Sunday, May 11, 2003
and his case against the western canon
Edward Said: Criticism and Society
by Abdirahman A. Hussein.
Verso, London and New York. Pages 339. 'A319.
EDWARD Saidís sustained
engagement with modern, literary and cultural theory, especially his
concern with French theory, occurs in Beginnings: Intention and
Method. Here he seeks to align the theories of Foucault, Barthes
and Derrida with cultural theory and earlier manifestation of
humanism found so elaborately in the works of Vico.
life is an exercise in self-gratification
Antara Dev Sen
by Ardashir Vakil. Viking/Penguin Books India 2003. Rs 395. Pages 304.
ARDASHIR Vakilís One Day
is a bit like Reality TV with an inside-the-mind camera. You follow the
movements, thoughts, memories, fears and desires of Ben Tennyson and
Priya Patnaik in gruelling detail for one whole day. Never have 24 hours
of someone elseís life seemed so fatiguing. "Thanks for sharing,
mate, but I have problems of my own," you want to snap.
Whose book is
COME summer, and it will be a
different scene. Book launches in Delhi at least are becoming dull,
dreary, predictable and boring. The restless audience indulges in snide
remarks while the introductory proceedings and the readings are somewhat
stretched and often uninteresting. A collective sigh of relief can be
heard as soon as the host announces cocktails.
We are the Romani People
by Ian Hancock. University of Hertfordshire Press (in collaboration with
the Gypsy Research Centre of the University Rene Descartes, Paris).
Pages 186. 'A39.99.
IAN is an English Romani who
qualified directly for a PhD degree under the short-lived affirmative
programme of the Wilson government. He is now a lecturer in Texas
University. Gypsy is an offensive word to the Romanis. Henceforth, I
shall speak of Romani life and history.
spy thriller that isnít fiction!
Kirpal Singh Grewal
Spies in the Himalayas: Secret Missions and Perilous Climbs
by M.S. Kohli and Kenneth Conboy.
Harper Collins Publishers India, New Delhi.
Pages xi + 226, Rs 395.
WE often hear from protagonists
of friendly relations between India and the United States of America
that being the two largest democracies, these nations are natural
allies. This book is a good reminder to the present generation that
historically India and the USA have been playing games together on the
same side of the fence, most of the times, if not always.
the need for population law
Jawahar Lal Dwivedi
Population Law: an Instrument for Population Stabilisation
by Usha Tandon. Deep and Deep Publications Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi. Rs 950.
THERE are many writings
suggesting solution to the problem of over-population in India.
Demographers, social scientists and medics have tried to tackle the
subject from various angles. However, the legal aspect of the problem
has not received due attention so far.
perspective on Oriental myths
Adonis: A Study in the History of Oriental Religion
by James G. Frazer. Rupa & Co., New Delhi.
Pages viii+239. Rs 150.
SIR James George Frazer was a
Scottish anthropologist. Some of his works are Totemism and Exogamy
(1910), Man, God and Immortality (1927) and Creation and
Evolution in Cosmogonies (1935). His most famous, and voluminous,
work is The Golden Bough (1890). It deals with ancient cults,
myths and rites, drawing parallels with early Christianity.
from cooperation and independence
Indiaís Security in 21st Century, Challenges and Responses.
edited by Rajendra Prasad.
Dominant, New Delhi. Pages 318. Rs 650.
THE common cultural
heritage, the shared legacy of British colonial domination and
similar economic and social backwardness make the countries of South
Asia stand on one platform. At the same time, to quote Indira
Gandhi, "each country has its individual personality,
distinctive perception and a different political system."
Encyclopedia of Sri Lanka
by C. A. Gunawardena. Sterling.
Pages 324. Rs 900.
island" has for some reason or the other, and not always
pleasant, been in news; more so now with the Tamil guerrillas having
decided to suspend the peace talks. For those interested in the
history of the island nation in an encapsulated form, this
encyclopaedia will be informative.
rich without tricks
The Winning Portfolio: How to Choose the Best Mutual Funds
by Paul B. Farrell. Vision Books.
Pages 112. Rs 145.
Indian edition by American author Paul B. Farrel contains practical
advice guiding investors on how and which of the 10,000-odd mutual funds
in the market to choose for investment. Though the book is addressed to
American investors, it is also appealing to an investor in India where
people generally are not investment savvy and the mutual funds activity
as well as stock exchanges are at the evolution stage.