30 April 2010

So that April doesn't feel left out...

The folks by the window never made it to the window in April as you would see. It has been an exceptionally busy time for all of us and what a start to the year I say! (oh, the financial year that is). But did you notice how its been a season of short stories at 'a book and a window'? Another side effect of not having enough time probably. In any case, since I have not read any new books and the one in hand is the Anton Chekov borrowed from Arth, this post is not going to be about 'a book'. Here is my two bit to end the dry spell of April.
I have to start with my complete agreement on Arth's views on Anton Chekov. That man puts his characters under the microscope and lets us know every thought and feeling behind a person, not just their actions and reactions. As much as I miss the presence of a plot and in some cases closure, he more than makes up for it with his uncanny sight into people's psyche. But I think the translator Constance Garnett, has to, has to get some credit for producing it in real English (as opposed to the fake English we see in most translations). Chekov's analysis of the human nature is so accurate, his presentation of it so profound, and none of it seems to be lost in translation. Well, I can never prove it but am somehow very sure of it.
sujatha For a while now, well, actually since I came to know he passed away, I have been wanting to write about 'Sujatha' (real name Rangarajan), who was one of the well-known Tamil writers, a versatile one at that. He specialized in short stories too. But his stories typically have a strong and sharp plot with the characters always a step ahead of the reader. His love of science and fascination for the English language often came through in his books. In fact he wrote a science and general knowledge series which ran for years in a Tamil weekly. He was intelligent but his was the type of intelligence that does not stay aloof from the masses or belittles others. He had the knack of explaining complex concepts in simple terms via his fiction as well as non-fiction works. I will never forget how a neighbour of mine who never went to college and used to cook for local goldsmiths for a living, spoke about computers and internet much before they became common in our little town. Thanks to one man's passion to learn everything and then pass it on to the layman who, given a chance at gaining knowledge, has the ability to put it to far better use than any ivy league pass-out. I wish it weren't true, but I feel there will never be another like him. And I hope to write about one or two of his books here sometime soon!

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