The Tribune - Spectrum

Sunday, December 2, 2001

Classics through different eyes
Review by M.L.Raina
Marxist Shakespeares
edited by Jean E.Howard & Scott Cutler Shershow.
Routledge, London and New York. Pages xii+304. $ 27.95.
"OTHERS abide our question/ Thou art free" — Matthew Arnold. Is he, really? Quite often, the bard has been wheeled around in the shopping trolleys of gossip and rumour-mongers, ideologues and interpreters and, in our time, the peddlers of post-modern, post-structuralist, new historicist and feminist merchandise. He has been deglamourised and brought down from his pedestal by critics, stage directors and filmmakers.


Nation as a cultural construct
Review by Surinder S. Jodhka
Culture, Space and the Nation-State: From Sentiment to Structure
by Dipankar Gupta. Sage Publications, New Delhi. Pages 282. Rs 445.
NATIONS are not merely geographical entities having marked boundaries or political entities with sovereign identities. Nations come into existence only when those living in the given geographical and political territory identify with them. Or, in other words, a political territory can be described as a nation only when it has successfully mobilised a nationalist sentiment which is essentially a culture process.

RKN: his "Guide" and guideless
Review by R.P. Chaddah
The Writerly Life — Selected Non-Fiction of R.K. Narayan
edited by S. Krishnan, Viking, New Delhi. Pages 518. Rs 395.
AS I sat down on October 10 to write the review of R.K. Narayan’s selected non-fiction, I suddenly remember that it is the birth anniversary of the master short story-teller and the novelist. This review is a tribute to RKN who had a quiet demise this May at the age of 90 plus. RKN’s writing career spanned seven illustrious decades from the 1930s to the 1990s.


The force Badshah Khan built

Review by Parshotam Mehra
The Pathan Unarmed: Opposition & Memory in the North West Frontier
by Mukulika Banerjee. Oxford University Press, New Delhi. Pages xviii+238. Rs 595.
AS far back as 1930, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, better known as Badshah Khan (BK) and Frontier Gandhi, had organised a movement for the social and economic uplift of his people, the Pakhtuns, or the more familiar Pathans. He christened his band of volunteers Khudai Khidmatgar; literally "servants of God".

The forgotten region called Seven Sisters
Review by Ashu Pasricha
Frontier Travails North-East:The Politics of a Mess
by Subir Ghosh. Macmillan, Delhi. Pages 320. Rs 345.
‘OPINIONS always differ as do perceptions. And when the opinions and perceptions are related to the North-East, they are as many as there can be. Given the enormous diversity of the region itself and varied convictions and viewpoints about these frontier states (also referred to as the seven sisters), both of the people who live there and experts who have an interest in this turbulent region, the average Indian does not know where to begin or whom to believe.

A girl’s search for a home
Review by Jaswant Kaur
Somewhere to Go by M.L. Sood. Abhishek Publications, Chandigarh. Pages 142. Rs 295.
HOME is not merely a dwelling place for a child but it is where a solid foundation for future is laid. It is also a place where the child feels free to express its desire, show its anger and at the same time love and is being loved by the parents. The kind of love, care and affection it gets from its parents makes it feel wanted and safe.

Ultimate nothingness of life
Review by Darshan Singh Maini
Musing of a Stone
by Sochi Ogie. Translated from the Japanese by H.Kuka Zawa & Kevin H.Leahy.
SINCE I have had opportunities some years ago to consider the sui generis character and style of Japanese poetry, I am returning to the theme in a mood of passing nostalgia. It was in the World Poetry Conference of 1990 in Seoul, South Korea, where I had come face to face with some of the leading poets of the Mangloid lands of the Buddha.