Celebratory 25th Issue:
Global Community & Cultural Connections
I do not remember how long I have known Nibir Ghosh or how long I have written for Re-Markings, though I do remember meeting the editor in California on a lovely summer day. We spent a pleasant afternoon together. I met his wife. We had something to drink. We enjoyed the view. I had no expectation that our brief rendezvous would lead to what I consider a productive literary relationship. I know that it has been good for me. I hope that it has been good for Re-Markings. It must be because Nibir invites me to write for the journal and publishes what I write, too. My connection to the journal is personal. I don’t think that I would go on writing for it year after year if I did not know Nibir and respect his work. I probably wouldn’t write for it if it were published in, say, Seattle, Washington, or Orlando, Florida. I write for it because it’s published in India and printed in India, and because most of its contributors are Indians. Writing for Re-Markings gives me the feeling that I am part of a literary community that is halfway around the world from where I live in California. This is important to me. To fully explain why I would probably have to tell the story of my life and times. Suffice it to say that I want to be part of a global community and to have cultural connections to India.
Re-Markings is one of my major literary lifelines. Writing for the journal keeps me connected to Nibir and it gives me the sense that I’m connected to readers, teachers, and writers in India. I understand how difficult it is to be an editor. It has enabled me to appreciate Nibir Ghosh’s role as editor of Re-Markings which is now celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary -- a long time for a journal to go on publishing creative, brilliant and original articles. Bravo Re-Markings. Kudos to Nibir Ghosh and everyone else who contributes. I extend my hand in greetings and celebration.
Celebrating Cross-cultural Conversations
Tijan M. Sallah
I am a latecomer in my association with the journal, Re-Markings, but I see much to admire in its intellectually vibrant pages and much to be hopeful about in valuable efforts to foster global scholarly and intellectual conversations on culture, politics and the new literatures in English. With its twenty-fifth issue, Re-Markings can claim to be a confident establishment, comfortable in its roots and its ambitions. I see great promise in Re-Markings – in the ideas of peace and social justice through literary discourses that are flowing through its pages—and in the wonderful platform it is providing for the world's literati and thinkers to converse with one another about their literatures and cultures, and the underlying connections. The world is one – this is even more obvious when one considers the earth from a cosmic perspective. It has become closer with cross-border technology and information flows. Distances are being compressed by technology. Cultures, long separated by the hindrances of geography, are now meeting and speaking with other, and in that conversation are finding a common denominator – the amazing similarity and humanity between them. The world has become closer because journals such as Re-Markings are helping that happen. I wish Re-Markings another 25 years of success. May it continue to be more vibrant as we age.
Creating A One-world Atmosphere
James R. Giles
I have had the privilege of publishing criticism and fiction Re-Markings over the years. The experience has been pleasant and rewarding in each case. The submission process has been thoroughly professional, and the appearance of my materials in the journal has been clean and attractive. I am grateful for my association with such a diverse and important international journal. I have profited from looking over the other materials in the issues of the journal in which I have been fortunate enough to appear. The critical essays have been consistently provocative and informative and the creative pieces fascinating. Mr. Ghosh is a talented and energetic editor devoted to making Re-Markings a wide-ranging and challenging journal. I congratulate Re-Markings on its anniversary issue and look forward to its future contributions to the scholarly and creative communities. It is the kind of publication that truly creates a one-world atmosphere.
Beyond Canonical Boundaries
Walter S.H. Lim
With the launch of Re-Markings' 25th celebratory issue, I wish to congratulate Dr. Nibir Ghosh for his leadership and vision in anchoring an important journal in South Asia that deals not only with local and Asian literary and sociocultural matters but also with international cultural relations in a globalized world. While Re-Markings identifies New Literatures in English as its special area of emphasis, indicating the journal's instinct to move beyond the boundaries of the canonical, its ecumenical spirit is evident in its coverage of subject matter as diverse as American literature, comparative diasporic literature, and the topicality of the Nobel prize for literature. I recall well my involvement with Re-Markings through Dr. Ghosh's invitation for me to contribute articles on Shirley Geok-lin Lim and Li-Young Lee, two first-generation Chinese American authors from Southeast Asia, and on the award of the Nobel literature prize to Mo Yan. As we enter the second decade of the twenty-first century and become part of an inescapably interconnected world, we find ourselves also at a historical moment in which valorizations of nation-centered literatures are questioned by writings that embrace hybridity, internationalism, and the breakdown of compartmentalization. It strikes me that Re-Markings' openness to the implications of transnational literary production and cultural interactions positions it as a journal of deep relevance for those of us who embrace the idea of the importance of world literatures. Re-Markings will continue to resonate in the twenty-first century.
Voice of Vibrant Democratic Participation
Congratulations to Chief Editor Dr. Nibir K. Ghosh, Editor A. Karunaker, Executive Editor Sundeep Arora, and the editorial staff, advisors, contributors, readers and other supporters on the publication of the 25th issue of the journal Re-Markings, a forum for cross-cultural literary analysis, creative writing, review and other features. As a refereed journal, Re-Markings sets a high standard for its authors and provides consistently high quality to its readers. In India and abroad, this journal promotes reflection and intellectual engagement with others.
Facing rapid changes in how and with whom we communicate, we can appreciate and model the contribution of writing to the making of meaning and to the understanding of others. Literary analysis provides a vehicle for examining the meaning of stories in their social and political context. Such analysis is of growing importance in our plural societies in which we encounter so many stories and contexts.
Re-Markings engenders cross-cultural dialogue that promotes mutual understanding. This value of the Fulbright exchange program remains relevant since its inception in India in 1950. Inviting colleagues to seriously engage with academic policy debate, Dr. Ghosh often writes Re-Markings’ editorials that situate the volume within the context of timely institutional issues. These include the interpretation of academic freedom and the need for inclusion in curriculum of the many voices of vibrant democratic participation. The journal thus celebrates not only literary analysis and creative writing, but also the challenges of teaching about literature and the values it conveys.
There is something delightfully fresh about Re-Markings. After I read my issue, I always have the urge to write. I send my sincere hope and best wishes for a long life of the journal!
Cultural Blueprints and Better Architecture for Living
E. Ethelbert Miller
Many years ago I wrote about the importance of a common language holding people together. The heart does not need to pursue translation - it only needs to love. There are no borders or boundaries when a poem is read. I think what Nibir Ghosh has done with the journal Re-Markings over the years is the equivalent of providing us with cultural blueprints. Any discussion of literature should remind us that we are human and have the capacity to do good in the world. I was happy to contribute a few words about the novelist Chinua Achebe in a recent issue of Re-Markings. It was Achebe who taught us that "all the stories are true." The work Nibir has been doing with Re-Markings over the years explores this idea. Literary criticism serves as an overcoat protecting one from the rain of ignorance. Magazines build community. India has always been at the center of world culture. In Re-Markings east once again meets west. The result is not just intellectual cultural exchange but the establishment of a better architecture for living.
Creating Literary Camaraderie
The act of bringing out a journal is not a random act if one knows what one wishes to do and how. When Dr. Nibir K. Ghosh initiated his project he knew as much. His editorial in the first issue of Re-Markings (Vol. 1, No. 1, March 2002) spelt out his aim in unambiguous terms: “The avowed purpose of the present endeavour is to create a climate of opinion congenial to critical inquiry and intellectual debate.” I understand Dr. Ghosh made his choice with good discretion and with better reason in order to achieve the best that he could.
In India, academic journals have had their short and long lives and have served short-term and long-term purposes, but none has stood the test of years like Re-Markings, and none has survived the trials of editorship like Dr. Ghosh. Over a decade, this journal has emerged as a forum for socio-literary exchanges.
Re-Markings is now a formidable mehfil of writers, critics, commentators, reviewers, and readers—all brought together in the true spirit of companionship. During all these years, I have seen the scholars growing with the growth of this journal and I have seen them making way for the new ones to join. As I have watched this, I have also wondered if there was something special that kept them together. I did not have to strive hard for an answer; it lay in their striving to grow with each other to create what I should like to call a literary camaraderie deserving certain respect. While Re-Markings gave them a platform, they found their mooring and all of them, together, made a cumulative impact in the domains of literature, society, art, and culture that every generation, and every age, strives to build in its own inimitable way.
My association with Re-Markings has two facets: academic and personal. I made my tiny contributions now and then but when I look back while writing these lines I realise how little have I really delivered between then and now. I wish I could do more.
Hope of Redemption
Jitendra Narayan Patnaik
Unlike scores of Indian literary journals which are regularly irregular in terms of the periodicity of publication or which die down after a few issues or turn into business houses that facilitate smooth passage through the corridors of Ph.D industry, Re-Markings comes out without fail in March and September every year, is marching gloriously into its silver jubilee number and is ruthlessly scrupulous about the quality of articles selected for publication. Kudos to Nibir and his team for making all this possible. Journals like Re-Markings do offer some hope of redemption from the depressingly poor quality of research and teaching in most of the institutions of higher education in India.