishna Mehrotra, reveals how provocative and inventive its bohemianism once was.

Non-Fiction
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Earlier this year, there was an unexpected furore in the pages of the Guardian—of the kind that would probably fail to exercise newspapers in India. A report announced that Gabriel Josipovici, a former Weidenfeld Professor of English at Oxford, had, in his forthcoming book, What Ever Happened to Modernism?, laid into the British writers’ old boys’ club: Amis, Barnes, McEwan, Rushdie. ‘Feted British writers are limited, arrogant and self-satisfied, says leading academic,’ ran the headline. In Britain, self-satisfaction continues to be a cardinal sin, while, in India, it hardly exists at all, because not being aware of something is to annihilate its existence (‘I think, therefore I am’). Josipovici replied that his book was only tangentially about these writers; that the report was mischievous; that far more important questions had been addressed in his short monograph. The upshot was that it got much more attention than it might have otherwise, and its title’s question...

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