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Sunday
, June 23, 2002
 Books

Iliad translated, and much more
Vijay Tankha

War Music
by Christopher Logue. Faber and Faber. Pages 215. £ 7.99

W
AR Music describes itself as an "account of Books 1-4 and 16-19 of Homerís Iliad." This is a modest subheading appended to the title. Christopher Logue is a poet, and has written a poem around and within the text of Homerís great work.

Books
received

Ghadr revisited
Kamlesh Khosla

War Against King Emperor (Ghadr of 1914-15).
edited by Malwinder Jit Singh, Harinder Singh. Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh Trust. Pages 541. Rs 200.

R
EWRITING history is a continuous process brought about by changing interpretations or discovery of new facts. The present book is an attempt to rewrite the history of "Ghadr" in the light of new facts.

Myths and gender: a Marxist analysis
G. V. Gupta
From Myths to Markets: Essays on Gender.
Edited by Kumkum Sangari and Uma Chakravarti. Pages 393+xxx. Rs 700

THIS catchy title contains 15 papers, divided in four sections, presented at a seminar held in IIAS, Shimla, with an introduction by the editors. The authors are mostly female, Brahmin and from Delhi, with obvious Marxist leanings.

 


He saw beyond artís formal graces
M.L.Raina

Selected Essays
by John Berger edited by Geoff Dyer. Pantheon Books, New York Pages xiii+ 589. $ 35

I
N my undergraduate days in the 1950s, I used to avidly read John Berger and V.S.Pritchet in the columns of New Statesman. Berger looked at paintings with a wide-ranging social conscience informed by Marxism. Pritchet revelled in the formal qualities of novels and other literary genres.

The genesis of a genius
Deepika Gurdev
The Last Samurai
by Helen DeWitt. Vintage. Pages 482. Singapore $20.

IF like me, you are the kind of person who does most of her reading on a bus or train, Iíd suggest donít pick this one up. I committed the mortal sin of doing just that, ended up missing not only my bus stop but also landed on a one-way street and finished the first chapter only to find myself battling the sweltering Singapore sun to head back on track.

Busybee buzzes on
Chanchal Narang

Busybee, The Best of Thirty-Six Years.
Penguin. Pages V+234. Rs 250.

I
T is very difficult to come to terms with a life with an eloquent void created by the sudden removal of a person who once had an unassuming, non-interfering but habitual presence in our lives. Such a blow struck the readers of Busybee when instead of their favorite column "Round and About" they read, "Busybee will not hum anymore" and "The Buzz stops" in newspapers following the 9th day of April 2001.

Chronicling the course of the caste system
Jai Narain Sharma
Beyond The Four Varanas: The Untouchables in India
by Prabhati Mukherjee, I.I.A.S. Shimla, Pages 116, Price Rs 200

ĎIT may be your interest to be our masters, but how can it be ours to be your slavesí ó Thucydides It is a self-evident fact that untouchability has dehumanised a sizeable section of humanity in India. The victims suffered a lot due to this stigma and had to face oppressive servitude, acute illiteracy, grinding poverty, degraded status and sinister contempt.

Delightful assortment of stories
Priyanka Singh
Selected Fiction
by Manoj Das. Penguin India. Pages 349. Rs 250.

MANOJ Das is an accomplished writer whose love for details is unmistakable. He has won several awards, including the Sahitya Akademi Award, Padma Shri and the country's most coveted one for creative writing, the Saraswati Samman.Besides these, his stories have featured in a large number of international publications and journals.

Poetic halo of the Anthill Man
R.P. Chaddah
Anthill man
by Kailash Ahluwalia (Poems) Writersí Workshop, Kolkata. Pages 92. Rs 100

IN the last two decades an important shift has taken place as far as Indian poetry in English is concerned. Its readership is no longer confined to the metros and is now spread almost all over the country.

SHORT STORY
A Sunday by the sea
Gurnam Gill
I
T was for the weekend that I waited most expectantly. That is when Bhaji would invariably take me out somewhere. Either we would go sightseeing, visit new places or friends and relatives. One Sunday, it happened to be quite warm and bright. Even though it was June, the sunshine was as warm as if it were March.

WRITE VIEW
A treat for both the connoisseur and the uninformed
Randeep Wadehra
The Art of Gulammohammed Sheikh
Roli Books, New Delhi. Price not mentioned

ARTISTS, like writers, are a societyís conscience keepers. They reflect what they experience in a manner that leaves a lasting impact. It is a privileged nation that facilitates the well-being of its artists.