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UGC Journals Approved List Reference No. 48352 (Re – Markings)
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Re-Markings, a refereed international biannual journal of English Letters aims at providing a healthy forum for scholarly and authoritative views on broad socio-political and cultural issues of human import as evidenced in literature art, television, cinema and journalism with special emphasis on new Literatures in English including translations and creative excursions.
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Re-Markings  Vol. 16 No. 2 March 2017

Editorial

Ever since Christopher Columbus discovered America on October 12, 1492, human interest in the United States, the land of “limitless opportunities” has not waned. Tempted by the dazzling glitter of the great American Dream, hopeful wanderers and bold adventurers from all parts of the globe have rushed in from time to time to make America their home. The great mosaic of many people coming from divergent cultures and climes and yet eager to be assimilated into the American mainstream may have inspired Walt Whitman to state poetically: “One’s-Self I sing, a simple separate person,/ Yet utter the word Democratic, the word En-Masse. / …  / I say the Form complete is worthier far,/ The Female equally with the Male I sing./ Of Life immense in passion, pulse, and power,/ Cheerful, for freest action form’d under the laws divine, / The Modern Man I sing.”
Whitman probably anticipated what in 1920 Israel Zangwill, an immigrant Jew from England, epitomized through the metaphor of the “Melting Pot,” a term that gained currency in early 20th century to explain how all immigrants could “melt” and be transformed into Americans. The “Melting Pot” theory conveniently reflected the latent American desire to bring about a total assimilation, either by choice or compulsion, of divergent cultures and communities into the national mainstream.

However, as a scholar of American Studies for over three decades now and through my firsthand experience as a senior Fulbright scholar of the land which Columbus discovered, I could not help reflecting on the glaring contradictions and the dilemmas that seemed to challenge from time to time the very veracity of the avowed American ideals of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” enshrined in the Declaration of Independence. In this context I am reminded of a statement made by H.L. Mencken: “Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule—and both commonly succeed, and are right.” Mencken’s statement seems to have found ample justification in the mutual mudslinging duels that passionately engaged the two presidential candidates during the recent elections in the U.S. Though the Nineteenth Amendment to the American Constitution had sanctioned “Votes for Women” way back in 1920, the 2016 election result indicated that America was not yet prepared to see a woman in the White House falsifying, thereby, Whitman’s ideal: “The Female equally with the Male I sing.”

Contrary to popular expectation and media speculation, Donald Trump found himself comfortably ensconced in the coveted White House. In the wake of Trump’s triumph, the mosaic of social and cultural diversity and assimilation that America is known for seems to have come under a cloud of suspicion and doubt. I was a little dismayed to receive several mails from both Native American and Immigrant friends in the U.S. who were quick to express their anxiety and dread at the victory of Trump. A Spanish friend wrote: “…we have the menace of Donald Trump around…. I am so worried and sad about it!” Likewise, this is what an African American friend based in Washington D.C. had to say: “Much happening in our world these days—much of it isn’t good. I fear the creation of a new World Order. The problem of the 21st Century is religion. The issues of the ‘color line’ must now take a back seat. I fear the new Trump administration is leading the New Crusades….  May the work we do only be seduced by the truth.”

In order to get a clearer picture, I wrote to Professor Jonah Raskin, an avid lover of Re-Markings and a dear friend, soliciting his views as an insider on the issue. His insightful and fairly objective response, included in the current volume, reveals the veracity of Winston Churchill’s remark: “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”

No less relevant in the democratic discourse are the issues highlighted by Lama Rangdrol in his elaborate conversation in this volume. In the light of dilemmas that continue to haunt human conscience in the world’s most powerful and the largest democracy respectively, Rangdrol rightly suggests, “As victims of dogged oppression, Dalits and African Americans must reckon the mutuality of their struggle.”

Before closing the editorial note, I wish to offer, on behalf of the  Re-Markings fraternity, heartiest felicitations to Bob Dylan for bagging the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature. May his lyrical utterances continue to inspire humanity to move beyond borders and boundaries of conflict zones! Our heartfelt condolences are also due to the two stalwarts—Comrade Fidel Castro and Bharati Mukherjee—who recently departed from Planet Earth for their eternal abode. The rich legacy of their lifetime contribution that they have left behind will surely inspire us to continue with our struggle to create and sustain viable democratic spaces despite constant threats from contending camps.

Nibir K. Ghosh

Chief Editor

CONTENTS

‘Bridges between Oppressed People’: A Conversation with Lama Rangdrol – Nibir K.Ghosh

Point Counterpoint: Two Essays –  Jonah Raskin

Trumped Again: The 2016 American Election; Bob Dylan: Nobel Prize Reflections

Visiting Emily Dickinson – Tulip Chowdhury

Journalism and Literature: The twain shall never meet…or will they? – Brij Khandelwal

Scriptures in Dire Need of Relook – Sushil Gupta

Transnational as Initiation: Imraan Coovadia’s – The Tales of the Green-Eyed Thieves – Tanutrushna Panigrahi

Alternate Sexualities and Societal Stereotypes in the Plays of Dattani – Arun Soule

Monk and the Monkeys: Decanonising Nature in Kiran Desai’s Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard – Richa

Popular Culture as Reflections of Lived Realities: A Case Study of Mahabharat, Justice League and The Originals – Pramit Sinha & Aisha Shamshuddin

Postcolonial Indian English Fiction: Visible Trends and Shifting Sensibilities in the Nineteen Fifties and Sixties – Seema Sinha

Bharati Mukherjee’s Jasmine: A Study in Assimilation – Anuradha Gaur

Women as Metaphor: A Study of Anita Rau Badami’s Can You Hear the Night Bird Call? and Shauna Singh Baldwin’s What The Body Remembers – Urvashi Kaushal

John Donne as a Religious Poet – Sushil Kumar Mishra

POETRY

A Sonnet of Loud Despair – E. Ethelbert Miller

Adios, El Commandante Fidel – Morakabe Raks Seakhoa

I Wish I Could Walk a Mile in Your Shoes: A Tribute to Maya Angelou – La Shawna Griffith Two Poems – R.K. Bhushan
Eyeries, Religious Theme

Three Poems – Soun Kanwar Shekhawat

The Blank Space, Dear Pen, What’s Toughest in Life

Two Poems – Anupama Kaushal

Open Spaces, Women Empowerment

A Smiling Sphere – Runjhun Kapoor

REVIEW ESSAY

‘I come from a land stung by a line’: Poems by Gurcharan Rampuri – Shyamala A. Narayan

Essays of Saadat Hasan Manto: Agony of ‘an Indian Trapped in Pakistan’ – R.P. Singh



Bose

Immortal Legend of India’s Freedom
Contemporary Critical Orientations

Re-Markings  Special Number Vol. 16 No. 1 January 2017

 

Editorial

It all began with the invitation I received to give the keynote speech at a function organized by Sainik Parishad, Agra on 23rd January 2015 to mark the 119th birth anniversary of Subhas Chandra Bose. The said invitation gave me the opportunity to offer my humble homage to one who had loomed large in my consciousness as an inimitable icon of Indian nationalism since my very childhood. The appeal of Netaji for me lay in the versatility of his many-sided genius that enabled him to stride like a colossus the tumultuous times he lived in. From the response of the audience during the interactive session that followed my talk, I could easily gauge that there was tremendous enthusiasm in everyone for this jewel of India who unto his very last proved a veritable thorn in the crown of British rule in India. Many of those present suggested ways and means to perpetuate the fond memory of this patriot of patriots. Though I returned home with a great sense of fulfillment, I couldn’t help wondering what I could do personally to keep alive the legacy of the eternal flame of “Faithfulness, Duty and Sacrifice” Bose had bequeathed to us through his lifelong struggle and sacrifice to see his first love, India, free.

It dawned upon me, perhaps through divine dispensation, that rather than celebrate, as a matter of ritual, his birth and death anniversaries with glib talk, full of sound and fury signifying nothing, it would be more worthwhile to read, comprehend, appreciate and record in writing a contemplated response to various facets and dimensions of the life and work of a noble soul that left behind him footprints on the graph of time for posterity to emulate. My first impulse was to go in for a book on the legacy of Netaji. On second thought, however, I felt that I could make befitting use of the space that Re-Markings provides to bring together friends and aliens from across the globe to articulate their ideas and views on diverse strands of the grand contribution of the “Indian Pilgrim” who was conspicuously instrumental in hastening the sunset of an Empire that lived in the delusion of an endless dawn of its being and existence.

As I began talking to people who I believed would be interested in writing on Bose and discussed the proposal with them, their incredibly spontaneous and highly motivating response immediately convinced me that the dream project was bound to take concrete shape. The frequent discussions with them brought to the fore issues and concerns that needed to be addressed in order to attempt a comprehensive exploration, examination and analysis of the Bose mystique not only through a serious study of his unfinished autobiography, his letters, speeches and all other writings but also to ponder over them through the lens of contemporary times. With a view to making the volume vibrant with the living presence of Bose, I felt the need to solicit cooperation of people related to the family or who had seen the legend in action from close quarters. The proverbial shot in the arm came when I succeeded in contacting Professor Sugata Bose (grand-nephew of Subhas Chandra Bose, Gardiner Professor of Oceanic History, Harvard University, U.S.A., and Member of Parliament in the current Lok Sabha) and mentioned to him the ambitious project I had in mind. Overcoming my initial hesitation, I straightaway requested him for an interview on different aspects of Bose’s revolutionary life and career. I was simply delighted to receive his instant consent. At the same time, I was no less happy to hear from my dear friend, Professor Shankar Dutt, that Mrs. Zeenat Ahmad (Wife and companion to Colonel Mahboob Ahmad, Military Secretary to Netaji) would be pleased to grant us an interview for the project. The scene was thus set for this Special Re-Markings’ Number titled Bose Immortal Legend of India’s Freedom.

Two pertinent statements made by Professor Sugata Bose and Mrs. Zeenat Ahmad in their conversations in the present collection need our special attention. According to Professor Sugata Bose, “Netaji has been neglected in official histories and textbooks and by court historians in post-independence India. There is a certain price to be paid for being the alter-ego to those wielding state power.” Likewise, Mrs. Zeenat Ahmad reiterates: “Bose lost his life for the country and he is not given the recognition he deserves. What upsets me is that he has not been given his due even in the writing of history.” These two statements highlight most emphatically the deliberate attempt by historians as well as the powers-that-be to shroud the resplendent glory of Bose in the veil of obscurity for obvious reasons. It seems relevant to refer to the remark of Peter Fay in this context: “What is the British perception of Netaji and the I. N. A.? Cloudy, I would suggest. Inverted, which is a variety of being wrong. Finally, and most obviously, incomplete. It is an incompleteness that comes in part from just refusing to look. Do you know what happened to Netaji in British publications during the war? He disappeared.”

In a recent article Anuj Dhar has pointed out that “For reasons political, the authorities in India will never acknowledge the paramount role of Netaji in forcing the colonial British to transfer the power in 1947.” Equally dismaying is the denigration he had to suffer by being dubbed as a fascist agent by both the British and their stooges in India. In post-independence Indian parlance Bose is either a “Lost Hero” or at best a “Forgotten Hero.” How right was Chinua Achebe, the iconic African writer, in his emphatic observation that “Until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter!” It is befitting, therefore, that the new critical orientations that adorn this precious collection challenge the existing “cloudy, inverted or incomplete” viewpoints and perspectives with the sole purpose of projecting in proper light the exemplary contribution of “the Springing Tiger” to the freedom of India.

It is often believed that those who are destined to create history seldom have the time to write it. In the case of Subhas Chandra Bose, it may be said that even while he was engaged at all stages of his life with single-minded devotion and commitment to see his motherland free, he always recorded his observations with immaculate precision and sincerity in his writings. In a letter to his brother Sarat Bose, after he resigned from the Indian Civil Service, he stated with all candidness: “We have got to make a nation and a nation can be made only by the uncompromising idealism of Hampden and Cromwell…. I have come to believe that it is time for us to wash our hands clean of any connection with the British Government. Every Government servant whether he be a petty chaprasi or a provincial Governor only helps to contribute to the stability of the British Government in India. The best way to end a Government is to withdraw from it. I say this not because that was Tolstoy’s doctrine nor because Gandhi preaches it – but because I have come to believe in it.” It is significant that Bose did not remain content merely by withdrawing from the Indian Civil Service but by his unstinted patriotism, inspiring leadership and undisputed military valour paved the way for the very withdrawal of the British from the Indian soil.

The kaleidoscopic range and variety of essays in this volume, touching upon every possible aspect of Subhas Chandra Bose, is bound to be of abiding interest to anyone interested in the remaking of a nation in the image of the blueprint that the charismatic and divinely inspired leader provided through his life and work. It is of immense significance that the contributors to this Special Number hail from all walks of life. If there are historians and academicians of national and international recognition, bestseller novelists, poets and travel writers, recipients of Padma Shri, Sahitya Akademi and other coveted awards, we also have amongst us an Indian Air Force officer as well as a senior monk from the Ram Krishna Mission, Calcutta. The common thread that unites all the contributors – from the school-going teenager to those in their mid or late eighties  –  is the admiration and esteem that each one has for Subhas. Of equal importance is the fact that cutting across genres like interview, poetry, prose, play, vignettes, films, critiques, reviews and reminiscences, the write-ups bring into bold relief numerous facets of Bose’s personality and sterling quality of selfless leadership that provide a beacon of hope to a nation in turmoil.

At a time when the idea of nationalism and harmonious living of diverse communities and religions is being vitiated in the country by the prevailing culture of intolerance and refusal to see any conflicting viewpoint in proper light, the idea of whether Bose could have prevented the Partition of the sub-continent seems highly pertinent. Likewise, the immensely wide range of submissions adequately reflect the outreach of the volume in addressing issues of contemporary relevance like women empowerment, communal amity, economic planning, caste/class dichotomy, make-in-India initiative, role of media in state governance, mystery surrounding Bose’s untimely death, corruption in high places, and Declassification of files pertaining to Bose. An exclusive essay on Emilie Schenkl, the woman behind the legend, adds to the impact of the collage. The charm of the collection has decisively been enhanced with the inclusion of two pieces: “Editor’s Note” to Netaji and India’s Freedom: Proceedings of the International Netaji Seminar, 1973 by Dr. Sisir Kumar Bose and “The Bengal Student as I Knew Him 1909-1916” by Professor Edward Farley Oaten, thanks to the kind indulgence of Professor Sugata Bose.

I am optimistic that this Special Number of Re-Markings will not only open new avenues of serious scholarship on Bose but also considerably inspire the young generation to enjoy the sense of divine fulfillment that stems from placing the country before the self. His untimely death may remain a matter of perpetual mystery but we can always draw sustenance from the belief that “to live in the hearts we leave behind is not to die.” What is paramount is to be mindful that the spotlight is not on him but on us who inherit his legacy.

Before concluding this editorial note, I consider it obligatory on my part to express my deep indebtedness to one and all who have made this challenging enterprise so very special. First and foremost, I am profusely thankful to each one of the contributors for sharing their valuable offerings with uninhibited passion and sense of belonging to the Bose cult. For ideational support and constant encouragement, I am hugely thankful to Professor Sugata Bose, Professor Abdul Shaban and Professor Shankar Dutt among others. I am happy to record my fond appreciation for travel writers Mr. Anurag Malik and Ms. Priya Ganapathy who undertook a transcontinental journey for their tribute to Bose. I am deeply grateful to Dr. Krishna Bose and the Netaji Research Bureau, Kolkata for allowing us to reprint in this volume the pieces penned by Dr. Sisir Kumar Bose and Professor E.F. Oaten. My special thanks are due to the two editors: Professor A. Karunaker for his active support, and Dr. Sunita Rani Ghosh for being a pillar of strength in this glorious project in so many ways. My sincere gratitude is reserved for Mr. Sandeep Arora who has designed the graphics for this Special Number with aesthetic perfection besides being an integral part of this endeavour from the very moment of its conception. I am no less thankful to Mr. Sudarshan Kcherry of Authorspress for his endearing association with this unique edition of Re-Markings.

It is important that the time of the publication of this volume coincides with the grand entry of our journal into the sixteenth year of its publication. I deem it an honour and privilege on behalf of the Re-Markings fraternity to present our humble offering to the immortal legend of India’s freedom on his 120th birth anniversary.

With warmest good wishes to all for a bright and beautiful 2017 and beyond,

Nibir K. Ghosh

Chief Editor

 

CONTENTS

 

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Making of the Legend – Nibir K. Ghosh

“A Brighter Future is India’s Destiny”: A Conversation with Sugata Bose – Nibir K. Ghosh

Freedom is not given – it is taken”: A Conversation with Zeenat Ahmad – Tara Sami Dutt & Zaara Urouj

Netaji and India’s Freedom: Proceedings of the International Netaji Seminar, 1973 – Editor’s Note – Sisir Kumar Bose

The Bengal Student as I Knew Him 1909-1916 – Edward Farley Oaten

Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose: Vignettes from Memory – Ramesh Chandra Shah

Could Subhas Chandra Bose have Prevented the Partition of India? – Abdul Shaban

Netaji Trail: The Bose Particle – Anurag Mallick & Priya Ganapathy

Swami Vivekananda and Subhash Chandra Bose – Swami Sujayananda

When Netaji was the Last Word – N.S. Tasneem

De/reconstructing the Idea of the Nationalist Hero – Shanker A. Dutt

Subhash Chandra Bose: True Architect of Modern India – Sugam Anand

Cinematic Representation of Subhas Chandra Bose: Reading Shyam Benegal’s Bose: The Forgotten Hero – Mohammad Asim Siddiqui

Emilie Schenkl: In Letter and Spirit – Sunita Rani Ghosh

Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose: Military General, Visionary, Statesman and Politician – Kunwar Jai Pal Singh Chauhan

Waiting for Bose – Omkar Sane

Subhas Chandra Bose and Women Empowerment – Sanjukta Sattar

Subhas Chandra Bose: A Visionary Spiritualist – Ajit Mukherjee & Pranamita Pati

Netaji in Our Times: Weaving Fragments of a Great Life – Sukalpa Bhattacharjee

Conspiracies, Controversies and Confusion:  Declassification of the Bose Files – Supantha Bhattacharyya

His Majesty’s Opponent: Retelling Nationalist History – Dev Vrat Sharma

Netaji – Some Personal Thoughts – S.B. Medhi

The People Who influenced Subhash Chandra Bose – Shrikant Singh

Contemporary Relevance of Netaji’s Visionary Ideas – Monali Bhattacharya

Rhetoric of Subhash Chandra Bose – Abnish Singh Chauhan

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Indian Freedom Struggle – Dipa Chakrabarti

Subhash Chandra Bose: From Congress to Forward Bloc, A Crisis of Ideology – Purabi Bhattacharyya

Reporting on Subhash Chandra Bose’s Death: An Analysis of Key Words, Syntactic Patterns and Discourse – Sadra Samreen

Subhas Chandra Bose’s Political Differences with Mahatma Gandhi – Purnendu Kumar Kar

Poems

Let Us Not Forget – Shanta Acharya

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose – Rahil Shaban


Re-Markings Vol. 15 No. 2 September 2016

Editorial

Dr. Tijan M. Sallah’s glowing tribute to Re-Markings on the publication of the 30th celebratory issue of the journal in March 2016, also marking fifteen eventful years of its vibrant existence, brings to mind W.B. Yeats’s epigraph to his 1916 collection of poems, Responsibilities and Other Poems: “In dreams begin responsibilities.” Dr. Sallah’s  refer-ence to the journal as “an avenue for the brighter side of human nature” and “a generous platform for the sharing of stories, essays and criticisms of what is magnificent in our being human albeit molded by the rich diverse cultures of the world,” may be an objective appraisal of the issues and concerns, both national and global, that we have addressed since we began our mission way back in 2002 but such generous praises do and must make us aware of the responsibilities that come with such accolades. In terms of material pursuits and scientific as well as technological advancement, the world may have become a habitat of limitless hopes and possibilities. Yet if we look at ground reality we find ourselves engulfed in dread and anxiety created by divisive and destructive forces all around us so much so that we are left lamenting “what man has made of man!”

The way ahead may be paved with uncertainties that threaten our very existence but we have got to continue to strive together to fight against not only terrorism and unprecedented violence but also against inequities of all kinds related to nation, race, caste, gender and class that create insurmountable barriers among the homo sapiens. In this context it seems relevant to draw inspiration from a statement by Pablo Neruda: “There is no insurmountable solitude. All paths lead to the same goal: to convey to others what we are. And we must pass through solitude and difficulty, isolation and silence in order to reach forth to the enchanted place where we can dance our clumsy dance and sing our sorrowful song – but in this dance or in this song there are fulfilled the most ancient rites of our conscience in the awareness of being human and of believing in a common destiny.”

It is significant that Re-Markings has consistently striven to weave out of the strands of diverse cultures, communities and religions, a durable fabric of belief in a “common destiny” by providing a valuable platform for the diffusion and dissemination of ideas in a healthy spirit of mutual exchange wherein multiple perspectives can be seen to coexist like the variant colours of the rainbow.

Even a cursory glance at the current issue of Re-Markings will amply reveal the amazing diversity inherent in its contents. I deem it a pleasure to introduce to the Re-Markings fraternity Comrade Raks Morakabe Seakhoa from South Africa whose interview is featured as a lead piece in this issue. Comrade Raks has had the rare distinction of being a close friend and associate of two South African icons: Nelson Mandela and Nadine Gordimer. His remark, “As a perennial political and human rights activist, my primary poetic focus has been the plight of the down-trodden, the super-exploited and poorest of the poor” lyrically resonates with the avowed aim of our journal. Also included in the current volume are tributes to William Shakespeare, Jack London, Harper Lee and Rudyard Kipling. The kaleidoscopic range and variety of other contributions in this issue bring into bold relief discourses seminal to contemporary human concern.

Before closing this editorial note, it would be inappropriate not to remember with fondness and esteem Mahasweta Devi, the relentless activist and literary icon who departed for her eternal abode on 28 July 2016. As a champion of the downtrodden and the marginalized she gave new habitation and name to the hitherto undiscovered continent of the tribal world. Intensely aware of the predicament of tribal women, she candidly stated: “a woman can be said to be virtuous only after she has been cremated and her ashes are scattered in the wind.” However, with the power of her creativity she had the innate ability to enter the lives of her characters to portray and project them as empowered individuals always ready to challenge the status quo. The following lines from the Keynote Address she delivered at the Jaipur Literature Festival in 2013 is a befitting tribute to the struggle her own life symbolized: “As I have been saying for years, repeatedly, the right to dream should be the first fundamental right. The right to dream. This then is my fight. My dream. In my life and in my literature.” In another characteristic statement she conveyed the idea of the dream she envisaged for the tribal world: “The only way to counter globalization is to have a plot of land in some central place, keep it covered in grass, let there be a single tree, even a wild tree. Let your son’s tricycle lie there. Let some poor child come and play, let a bird come and use the tree. Small things. Small dreams.”

May her worthy soul bask in the sunshine of the dreams she has left behind and may we continue to be inspired by her monumental life and work to undertake individual as well as collective responsibility to transform these small things and small dreams into enduring reality.

Nibir K. Ghosh

Chief Editor

 CONTENTS

‘Erecting Bridges to Re-link the World’: A Conversation with Comrade Morakabe Raks Seakhoa – Nibir K. Ghosh

In Memoriam: Three Essays – Jonah Raskin

Genius Lives: William Shakespeare at 400; Jack London at 100; The Jungle Book Revisited: Kipling, India and Empire; To Mock a Killing Bird: Harper Lee and Her Famous Novel

“My Needs are Simple: Paper, Pen, and Privacy” : A Tribute to Harper Lee – Wanda H. Giles

 The Shakespearean Magic: A Tribute – Shernavaz Buhariwala

Revisiting Mythic Tales: A Conversation with Kavita Kane – Maya Vinai & M.G. Prasuna

From Dominant Poetics to “Little Histories” – Mini Nanda

Pseudo-Diversities and Migratory Indigenous in Toni Morrison’s Sula – Rahul Kamble

Solitude as an Ontological-Creative Contingent: Rainer Maria Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet – Bibhudutt Dash

Geopolitical Constructs of Arab-American Identity: Leila Ahmed’s A Border Passage:

From Cairo to America, A Woman’s  Journey –  Rama Hirawat

Ecocentric Reading of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men – Sanjay Palwekar

Role of Media in the Public Sphere: A Habermasian Critique of the Advertisement World – Ankita Sharma

Autobiographical Patterns in John Cheever’s “Expelled” – Arati K Thakur

 From Being a Part to Being Apart: Language in Indian Writing in English with Special Reference to The God of Small Things – Yogendra Pareek

 The Journey of Language from Art to Science – Laxmi R Chauhaan

Manifestations of Evil: Reading Manto through Badiou – Navdeep Kaur

Book Review

Review of Shanta Acharya’s A World Elsewhere – Anita Money


​​Re-Markings Vol. 15 No. 1 March 2016

EDITORIAL

It is my privilege and pleasure to offer to our avid readers this 30th issue of Re-Markings that marks its glorious entry into the fifteenth year of its publication. Ever since its inception in March 2002, the journal has remained dedicated and committed to addressing pressing issues and concerns relevant to the world we inhabit, be it local, national or global. It is intensely fulfilling to believe that members of the Re-Markings fraternity have consistently engaged themselves in creating with their erudite scholarship, experience and expertise a veritable climate of opinion congenial to critical inquiry and intellectual debate related to the human predicament bordering on conflict and discrimination in terms of caste, class, creed, race, colour, gender, ideology, religion and the like. It is no less heartening to note how such discourses have encouraged them to shun the seemingly comfortable path of deterministic skepticism and express firm faith in the fact that change for the better is not only imperative but that it is also feasible through one’s own determined initiative and proactive involvement in a good cause. As a case in point, we may refer to the menace that we in India have witnessed in very recent times – the scourge of what has come to be known as “intolerance.” Though “Intolerance has been the curse of every age and state,” as observed by Samuel Davies, the term has come to assume new connotation in the most recent context of questioning as well as challenging our inalienable right to voice our own opinion or to express dissent in matters that concern us as individuals. The ensuing debate between “us” and “them” often leading to unwarranted violence and even death have engaged the attention of one and all with writers, poets, academics, intellectuals, politicians, sportspersons as well as stars from Bollywood joining the fray. As the tragic drama engendered by “intolerance” unfolded in the public domain with adequate media hype, we also had the opportunity to enjoy a bit of what one may call comic relief in the form of Inaam Wapsi by those who held the government responsible for supporting and perpetuating “intolerance.” Interestingly, there were also those who, as a counter measure, organized marches and dharnas at the power centres to placate the powers that be by showing their solidarity against the dissenters in the hope of procuring similar Inaams and/or lucrative offices. There can, however, be little doubt that events like the murder of the famous Kannada writer Dr. M.M. Kalburgi, the lynching of Akhlaq Khan and the suicide committed by Rohith Vemula are a slur not only on our national claim to “unity in diversity” but also a gross mockery of our constitutional reassurance of liberty, equality and fraternity. It is sadly ironical that such terrible episodes could project two sides to choose from to the writers and intellectuals in the country. Rather than allowing political expediencies to justify lies and falsities, each one of us in our role as a true Indian should have shown total unanimity by coming together in absolute unison to condemn the forces responsible for such shameful events irrespective of our individual preferences and dislikes. As a matter of fact it is incumbent on each one of us to put our heads and souls together to seriously explore ways and means to expose and bring to book the elements that are bent on rending the country apart in the name of religion or caste. Social, political and economic apocalypses and cataclysms that adversely affect and threaten man’s very existence also teach us to heed what Edmund Burke proclaimed in his own time: “When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.” What I have said above may seem idealistic rumination to anyone familiar with the historical realities of the Partition, the 1984 Sikh riots and the recurring acts of communal violence that have rocked the nation from time to time since Independence. The contributors to this celebratory volume hailing from Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian and other communities and also from various nations like Gambia, America, South Africa, New Zealand, India and Pakistan amply substantiate what Dr. Tijan M. Sallah so emphatically states in his generous tribute to the role of Re-Markingsin contemporary parlance. To provide such a suitable platform for recognizing our familiar selves in the strangeness of others and to be able toblend spirit and thought of diverse people and nations augurs well for our avowed mission to safeguard mellifluous coexistence in an age submerged in intolerance. I shall be failing in my duty if I do not convey my profuse thanks to all the contributors to this volume for enriching it with their insightful essays, interview, poems and reviews. My heartfelt gratitude is especially reserved for one and all who have contributed in no mean measure to take the journal to higher levels of perfection with each issue. I am deeply indebted to Sandeep K. Arora for his selfless ideational and cyber support. Long live the Re-Markings brotherhood!  

Nibir K. Ghosh

Chief Editor  

 

CONTENTS

Down the Rabbit Hole: Alice and the Eccentric Lewis Carroll – Jonah Raskin 
Imprints from the Rainbow Nation: A Conversation with Imraan Coovadia – Nibir K. Ghosh
The Narrative Art of Saadat Hasan Manto – N.S. Tasneem
When the Place Becomes a Person: Paule Marshall’s “From the Poets in the Kitchen” – K. Narayana Chandran
Identity and Culture in Bharati Mukherjee’s Short Fiction – Itishree Devi
Adrienne Rich’s ‘Re-visionist’ Utopia – Tasneem Shahnaaz
The Internet and ‘Digital Divide’- Melwyn Pinto
Was not this love indeed? Revisiting Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night – Prabha Pant
The A/political M/other: A Study of Mahasweta Devi’s Mother of 1084 – Navleen Multani
Friendship and Familial Bonding in Ruskin Bond’s No Man is an Island – Ajay K. Chaubey 

“Alone on My Boat on the Sea”: Existentialist Ambivalence in Anita Desai’s Fire on the Mountain – Narinder K. Sharma
Pangs of Partition in Khushwant Singh’s Train to Pakistan – Satyendra Prasad Singh 

Chronus-Hyperion Syndrome in The Fiction of R.K. Narayan – Bijay Ketan Pattanayak
Dehumanisation in Vijay Tendulkar’s Sakharam Binder and Mohan Rakesh’s Halfway House – Lowleen Malhrotra

Poetry
Five Poems – Patricia Prime: Themes on a Variation, Scene at the Beach, Blue Bowl, Touching Wood, Ryuka
Four Poems – Zehra Nigah: Translated from the Urdu by Urvashi Sabu: The Acrobat Woman, Exile, Superman, Gulzameena
Two Poems – Barbara Briggs: Returning, The Bells of Eternity
My Gulf Dreams – Maya Vinai
Two Poems – Sushil Kumar Mishra: Courtesy, Wonders of Science

Book Review
​Review of S. Ramaswamy’s Excavations – Sudhir K. Arora


Re-Markings Vol. 14 No. 2 September 2015

Editorial

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,/ And sorry I could not travel both/ And be one traveler… – Robert Frost

Whenever I transport myself to the fond memories of my enriching voyage as a Senior Fulbright scholar to the land which Columbus discovered, I cannot help recall the poem “The Road not Taken” by Robert Frost that brings to the fore the dilemma of a traveler caught in the complexity of choices. The letters of invitation that I received for my fellowship came from Rhode Island College (Providence), City University New York and the University of Washington, Seattle. Being in CUNY would give me the grand opportunity of working with Distinguished Professor Morris Dickstein, the internationally acclaimed literary and cultural critic. Alternately, I was no less tempted by the prospect of having as my Faculty Associate, Charles Johnson, the icon of African American writing and recipient of America’s National Book Award, based at the University of Washington in Bill Gates’ town. My decision was prompted by two reasons: one, that my Fulbright project was focused on contemporary African American writings and second that I was in correspondence with Charles Johnson for almost over a year before I joined him in Seattle. I must confess that though I hadn’t known Professor Dickstein personally when I applied for the fellowship, he was extremely generous in consenting to sponsor my stay in CUNY. To thank him from the core of my heart, I traveled all the way from Seattle to New York. The day that we (my wife Sunita and I) spent in his company remains firmly imprinted in our mind and heart. It was a day that marked the beginning of what turned out for me an extremely rewarding and lasting friendship that continues till date. That he is a wonderfully generous human being is evident from the following inimitable lines he wrote in the Foreword to my precious book Multicultural America: Conversations with Contemporary Authors that emerged out of my U.S. trip: “Dr. Ghosh’s engaging colloquies with each of these varied figures bring to mind the work of journalist Studs Terkel, who has spent a lifetime talking to ordinary and extraordinary Americans, and the celebrated interviews with writers that have appeared in the Paris Review over the past half century.”

In an era when information travels faster than the speed of light through emails, smart phones, twitters, facebook, whatsapp and what have you, sending or receiving what once we knew as postcards provided by the Indian Postal Department surely may come as an anachronistic experience. When I received one sometime in March this year I was really startled initially. Written in a running hand, close to a scrawl, the postcard was filled to the brim with words clamouring for space. I am happy to share with my worthy Re-Markings’ readers, some part of the content: “Dear Professor Ghosh, Do you, can you recall having met me in Nagpur last month? I was there in connection with an international seminar organized by the Hindi Department. You were kind enough to gift me a copy of the January issue of Re-Markings. I have now read almost all the articles and am so delighted. It was a very pleasant and exciting experience to read your journal. I am so impressed by your editorial resourcefulness. I was delighted by your own article, ‘A Soul Deep Like the Rivers.Nothing short of a revelation for me, really….I don’t know why I conceived such a strong urge to send you a recent article of mine on the fictional work of Ruth P. Jhabvala. I hardly ever participate in Seminars of English literature but this one was one of the rare exception. Ruth’s daughter Renana Jhabvala insisted on it and I couldn’t resist, she being a friend of mine as well as of my (late) wife. I just had a strong impulse to read it through your eyes. It’s not meant for publication. Renana and her husband liked it very much and the audience as well (It was presented in a week-long festival in memory of Ruth at India International centre, New Delhi).”

I have treasured this postcard that came from none else than Padmashree Dr. Ramesh Chandra Shah, the icon of Hindi poetry, fiction and criticism, as an emblem of his monumental magnanimity and endearing affection for Re-Markings.

It is a very special privilege for me as well as for the Re-Markings fraternity that the current issue features, among many other valuable contributions, Professor Dickstein’s interview with Jonah Raskin and the brilliant write up on Ruth Prawer Jhabwala by Professor Ramesh Chandra Shah. Let us extend our heartfelt felicitations to Professor Dickstein on the recent publication of Why Not Say What Happened and to Professor Shah for bagging the Sahitya Akademi Award for his novel Vinayak. Let us also thank them for being a part of the excellence that Re-Markings stands for.
-Nibir K. Ghosh

Chief Editor

CONTENTS

American Culture in the Sixties: A Conversation with Morris Dickstein – Jonah Raskin
The Elusive Quest for Truth: Ruth Prawer Jhabvala’s
My Nine Lives & A Love Song for India – Ramesh Chandra Shah

Whose Island is it Anyway?: The Prospero-Caliban Equation – Shernavaz Buhariwala Countdown – Sushil Gupta
The Negro Speaks of Rivers”: A Critical Reading – Suruchi Kalra Choudhary
Strategies of Subversion in David Davidar’s The House of Blue Mangoes – Preeti Bhatt
Aesthetics of Rasa Siddhanta – Dev Vrat Sharma
Bakhtin’s Dialogism and Novelistic Discourse – Sharad Rajimwale
Repressed and Silenced History of 1971 in Kamila Shamsie’s Kartography – Sadia Hasan
Human God: Deconstruction & Reconstruction – Mrudula Lakkaraju
Experiencing the New Self in A Matter of Time and Small Remedies – Reena V. Nair
Feminism in Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things – Ambri Shukla & Shuchi Srivastava
Indian Feminist Response to Postcoloniality – Varsha Sharma
Indian Women in Amitav Ghosh’s The Hungry Tide – Natabar Jena
Feminine Sensibility in Shashi Deshpande’s In the Country of Deceit – Minushree Pattnaik

Poetry

Two Poems – G.L. Gautam : Hoping Against Hope, “The Summer Morn”
Healing Nature – Arati Thakur

Book Review

Review of Nar Deo Sharma’s Emotionoceans – K.K. Srivastava
Review of C.L. Khatri’s Two Minute Silence – Binod Mishra


Re-Markings Vol. 14 No. 1 March 2015

Editorial

In the introductory chapter of The Clash of Civilizations Samuel Huntington rightly pointed out that “culture and cultural identities, which at the broadest level are civilizational identities, are shaping the pattern of cohesion, disintegration and conflict in the post-Cold War world.” It is quite apparent from events like the demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992, the 1993 Bombay blasts, the 9/11attack on the World Trade Center in New York in 2001, the 26/11 Mumbai attacks in 2008 and most recently the Charlie Hebdo episode that our so-called global civilization is imminently poised for an inevitable clash of cultures/religions. In the ensuing discourse resulting out of such calamitous conflicts, expressions like “freedom” and “fear” often come to the fore. Freedom of speech and expression is doubtlessly our inalienable right. Perhaps, as an expression of this prerogative, Charlie Hebdo published cartoons caricaturing Prophet Mohammad, an act considered blasphemous by Muslims worldwide. As a retaliatory act, the terrorists, the self-proclaimed defenders of faith, entered the Charlie Hebdo office and killed twelve journalists on the staff of the satirical magazine. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called the attack “a horrendous, unjustifiable and cold-blooded crime…a direct assault on a cornerstone of democracy, on the media and on freedom of expression.” In an unprecedented show of solidarity against the gruesome act of terrorism, over a million people, including heads of several nations, marched in Paris two days after the terror act. Defending the freedom of the press, the lawyer of the satirical journal, Richard Malka stated: “Charlie Hebdo is not violent but irreverent, it aims at provoking laughter and laughter can be corrosive but never hateful and never violent….You have the right to engage in blasphemy, you have a right to criticize my religion quite simply because none of this is serious.” In a similar light can be seen the controversy that erupted when M.F. Husain portrayed Hindu goddesses in the nude in some of his paintings, a depiction that he said symbolised purity. It was quite obvious for Hindu hardliners to take offence and demand his exile from the land. Unfortunately, it is natural for fundamentalist forces to ignore the voice of reason and resort to violence to silence dissent of any kind. Such forces tend to ignore the fact that what truly signifies free expression is the willingness to listen, to hear the views of others, as well as the ability to express them. A.G. Gardiner had so wisely said in his essay, “On the Rule of the Road,”: “Liberty is not a personal affair only but a social contract. It is an accommodation of interest.” If one could take in such sensible advice, the earth would be a lovely planet to inhabit. However, perspectives of conflict change when the defaulters as individuals or collective forces are people from the same community as the aggrieved. Both Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses and Taslima Nasreen’s Lajja have incurred the wrath of the Muslim community leading to fatwas, exiles and the banning of their books. In her preface to Lajja Taslima records in anguish: “I detest fundamentalism and communalism. This was the reason I wrote Lajja after the demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya on 6 December 1992. The book…deals with the persecution of Hindus, a religious minority in Bangladesh, by the Muslims who are in the majority. It is disgraceful that the Hindus in my country were hunted by the Muslims after the destruction of Babri Masjid. All of us who love Bangladesh should feel ashamed that such a terrible thing could happen in our beautiful country….Lajja is a document of our collective defeat.” Frankly speaking, when I read the book in 1993 and I read it again now, one thing that remains constant in this 20-plus years is my firm belief that before demolishing Babri Masjid the fundamentalist elements may have taken a dip in the river of sanity to foresee how brazenly it would effect their own community living outside India’s precincts in Islamic states. Of course, it would have been a great deal wiser if such forces could comprehend the futility of such an absurd act at the first instance. Finally, reference must be made to one of the worst acts of violence in Pakistan’s history that saw 131 children gunned down by terrorists in the Army Public School, Peshawar on the ominous morning of 16 December, 2015. The calamity left the entire human world utterly shocked, dumbfounded and outraged. The only solace, if any, may come from the song penned by ISPR officials in the aftermath of the tragedy. The opening lines of the song are: “Main aisi qoum se hoon jiske woh bachon se darta hai/ Bada dushman bana phirta hai jo bachon se larta hai” (I am from a nation whose children frighten him/ Some enemy he is, he who targets children). The song, containing the message from a slain child to the extremists, is a glowing tribute to the little martyrs. The lyrics are bound to make us all feel choked, totally at loss for words.
-Nibir K. Ghosh
Chief Editor

CONTENTS
Goodbye to Columbia: The Education of Morris Dickstein – Jonah Raskin
Nadine Gordimer: A Homage – S. Ramaswamy
Empowered Female Identity in Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Emily Trilogy – Ujjwala Tathe
Malala Yousafzai: A Child Warrior – Tasneem Shahnaaz
Making us Human: Githa Hariharan’s The Ghosts of Vasu MasterMini Nanda
Cultural Ostracization in Beatrice Culleton’s In Search of April Raintree – C.G. Shyamala
“Rising in Triumph, like the Phoenix”: African American and Dalit Women Poetry – Melissa Helen
The Voice of Freedom: A Comparative Study of Mary Prince and Harriet Jacobs – Lipsa Mishra
Existentialism in the Poetry of Jayanta Mahapatra – Subrat Kumar Samal
Woman and Social Class in Rupa Bajwa’s The Sari Shop:A Post-Feminist Reading – Ashoo Toor
Hinduism: Complexity and Comprehensiveness – Ruth P. Johny Charles
Dickens: His Place in the “Great Tradition” – Sandip Sarang
Arab-American Literature: Shifting Contexts – Rama Hirawat
Gandhi in R.K. Narayan’s Waiting for the Mahatma – Sudarsan Sahoo
Confession as Autobiography: Kathryn Harrison’s The Kiss A Secret Life – Sanjay Solanki

Understanding History: Amitav Ghosh’s Sea of Poppies – Faroze Ahmad Chopan
Review Essay

“Idioms of Hope”: Tijan M. Sallah’s Harrow Poems – Nibir K. Ghosh
Carrying on with Dreams – Shadan Jafri

Poetry
Two Poems by Christopher Guerin: “The Vietnam War Memorial”, “Sleeping Beauty “
“The Leaves Fall from the Tree in a Beautiful Way” by Rahil Shaban


Re-Markings Vol. 13 No. 3 September 2014

Editorial

I had the opportunity of meeting the legendary Khushwant Singh, at the “Leslie Sawhney Programme of Training in Democracy” held at Hotel Clarks Shiraz, Agra in the late 1970s. The meeting, though brief, remains deeply entrenched in my memory for it made me realize that wit and humor were not mere tools of expression but the very ingredient of his life and personality. Any avid reader accustomed to reading his regular weekly column “With Malice Towards One and All” is bound to miss his inimitable presence. Penned in his unique flamboyant style that set at naught all hypocritical traditions and limitations, his spontaneously overflowing renderings created a canon which only he was capable of creating. Intensely aware of the value of humor in life, he remarked without any inhibition: “We Indians are singularly humorless people who find it difficult to laugh unless it is prescribed by a doctor and administered as a dose good for our health….We may not have much humor in ourselves but we enjoy it coming from others. A good joke is a tonic for appetites jaded by an unending and unsavory diet of politics, corruption, religious and social problems…” The music of laughter that his jokes evoked are bound to remain with us as we bid adieu to the Emperor of Wit and Humor who, until his very last, entertained and enlightened us with his musings. One day in Barcelona, my wife and I were asleep and the doorbell rings. I open the door and a man says to me, “I came to fix the ironing cord.” My wife, from the bed, says, “We don’t have anything wrong with the iron here.” The man asks, “Is this apartment two?” “No,” I say, “upstairs.” Later, my wife went to the iron and plugged it in and it burned up. This was a reversal. The man came before we knew it had to be fixed. This type of thing happens all the time. My wife has already forgotten it. – Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez (The Atlantic, April 17, 2014). Though the Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges is usually credited to be the first successful author to use the genre of “magical realism” effectively, it was largely Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez who demonstrated with remarkable ease the art of integrating elements of fantasy into realistic settings of day-to-day events through his monumental works, One Hundred Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera. Comprehending the simple fact that “What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it,” Marquez set the scene for a whole new generation of writers like Salman Rushdie, Arundhati Roy, Ben Okri, Louis de Bernieres, Toni Morrison and many others to understand and portray real experiences through perspectives created by magical elements in varying cultures and climes. The best tribute that one can think of in honour of Marquez can be summed up in his own words: “Don’t cry because it came to an end, smile because it happened.” To those of us who are familiar with the power and the glory of African American writings, the name of Maya Angelou needs no introduction. With the publication of her acclaimed memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings in 1967, she decisively expanded the range and vision of what was hitherto considered the prerogative of the male triangle of influence – Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison and James Baldwin. She dedicated this famous autobiography to her son, Guy Johnson and “all the strong/ black birds of promise/ who defy the odds and gods/ and sing their song.” Inspired by the impact the book created during the peak of the Civil Rights Movement in America, the legendary James Baldwin wrote, “I have no words for this achievement, but I know that not since the days of my childhood, when the people in books were more real than the people one saw every day, have I found myself so moved.” On the death of Maya Angelou, Barack Obama hailed the “Global Renaissance Woman” as “one of the brightest lights of our time – a brilliant writer, a fierce friend and a truly phenomenal woman.” Undeterred by the experiences of racial brutality, Angelou created beautiful lyrics embodying her unshakable faith in eternal human values as is evident from her own words: “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.” As a poet-activist she affirmed that her mission in life was not merely to survive, but to “thrive with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” In committing ourselves to celebrate the life and work of these legends, who embarked on their eternal journey during the last few months, we may draw both solace and inspiration from the concluding lines of Maya Angelou’s lyric “When Great Trees Fall”: “when great souls die,/ after a period peace blooms,/ slowly and always/ irregularly. Spaces fill/ with a kind of/ soothing electric vibration./ Our senses, restored, never/ to be the same, whisper to us./ They existed. They existed./ We can be. Be and be/ better./ For they existed.”
-Nibir K. Ghosh
Chief Editor

CONTENTS

“My Words are my Weapons”: Conversation with Sharan Kumar Limbale Nibir K. Ghosh & Sunita Rani
My Kind of Exile & Three Poems: Somewhere I Lost My Losar, When it Rains in Dharamsala , Betrayal Tenzin Tsundue
Fiction and History Jasbir Jain
Anxiety of Influence: Murakami’s A Wild Sheep Chase and Kawabata’s Snow Country – Jonathan Little
Ambiguities of Modern Existence in Arun Kolatkar’s Jejuri – Ruchi Singh
Song of the Caged Bird: Reinterpreting Rassundari Devi’s Amar Jiban – Sanghamitra Bhatt
George Eliot and Victorian Dilemma Charu Bhandari & Sharad Rajimwale
Existential Strains in Anita Desai’s Female Protagonists Neetu Tyagi
Changing Modes of Dalit Protest in Bama’s Harum-Scarum Saar and Other Stories – Pramod Kumari
Exploitation of Woman in Hariharan’s The Thousand Faces of Night Anju Bala Sharma & Tanu Gupta
Radical Elements in Nectar in a Sieve – Harshdeep
Ecological Concerns in Twentieth Century American Poetry Divya Walia
Place and Character in Jahnavi Barua’s Rebirth – Nityananda Pattanayak
Review Essay:
Where Poetry Makes Everything Happen: Narendra Modi’s A Journey – K.K. Srivastava

Perspectives on Tijan Sallah’s Art – Priscilla R. Ramsey
Review of Susheel Kumar Sharma’s The Door is Half Open – Suresh Chandra Dubey


Re-Markings Vol.13 No.2, March 2014

Editorial

The timeline of events in January, 2014 makes one wonder whether January ought to be, unlike T.S. Eliot’s April, the “cruelest month.” While comfortably ensconced in the celebratory mode following the launch of our Special Langston Hughes Number on the New Year day, I was little prepared for the sad and sudden demise of two international idols and icons of “the wretched of the earth” in a brief span of five days. First Amiri Baraka, the pioneer of the Black Power Movement in the U.S., and then Namdeo Dhasal, the firebrand Marathi poet-writer and founder leader of the Dalit Panther movement in India. I thought it was a strange quirk of fate that sought to snatch away, in quick succession, two souls, located half a world apart and connected to each other by the relentless battles they fought in the stormy terrains of racial minefields and caste prejudices. While interviewing contemporary American authors during 2003-04 for my book Multicultural America, one question I often asked most of them was about their take on Amiri Baraka being deprived of his Poet Laureateship in 2002 for “Somebody Blew Up America,” the poem that he wrote in the wake of the twin-tower tragedy. I thought Baraka was quite right in condemning the legislative act by stating that it was a “confirmation of the ignorance, corruption, racism, and criminal disregard for the U.S. Constitution.” Jonah Raskin from California felt sorry that Baraka lost his Laureateship and said, “it seems to be a sign of the times. Whatever happened to poetic license? The state seems determined to take away money from those who question authority.” Contrary to Raskin’s opinion, Stanley Crouch – the firebrand writer and journalist based in New York – stated: “What injustice? That’s too simple a reading. It implies that some undeserving black man has been silenced by the white folks. That’s garbage. First thing, I believe that anything LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka) wrote and whatever controversy it caused should not have led to his dismissal as the Poet Laureate of New Jersey. He should have remained as proof of how stupid those who chose him were.” When the news of Baraka’s death came in on January 10, I sent a mail to Jonah Raskin soliciting an obituary note with a special focus on “Somebody Blew Up America.” I am extremely grateful to him for enriching the current issue of Re-Markings with his perceptive, insightful and lucid tribute to “the king of the angry, polemical poem, the royal historian of the blues, and the princely firebrand…who never betrayed his own African American roots.” Jonah’s piece arrived in the mail on the morning of January 15, 2014. The same morning’s The Hindu brought forth the dolorous tidings of Namdeo Dhasal’s departure from the sphere of our sorrow. I have been a great admirer of Dhasal’s life and work ever since I read the English translation of his poetry collection titled Golpitha. Published in 1972, the year he founded the Dalit Panther movement, Golpitha exploded like a volcano on the Indian literary scene. The poems in this collection articulated the unbridled rage of a militant caught in the vortex of a caste-ridden Hindu society. Fully at home in the “loathsome and nauseating universe” of Mumbai’s red light district and its stench of death and disease, he quickly understood that real honesty lay in listening to one’s own inner voice: “Never hereafter/ Must one write anything/ Shrouded in obscurity. No longer must one indulge/ In oblique poetry.” Setting aside the grammar and idiom of poetic sophistication, Dhasal announced in no ambiguous terms, “I am a prisoner and a poet who goes to the heart of the matter…I am a venereal sore in the private part of language.” Intensely aware of the fact that a Dalit identity is the identity of a person uprooted several times in a single lifetime, he quickly found apt metaphors to designate the agony and the humiliation of living on the margins of human society. He vividly described what it meant to remain fettered by discrimination and prejudices: “The chained dog, being a dog, whines and sometimes barks/ This being his constitutional right: he lives on leftovers;/ He’s used to injustice; his mind is desensitized;/ He’d be shot dead if he took a chance to rebel and break free of his chain.” Dhasal frankly admitted that he did not have to consciously turn to poetry. The only rule, he says, he followed was “not to miss in my writing any of the subtleties and nuances of the life I lived.” Though accolades and recognition came his way in the form of the Padma Shri and Sahitya Akademi awards, he was never unmindful of the fact that “This world’s socialism,/ This world’s communism/ And all those things of theirs,/ We have put them to the test/ And the implication is this –/ Only our shadows can cover our own feet.” On behalf of the Re-Markings fraternity, I feel that the most appropriate epitaph for the two geniuses in question could be what Dhasal himself penned for his own icon and idol, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar: “You lived like a man/ There was no acting in it/ No dramatics, no imitators.”
Nibir K. Ghosh
Chief Editor

CONTENTS

Don’t Watch What You Say: Amiri Baraka’s Poetic Response to 9/11 – Jonah Raskin
Why Buddhism for Black America Now? – Charles Johnson
The Tale of Monkey Baba: Kiran Desai’s Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard – Jitendra Narayan Patnaik
Derek Walcott: A Note – S. Ramaswamy

Assimilation and Resistance: The Native American World Today – Nafeesa Fathima Moinuddin
Politics of Feminist Narrative in Manoranjan Das’s Nandika Keshar i- Shruti Das
Creation Myths and Scientific Theories – Hemlata Srivastava
Fantasy Worlds: Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and Rowling’s The Harry Potter Series – Avneet Kaur & Gur Pyari Jandial
Nature-Culture Interface: Edward Abbey’s Fire on the Mountain- Ambika Bhalla
“Dream deferred”: Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun – Rahul Kamble & Padmakar Pande
Autobiography of a Village: A Study of Prafulla Mohanti’s Writings – Manoranjan Behura
Aesthetics of Subversion: Marginalized Women in Mahasweta Devi’s Breast Stories – B. Vijaya
Feminist Concerns in Girish Karnad’s Wedding Album – Santosh Kumar Sonker
Psychodynamics of Self and Identity in Elizabeth Browning’s Aurora Leigh – Prerna Vanjani
Anglo-Indian Identity in Allan Sealy’s The Trotter-Nama – Raichel M. Sylus
R.K. Narayan’s “The Axe”: An Eco-critical Study – Sohrab Sharma
Razia Sultan: Reel and Real – Anupama Kaushal


Re-Markings Vol. 13 No.1, January 2014
Special Langston Hughes Number

EDITORIAL

As we bid adieu to 2013 and welcome the New Year, it is a thrilling experience to place in your endearing hands this twenty-fifth issue of Re-Markings. Time has flown with amazing speed for it seems it was only the other day that we had embarked on our journey firmly committed to follow “sweetness and light” beyond the utmost bound of human thought and locate panaceas across the limited confines of space, time, nation, class, gender, race, caste and narrow domestic walls created by conflicts and clashes of all kinds. The indelible imprints we have received from contributors as well as readers, some of which have been included in this special issue, indicate the enviable space that Re-Markings has been able to create for itself in the community of scholars in a relatively brief time span. Such lavish appreciations do provide the urge to rejoice and indulge in ecstasy of fulfillment. At the same time, it cannot be denied that they give us the much needed impetus to continue moving ahead without compromising on intent, content or quality. That Re-Markings could find effective sustenance in what it has been able to offer over the years is largely due to the continuing interest of all concerned in our shared enterprise. Special Sections based on specific events, issues and themes have been a regular feature of Re-Markings. Besides assuring a durable shelf-life, such specificity has made the journal a useful guide to the changing frontiers of human experience. However, for the first time since the journal’s inception, we present this celebratory issue as a Special Number devoted to Langston Hughes, the undisputed morning star of the Harlem Renaissance. The launch of this issue as an additional number will, I am sure, come as a pleasant surprise to most of you who have become accustomed to seeing your copy arrive in tune with the clockwork precision of the vernal and autumnal equinoxes in March and September each year. The choice of Langston Hughes for this Special Number has its own story to tell. While engaged in my research project on “African American Writings” at the University of Washington, Seattle during 2003-04 as part of my Senior Fulbright Fellowship, I was naturally keen to visit Harlem in New York and see and feel firsthand the environment created by the luminaries of the Harlem Renaissance to usher a momentous hour in the dynamic history of the African American movement. After a lecture tour of Rhode Island College, Providence, at the invitation of Professor Amritjit Singh, my wife Sunita and I set out for New York with two specific goals in mind. First, to offer my grateful thanks to Professor Morris Dickstein who had so graciously sponsored my Fulbright application to work at City University New York (an offer that I could not unfortunately avail on account of my preference for the University of Washington, Seattle) and second, to go to Harlem. The visit to Harlem was an invigorating experience in every sense of the term. The vibrant feel of the place made us instinctively aware of all the grand contradictions imminent in the world’s most powerful democracy. The image of an average African American affected by the pervasive presence of the color line as enunciated over the years by philosophers, religious leaders, intellectuals, activists, dreamers and writers resonated with ground reality despite the sweeping changes brought about through numerous Civil Rights legislations. Of all the luminaries responsible for the flowering of the Harlem Renaissance, I was most attracted by the life and work of Langston Hughes who remained uppermost in my consciousness ever since our Harlem visit. I was intrigued by Hughes’s action of throwing away his books into the sea so that he could rely solely on his own gut feeling to render, in multiple genres, the many facets of the “American Dilemma” long before Gunnar Myrdal coined the term. Rather than make peace with mediocrity, Hughes had the courage and the daring not only to aspire for excellence in predominantly white America but also to boldly proclaim: “Democracy will not come/ Today, this year/ Nor ever/ Through compromise and fear….I do not need my freedom when I’m dead.” If his prophetic voice articulating the meaning of holding “fast to dreams” could anticipate the “I Have a Dream” resolve of Martin Luther King, Jr., the truth behind his warning that a dream deferred would “explode” is evident from the aftermaths that we witnessed in the Rodney King affair and more recently in the Trayvon Martin case. I take this opportunity to express my gratitude to none else than the Langston Hughes Professor, Dr. Amritjit Singh, for readily agreeing to Guest-edit this dream project. My special thanks also go to the celebrity admirers as well as Langston Hughes experts who have enriched this volume with their exemplary contributions. It would be grossly unfair if I end this note without profusely thanking Sandeep K. Arora for designing this special volume with his usual abundant love for Re-Markings. I wish one and all the very best of everything in 2014 and beyond.
– Nibir K. Ghosh
Chief Editor

A Note from the Guest Editor

It is with a great sense of satisfaction and excitement that I welcome the readers to the pages of this special number of Re-Markings on the transformative reach of Langston Hughes’s career and writings. All kinds of readers from around the globe can enjoy a Hughes poem or short story on a leisurely afternoon. And yet, he is also someone who could keep a serious scholar engaged for weeks and months trying to decipher the clues buried in the deceptive simplicity of his prose or poetry, as, for example, with his well-known poem, “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” or with his frequently anthologized short story, “The Blues I’m Playing.” Budding writers continue to learn quite a few tricks of the trade from this “poets’ poet.” In his roman à clef, Infants of the Spring (1932), Wallace Thurman had brilliantly evoked Hughes as Tony Crews, the mysterious young poet who “fended off every attempt to probe into his inner self and did this with such an unconscious and naïve air that the prober soon came to one of the two conclusions: Either Tony had no depth whatsoever, or else he was too deep for plumbing by ordinary mortals.” Today, we know the answer to Thurman’s question, as Hughes’s life and writing continue to engage so many of us in research, explication, and analysis, even after the literally thousands of essays and books that have already appeared. What we offer in this special number is a sample of some of those new engagements. I hope each of you will find your favorite essay or poem among these pages, written in response to the vast variety of writing Hughes produced in practically every conceivable genre and beyond. While this special number is intended primarily for South Asian readers, I expect that many readers in other locations would be intrigued too by some of the items included here, affirming the point made by several contributors regarding the appeal of Langston Hughes – through his mediating voice and gentle humor, as well as his sense of fairness and justice – across borders of identity centered in race, nation, caste, class and gender. I thank all the writers and scholars included here for their thought-provoking contributions. I am especially grateful to Dr. Ghosh for inviting me to guest-edit this special number.
– Amritjit Singh, University of Ohio

Celebratory 25th Issue: Imprints Global Community & Cultural Connections
Jonah Raskin

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.
-Jonah Raskin serves on the advisory board of Re-Markings and is a regular contributor. Chair of the Communication Studies Department at Sonoma State University, California, U.S.A., he is the author and editor of books about Jack London, Allen Ginsberg, and the literature of the British Empire.

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.
-Dr. Tijan M. Sallah is Gambian poet, writer and biographer. An economist by training, he has taught economics at several American universities before joining the World Bank, where he manages the agriculture, irrigation and rural development program for East African countries.

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.
-Dr. James R. Giles is Presidential Teaching Professor of English at Northern Illinois University, U.S.A.

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. Dr. Walter S.H. Lim is an Associate Professor of English Literature at the National University of Singapore.

Voice of Vibrant Democratic Participation
Jane Schukoske

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!

-Jane Schukoske, former faculty, University of Baltimore School of Law, served as Executive Director of U.S. Educational Foundation in India, New Delhi. She currently is CEO of S.M. Sehgal Foundation, Gurgaon, Haryana.

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.

E. Ethelbert Miller is Board Chair of the Institute for Policy Studies (a progressive think tank in Washington, D.C.) and the director of the African American Resource Center, Howard University, Washington, D.C.

Creating Literary Camaraderie
Anisur Rehman
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.
-Dr. Anisur Rahman is Professor of English at Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi.

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.
-Dr. Jitendra Narayan Patnaik is UGC Emeritus Fellow, Ravenshaw University, Cuttack (Orissa).

CONTENTS

The Essential Langston Hughes – Ethelbert Miller
Langston Hughes Speaks of Indian Rivers – Amritjit Singh
A Soul Deep Like the Rivers: Re-Visiting Langston Hughes with Arnold Rampersad – Nibir K. Ghosh
The Critical Response in Japan to Langston Hughes – Toru Kiuchi
For Langston Hughes, When Dreams are not Enough – Linda Dittmar
The Ways of White Folks as Literature and Pedagogy for White Exposure – Susan McGrade
Langston Hughes and the Black Atlantic Tapestry – Shane Graham
Resisting the Suicidal Blue(s): Text, Voice, and Music in Langston Hughes, Leonard Feather and Charles Mingus’s Weary Blues – Masami Sugimori & Kevin Rabas
“Dancing and Living to go with it”: A Fanonian Reading of Langston Hughes’ “The Blues I’m Playing” – Dustin H. Faulstick
Affirming the Big Sea: Langston Hughes’s Multilingualism and Transnational Affinities – Jean-Philippe Marcoux
“I, too, sing America”: Langston Hughes and the Negro Self-Fashioning – Sudeshna Majumdar
POETRY
Five Poems: Langston, The Separation Blues, Langston’s Letters, For Langston Hughes, The Langston Blues by Brian Daldorph
Three Poems: Hughes in Reno, 1934, Langston, A Poem for Richard by Ethelbert Miller Enlightenment – David Ray
Two Poems: Family Theater, Near Your Ashes in Schomburg Center, Harlem by Sharyn Skeeter Langston in Paris by Jason Miller


Re-Markings Vol. 12 No. 2, September 2013

Editorial

How to make a world better for men to live in has fascinated the minds of thinkers, philosophers and writers in every age. Plato’s Republic, Thomas More’s Utopia and other such works are sometimes visions of good and possibly attainable systems—social, economic, political—and other times, fantasies of a desirable but unattainable perfection. The urge to create utopias is a constant product of social idealism, revulsion at inefficiency, waste and disorder, and a desire to do something about these evils even though the envisioned remedies are of a magnitude which engenders as much pessimism, frustration and reforming zeal. It is perhaps in this context that P.B. Shelley, the undisputed revolutionary idealist, stated: “Poets are the hierophants of an unapprehended inspiration; the mirrors of the gigantic shadows which futurity casts upon the present; the words which express what they understand not; the trumpets which sing to battle and feel not what they inspire; the influence which is moved not, but moves. Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.” Time and again, while contending with his own sorrows and agonies in a tone of melancholy, Shelley, “Like a Poet hidden/ In the light of thought,” never tired of singing hymns in praise of regeneration of mankind. In a spirit of exuberant optimism he lyrically articulated his firm faith in such poetic beliefs as: “The world’s great age begins anew,/The golden years return”; “Another Athens shall arise,/ And to remoter time/ Bequeath, like sunset to the skies,/ The splendour of its prime”; or “If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?” In our own time, particularly in what is known as the “pink decade,” we have the instance of yet another visionary who, fired by revolutionary idealism, thought his poetry could change the face of the earth for good. Finding himself in the midst of a crisis wrought by historical events like the Great Depression, the fall of the Weimar Republic in Germany and the rise of Hitler; the revolt of Franco resulting in the Spanish Civil War, W.H. Auden and his companions at Oxford blew the clarion call for a new line of poetry that sang no more of symbolic waste lands but offered concrete proposals for setting aright a time gone awry. The atmosphere was so surcharged with excitement that it was difficult for them to separate public and private life, the world of action and the world of imagination. Rather than sing romantic hymns in praise of bygone days, W.H. Auden emphasized the need to quit dreaming “of islands” and start “rebuilding the cities.” By writing political verse, he hoped to change a political programme into a crusade against the crimes of poverty, social inequality and Fascism. Auden’s vision of the ‘Good Place’, evolved through leftist ideals and sustained by Psychotherapy and Love, faded away towards the closing moments of the thirties’ decade. History intervened once again – the Moscow Trials, the Hitler-Stalin Pact and, as the decade drew to a close, the Second World War – to destroy the hopes it had created in the beginning of the 1930s. The destruction of the cherished ideals led Auden to remark, “Poetry makes nothing happen.” He now condemned Shelley’s phrase, “Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world,” since it tended to represent the “Secret police, not the Poets.” Taking cue from the “Old Masters,” he turned to visualize the extraordinary nature of day-to-day ordinary human suffering and reveal how “Life remains a blessing/ Although you cannot bless.” The current issue of Re-Markings –hugely enriched by the insightful views and ideas of celebrities like E. Ethelbert Miller, Tijan M. Sallah, Doug Underwood, Charles Johnson and a host of other academics and writers – illumines, in a significant way, how writers and intellectuals have been fruitfully engaged, simultaneously, in rebuilding cities as well as dreaming of islands. Be it the sphere of the racial dilemma, diasporic ambivalence or a simple but determined effort to negotiate domestic space, one cannot miss the resonant voice of change that emphatically articulates how “poetry” can and does make everything happen! Art may have its limitations in solving society’s problems but it does pave the way for making a vineyard of the curse. In his glowing tribute to Chinua Achebe, Ethelbert Miller rightly points out the folly of limiting “beautiful words to simply the page.” He knows for sure that “Change is difficult but it’s a wave that must reach a shore.” In a similar vein Tijan M. Sallah tells us that literature has a social function and that “its highest purpose is to uplift humanity to its highest ideals through imaginative narratives.” By connecting creative writing to trauma narratives, Doug Underwood reminds us, in the manner of Keats, that “No one can usurp the heights…/ But those to whom the miseries of the world/ Are misery, and will not let them rest.” The other interesting essays in the volume deliberate on many contending issues in search of viable road maps to panaceas filled with peace, harmony and brotherhood. I wish all members of the Re-Markings fraternity delightful reading and happy hunting!
– Nibir K. Ghosh
Chief Editor

CONTENTS

Remembering Chinua Achebe on the Morning after Creation Day – E. Ethelbert Miller
‘Finding Beauty in our Midst’: Conversation with Tijan M. Sallah – Nibir K. Ghosh
How Trauma Shapes Creative Renderings: Conversation with Doug Underwood – Robin Lindley
Ethics of a Tightrope Walker: Charles Johnson’s Dreamer – Richard E. Hart
Female Identity in Amitav Ghosh’s Novels – S.D. Sharma & Suruchi Kalra
Choudhary Writing for Emancipation: Joseh Macwan’s The Stepchild – V.B.B. Rama Rao
Love in the Matrix of Grief: Rilke’s Duino Elegies and Tennyson’s In Memoriam – Bibhudutt Dash
Feminist Sensibility in Goan Christian Women Poets – Stuti Prasad
Emancipated Women in Anita Brookner’s Providence and Hotel Du Lac – Renu Josan
Negotiating Diasporic Responses: Adib Khan’s Spiral Road- Nidhi Singh
Mysticism in the Poetry of Sri Aurobindo – Swatantra
Claiming Domestic Space: A Study of Manju Kapur’s Home – Asha Saharan
Cultural Encounter in Hari Kunzru’s The Impressionist and Transmission – Charu Mathur

Graham Greene’s The Power and the Glory: An Interdisciplinary View – Sresha Yadav & Smita Jha
Literary Theory and the Indian Cinema – Banaras: A Mystic Love Story – Dev Vrat Sharma
American Desi: Diasporic Hybridity and the Third Cinema – Rohit Phutela


Re-Markings Vol. 12 No. 1, March 2013

Editorial

Democracy [is] a big balloon, filled with gas or hot air, and sent up so that you shall be kept looking up at the sky whilst other people are picking your pockets. When the balloon comes down to earth every five years or so you are invited to get into the basket if you can throw out one of the people who are sitting tightly in it; but as you can afford neither the time nor the money, the balloon goes up again with much the same lot in it and leaves you where you were before.
–George Bernard Shaw, Preface to The Apple Cart.

Whenever I hear a debate or discussion on Democracy, I cannot help recall the above statement from the play I had read and admired as an undergraduate many years ago. If writers and intellectuals have always come forward to denounce the ills of dictatorship in all its various manifestations, they have not failed to make adequate use of the freedom of speech and expression to register their displeasure or discontent against the pitfalls of governments that claim to hitch their wagon to the ideal “of the people, by the people, for the people” adage. It may be often seen that low turnouts at periodical circuses called “general elections” are attributed to indifferent voters who prefer to sit at home, glued to the idiot box, firm in their belief that, in any case, in spite of them, the balloon would go up again “with much the same lot in it” and leave the ordinary citizen where he was before. No matter how disillusioned one may be with Democracy, the timeline spanning the last two months of the year gone by sufficiently inspires our faith in this mode of government at least with regard to the United States of America and India, the world’s most powerful and largest democracies respectively. The triumphant second coming of Barack Obama to the globe’s most enviable presidential abode is a grand narrative that celebrates what visionaries like Martin Luther King Jr. had envisioned half a century ago: that one day his four little children would be able to “live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” In Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, the Statue of Liberty is shown to be lost in the fog. With Obama’s resounding repeat victory the Statue has become increasingly more visible and writers may not find it compelling anymore to append to their works titles like “Invisible Man” or “Nobody Knows My Name.” If Obama’s charismatic charm catapulted him to the position of the most powerful man on earth, no less noteworthy is the glory of Narendra Modi who has returned with a massive mandate to be at the helm of affairs in Gujarat for the third time in a row. Riding on the crest of the wave called “good governance, entrepreneurship, economic growth and development,” Modi swayed the minds and hearts of the sensitive electorate to vanquish an opposition bent on playing the communal card to unnerve him. In both cases under reference a major share of the credit must go to the electorate – located half a world apart – that cut across the bounds of communal and racial minefields to ensure that the people they were sending up in the balloon would make a big difference to the space inhabited by the citizenry below. Before closing this interface with the esteemed members of the Re-Markings fraternity, I must allude to another event in the timeline mentioned above, an event that has impacted not only those up in the balloon but also those accustomed to constantly look up to the folks in the balloon. While the advocates of progress and change were celebrating Modi’s victory, the entire nation was rudely awakened from its complacent slumber by the sinister tidings of the brutal gangrape of a young girl in the heart of the nation’s capital. The outrage the incident provoked was so intense that people from all walks of life, especially those in their teens, armed with lighted candles and fired by spirits not to submit or yield, spontaneously strove together in sub-zero temperature to bring to senses the people they had sent up in the balloon. The fact that all revolutions are inspired by ideas and charismatic leadership seemed redundant as the tidal wave of protest ventured forth without any visible leadership to strike at the corridors of power and bring the government down on its knees. It is exceedingly sad that the victim had to pay with her life to bring about such a national catharsis. It ought to make us realize once and for all that even in democratic political spaces it is incumbent on all of us as individual citizens to exercise our solidarity in compelling the powers that be to answer whether they are the powers that ought to be. It is providential, in a way, that the majority of essays in this volume focus on the need to change mindsets and mental blocks to negotiate gender margins in an essentially patriarchal setup often geared to rule and control “half the sky.” This issue is, therefore, dedicated to the heroism and sacrifice of the tragic girl who will continue to haunt every Indian’s conscience and consciousness for a long, long time.
-Nibir K. Ghosh
Chief Editor

CONTENTS

Mo Yan, the Nobel Prize for Literature, and Red Sorghum – Walter S.H. Lim
S.L. Bhyrappa: A Profile – S. Ramaswamy
Cyprian Ekwensi’s Jagua Nana: A Critique of the City – Kiran Thakur
The Golden Gate and Rusted Relationships – Kaustav Chakraborty
Naipaul’s The Masque of Africa: A Study – T. Jeevan Kumar
Recast in Feminist Light: Divakaruni’s The Palace of Illusions – Namrata Parmar
Caste, Class and Resistance in Bama’s “Pongal” and “Half-Sari” – Dinesh Kumar
Discourse of Subversion: The Poetry of Eunice de Souza – Mithilesh K. Pandey
Diasporic Strain in Amitav Ghosh’s The Hungry Tide – Anurag Bihari
Inner Fibres of Human Emotions in Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things – Deepali Sharma
Politics of Gender in Shakespearean Comedies – Meera Mohanty
Naxalism: Some Insights – Kamlakar K. Askar
Muddle and Mystery in Forster’s A Passage to India – Chandra Prabha
African American Feminist Drama – Tanuja Mathur
Far from the Madding World: Maya in – Anita Desai’s Cry, The Peacock – Arvind M. Nawale
Existential Humanism in Shashi Deshpande’s That Long Silence – Savita Rani
The Poetry of Sri Aurobindo: A Note – Kuldeep K. Mohadikar
Empowerment through Language – Prabha Pant
The Giver (Short Story) – Anil Z. Mathew
Where are the Tagore’s of Today?: Review of Rabindranath Tagore: The Living Presence – Jonah Raskin
“I Love to Talk of Darkness” : Review of Shadows of the Real – Patricia Prime


Re-Markings Vol. 11 No. 2, September 2012

Editorial

“A University should be a place of light, of liberty, and of learning,” stated Benjamin Disraeli. I would like to examine this statement in the context of an event of considerable importance that took place two centuries ago at Oxford University, “the oldest university in the English speaking world [that] has been educating world changing leaders for over 800 years.” Inspired by intense love for scientific reasoning, a beautiful and effectual angel, hailing from the protected precincts of an aristocratic order, dared to sing hymns unbidden in praise of “atheism.” Yes, the reference is to P.B. Shelly and his (in)famous “The Necessity of Atheism,” the thirteen-page tract that led to his expulsion from Oxford University on March 25, 1811. The pamphlet argued the lack of evidence for the existence of God and suggested that God was just a projection of human ideas. The title page of the tract displayed his avowed purpose in writing it: “love of truth.” Far from being impressed by his innocent demand for qualified reasoning, the presiding dons at Oxford – “the men who had made Divinity the study of their lives” – found his reasoning reprehensible and asked him in an abruptly summoned summary trial, “Are you the author of this book?” The impetuous one curtly replied: “If I can judge from your manner, you are resolved to punish me if I should acknowledge that it is my work. If you can prove that it is, produce your evidence; it is neither just nor lawful to interrogate me in such a case and for such a purpose. Such proceedings would become a court of inquisitors, but not free men in a free country.” In a letter written to William Godwin, his future father-in-law, Shelley recorded his complaint of college tyranny in no uncertain terms: “Oxonian society was insipid to me, uncongenial with my habits of thinking. I could not descend to common life….I became in the popular sense of the word ‘God’ an Atheist. I printed a pamphlet avowing my opinion, and its occasion. I distributed it anonymously to men of thought and learning wishing that Reason should decide on the case at issue. It was never my intention to deny it.” Perhaps Shelley was unaware how, even in the heyday of the Romantic age, when to be young was very heaven, such thoughts were blasphemous. Strangely coinciding with the bicentenary year of Shelley’s expulsion from Oxford University, we may shift our gaze to an event located in the capital town of the world’s largest democracy. Showing scant regard for the ideals of “light, liberty and learning,” the Vice Chancellor and the Academic Council of Delhi University brazenly removed A.K. Ramunjan’s brilliant and insightful essay, “Three Hundred Ramayanas: Five Examples and Three Thoughts on Translation,” from the B.A. (Honours) History course. The controversy came to the fore in the year 2008 when some activists, inspired by their concern for saving “Hindutwa,” attacked teachers in the Delhi University’s history department and demanded that the essay be removed from the B.A. History syllabus. The matter finally landed up in the Supreme Court which sought the opinion of an academic expert committee on the issue. Surprisingly, three out of four members on the said committee voted in favour of the essay. The lone dissenting voice was that of the fourth member who, while praising the essay’s scholarship, came to the conclusion that “it would be difficult for college lecturers to teach with sufficient context, especially those who weren’t Hindu.” It may be pertinent to mention here the remarks of Professor Michael Shapiro, University of Washington, Seattle, who, responding to my “Editorial” in the March 2012 issue of Re-Markings, stated: “I enjoyed what you had to say and agree with you totally. By the way, your article made me reflect on all the nonsense that’s been taking place at Delhi University with regard to A.K. Ramanujan’s old article on the various versions of the Ramayana. There seems to be no end of craziness.” Such craziness, however, is not a rare instance in the general atmosphere of intolerance that prevails in our groves of academe. In very recent times Rohinton Mistry’s Such a Long Journey was removed from Mumbai University’s literature syllabus simply because it allegedly contained some “disparaging” comments about “Shiv Sena and the Marathis.” No less absurd is the logic forwarded by the powers that be in removing the sixty-year old Ambedkar cartoon from NCERT books. The price paid by Professor Ambikesh Mahapatra of Jadavpur University for circulating a cartoon featuring Trinamool Congress leaders is common knowledge now. Robert Frost’s candid confession that he left Harvard “to be educated” does make a lot of sense. Disturbing events that threaten to destroy the very rationale of intellectual autonomy in democratic societies do urge us to reformulate Benjamin Disraeli’s statement to accommodate the express views of Doris Lessing, the Nobel Laureate: “In university they don’t tell you that the greater part of the law is learning to tolerate fools.”
– Nibir K. Ghosh
Chief Editor

CONTENTS

Allen Ginsberg: Un-Paralleled Peripatetic Poet – Jonah Raskin Speaking Figuratively – Sushil Gupta
Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children and The world of Imagi-Nation – Abraham P. Abraham
Reworking Disruptions into Harmony – Mini Nanda Coetzee’s Life and Times of Michael K: An Eco-Critical Approach to Existential Problems – C. Kannammal
Beyond Belief: V.S. Naipaul’s Second Islamic Journey – Prakash Chandra Pradhan
Interrogating the Self: Doris Lessing’s The Summer Before the Dark – Supriya Agarwal
Culinary Culture as Symbol in Select Novels of Amitav Ghosh – Nazia Hasan
Nature as Agent of Destiny in A.K. Ramanujan’s Poetry – Gunjan Agarwal
Postcolonial Imperialism: 9/11 and Iraq II – Sanjay Mishra
Parsi Identity in the Novels of Rohinton Mistry – Hardeep Singh Mann
Narrativizing Emancipatory Geography in Amitav Ghosh’s The Hungry Tide – Sanjay Solanki
Narrative Technique of Mailer’s The Executioner’s Song – Arun Soule
Malgudi in R.K. Narayan’s Novels – Mohammad Shaukat Ansari
Linguistic Choices in Sarah Orne Jewett’s “A White Heron”: A Dialogue between Nature and Culture – Archana Parashar
Spatial Practices and Certeau’s The Practice of Everyday Life – Navleen Multani
Symbolic Elements in Tagore’s Plays: Red Oleanders and The Post Office – Madhabi Sen
‘Finding Myself in Another’: Eskia Mphahlele’s Chirundu – Yashoda Kumari Verma & Deepa S.P. Mathur
Two Poems: They Never Came Again, New Age Visionary – Muyeed Javeed
‘Education of Mingo’: Crossing the Passage between Self and Object (Review Essay on Charles Johnson: Embracing the World) – Javaid Iqbal Bhat


Re-Markings Vol. 11 No. 1, March 2012

Editorial

Apprehending arrest for reading passages from Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses, four eminent Indian English writers had to abruptly disappear from the 2012 Jaipur Literature Festival. Engrossed in the bliss of ignorance, they possibly forgot that “You can discuss a book, read from other writings by the author, have conversations with him, invite him, but you cannot either possess a copy or publicly read from a book that is banned.” So explained William Dalrymple, the co-Director of the Festival, and went on to add how “the consequences could be serious for the four delegates since the readings constituted a premeditated act.” After such knowledge what forgiveness! Since time immemorial controversies around bans and censorships have always evoked and generated tremendous amount of interest both in the educated elite and the illiterate. The graph of public curiosity naturally rises when it pertains to anything that is denied for reasons extending from the sublime to the ridiculous. It reaches a feverish pitch especially when the issue in question is either pornographic or pertains to what Karl Marx referred to as the “opium of the masses.” Battle lines are instantly drawn between the self-appointed guardians of public morality and over-enthusiastic defenders of free speech and action, be it the case of Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover or Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses. Though it would be an exercise in futility to ruminate time and again on whether a book ought to be banned for offending the sensibility or the fundamentalist sensitivity of a certain class of people, I do feel the urge to recall a particular passage from John Milton’s immortal treatise against censorship entitled “Areopagitica”:“Who kills a man kills a reasonable creature, God’s image; but he who destroys a good book, kills reason itself, kills the image of God, as it were in the eye. Many a man lives a burden to the earth; but a good book is the precious lifeblood of a master spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life.” What I find seminal in Milton’s classic statement, an adage that most of us have grown up with, is his emphasis on the phrase, “a good book,” which many of us may tend to miss while discussing censorship or ban. I distinctly recall that what had impressed me most about Lady Chatterley’s Lover, when I lay hands on it for the first time, was not the picture of alluring nudity displayed on the frontispiece of the book or the charge of obscenity that was brought against it; I saw the magnetic appeal of Lawrence’s magnum opus in his very opening statement: “Ours is essentially a tragic age, so we refuse to take it tragically. The cataclysm has happened, we are among the ruins, we start to build up new little habitats, to have new little hopes. It is rather hard work: there is now no smooth road into the future: but we go round, or scramble over the obstacles. We’ve got to live, no matter how many skies have fallen.” I discovered on reading the novel how the inherent complexity of life after the apocalypse was as significant as the intimate scenes involving the union of Connie and Mellors and how the blending of these twin concerns went on to create an exquisite work of art. In this context it may not be out of place to quote Oscar Wilde: “The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.” Contrary to my admiration for Lawrence’s novel, I wish to cite an instance related to my initial date with The Satanic Verses. When Rushdie’s novel hit the stands in 1988, fetching the author $2 million within a few months of its publication, it immediately stirred the proverbial hornet’s nest and initiated a controversy that has not dimmed in any way with the passage of time. I was obviously intrigued by Rushdie’s open letter to Rajiv Gandhi, then prime minister of India, which I happened to see on the front page of The Indian Express. Protesting against the ban imposed on the book on the testimony of a few parliamentarians who had not cared to read the book, Rushdie had stated: “The right to freedom of expression is at the foundation of any democratic society….I ask you this question: What sort of India do you wish to govern? Is it to be an open or a repressive society?” At that point of time, I was working on my book Calculus of Power at the American Studies Research Centre, Hyderabad. When a friend made The Satanic Verses available, I tried reading a couple of pages and found the experience excruciatingly unenjoyable and gave up the effort in despair. Over the years, I have come across many honest readers whose opinions about the book have not been much different. Though I confess being an avid reader of many of Rushdie’s other works and greatly admire him as an icon of IWE, I’d reiterate the absurdity of banning books that are considered unreadable. This approach, I guess, would be wiser and safer than suppressing the suppressors of freedom of expression.
-Nibir K. Ghosh
Chief Editor

CONTENTS

In Praise of Popular Fiction: A Contrary View of “The Booker Prize and India” – Ronald D. Klein
Beyond Literary Boundaries: Conversation with William Dalrymple – Anuradha Sen
Pearl S. Buck’s Niche and the American Literary Canon – Aysha Munira
Multiple Identities: Draupadi as an Epic Hero – Tanutrushna Panigrahi
Historiography and American Puritanism – A. Karunaker
Nation-State Debate in Amitav Ghosh’s The Shadow Lines- Tamishra Swain
Kiran Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss: A Postcolonial Perspective – Randeep Rana
Identity Ordeal: Lesbianism in Tendulkar’s A Friend’s Story – Jamsheed Ahmed
Literary Criticism of Ruskin: A Critique – Krishna Singh
Beauty as Metaphor of Violence in Toni Morrison’s Love – Khem Raj Sharma
History as Fiction: The Novels of Manohar Malgonkar – Jaya Tripathi
Cultural Heritage and Cultural Conflict in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart – Mohammad Kamran Ahsan
The Marginal Self: Laxman Mane’s Upara – Amandeep
Transcending Cultures: Kunal Basu’s “The Japanese Wife” – Aroonima Sinha
Rupturing the Episteme: A Sartrean Interpretation of Dopdi’s Action in Mahashweta Devi’s “Draupadi” – Ankita Sharma
A Touch of Frost: Undertone of Sadness in Twelfth Night – Nandita Mohapatra
Subalternity and Religious Identity in Ice-Candy Man, Train to Pakistan and Lajja – Monali Bhattacharya
A Woman of Shavian Vitality: Ananya in Bhagat’s 2 States – R.A.Vats & Rakhi Sharma


Re-Markings Vol. X No. 2, September 2011
Celebrating 10 Years, 20th Issue

Editorial

If the ancient Indian civilization and the Roman Empire were once known for attributes of glory and greatness, what links India and Italy in contemporary times is rampant corruption in every segment of social and political life. Indians visiting Italy may find the nation almost like a second home: life is chaotic, no one obeys the rules, policemen can be bribed to any extent even to be tacit accomplices in crime, there is massive tax evasion, the mafia controls real estate, the government counts for little, and, for the powers that be, life can indeed be a bed of roses at the expense of the national exchequer. In this context I am unwittingly reminded of a painting that I had seen, among numerous other exhibits, at the Museum of Fine Arts at Boston, Massachussetts, during the course of my Fulbright year (2003-04) in the U.S. This canvas entitled “The Truth Unveiled by Time,” painted by the Italian artist, Giambattista Tiepolo (1696-1770), around 1743, shows a young woman, representing Truth, holding a mirror in her right hand, while her left supports the disk of the sun, symbolising the light of Reason. The naked, soft sensual body of the young woman with a bared nipple is clasped in the arms of Time represented as an old man. On the right of the painting appears Falsehood, dazzled by the blinding light of Truth. In the corridors of Italian power and pelf, this painting created quite a flutter among all sane citizens. According to the express wishes of the Italian Prime Minister, Mr. Silvio Berlusconi, a copy of this painting was placed as the backdrop of his media briefing room in Palazzo Chigi after he took office for the third time in 2008. It is believed that this painting was chosen because of its title. A couple of months ago, while the prime minister was becoming entangled in a succession of controversies involving women friends and associates, Berlusconi was apprehensive that the exposed breasts could “offend the sensibilities of some people,” and apparently decided to cover the woman’s naked breasts, fully exposed in the original painting, by a white veil. It is rumored that since Truth has a new top fitted by Berlusconi’s image consultant, Lies should feel altogether more at ease in the office of Italy’s prime minister. As reported by Hilary Clark for The Independent in Rome, “In his former life as a media entrepreneur, Mr. Berlusconi part-built a multibillion-pound media empire on revenues generated by television programmes featuring gyrating women showing-off their naked breasts.” After such knowledge, what forgiveness! Though the present Indian prime minister may personally stand unquestionably committed to ethics and morality, the elite lineup at the Tihar jail – Ministers, MPs, bureaucrats, senior police officials, doctors, teachers, members of judiciary and the like – ought to convince anyone how deeply embedded in the national consciousness is the cancer of corruption. The abhorrence displayed by all power-brokers towards Anna Hazare’s crusade for bringing everyone in power under the scanner amply justifies the fact that Truth needs cover-ups so that it does not find illumination by the light of reason. In the corrupted currents of today’s world, it is ironical that Truth, unlike in Tiepolo’s painting, must be constrained to remain dazzled by the glaring lights of Falsehood. That makes the world a dangerous place to live not because of the people who perpetuate evil but because of the saner ones who prefer to remain ‘strictly neutral’ and do nothing about it. The challenge before all of us – writers, academics and intellectuals – is, therefore, to give up the comfortable stance of neutrality and engage ourselves in our own little ways to conjure and create a world where Truth remains unembarrassed by falsehood. Before closing this editorial note, I deem it a privilege and pleasure to share with you all the satisfaction and joy that comes from placing this twentieth issue of Re-Markings in your trusted hands. If our journal has been able to reach the ten-year milestone with such style and dignity, it is largely on account of the faith that all of you have reposed in our editorial policy that remains committed to offering nothing but the best with clockwork precision. I deeply appreciate the patience that our precious contributors have displayed in waiting for over 12-18 months to see their work in print. I am immensely thankful to the contributors who have enriched this celebratory volume with their creative rendering of universal concerns that remain central to the world we inhabit. I am no less grateful to our esteemed members on the Advisory Board who have always shown rare zeal in being an integral part of Re-Markings. I am truly humbled by the praises that have been showered on the journal by celebrities from various walks of life. I have absolutely no hesitation in giving a large measure of credit for such lavish accolades to Dr. A. Karunaker, Mr. Sundeep Arora and members of the entire Re-Markings fraternity for their constant encouragement and support.
-Nibir K. Ghosh
Chief Editor

CONTENTS

East is East, West is West, Ever the Twain Shall Meet: A Conversation with Jonah Raskin – Nibir K. Ghosh
Second Coming of Godzilla: Japan’s Nuclear Disaster – David Ray
The Life of the Mind Knows No Geographic Boundaries – Charles Johnson Revisiting ‘Fires’ – Ajay Singh
Forgetting and Re-membering: Shirley Geok-lin Lim, Li-Young Lee and the Southeast Asian Diaspora – Walter S.H. Lim

Patrick’s Choice: Escaping Naturalism in Joyce Carol Oates’s We Were the Mulvaneys – James Giles
A Decade of Excellence – Shanker A. Dutt
Mental Health Problems in India: A Call for Urgent Action – Daya Singh Sandhu
Crisis in American Literary Studies in India – Anisur Rahman
10th Anniversary Reflections – Jonah Raskin
Poets and the Heliotrope: Some Poems of “Sunlit Absence” – K. Narayana Chandran
Human Rights and Historical Communities – Michael Boylan
Remarkable Re-Markings – S. Ramaswamy
Fault Lines in Diaspora: Poetry of Meena Alexander – Arti Nirmal
How Nibir Ghosh Lost His Hair – Omkar Sane
Individual and Society in Mamet’s Edmond- Devi Archana Mohanty
Quest for Roots in Rohinton Mistry’s Such A Long Journey – Vijay Negi
Concepts of Style: Some Traditional Notions – Chavan Sandip Pandurangrao
Two Poems – Poetry and Time, Someone in My Room – Jayanta Mahapatra
Four Poems – Woodpecker, All You Can Do, Time Uncovering Truth, Hope – Woodpecker – Shanta Acharya
Two Poems – Ferry to the Island, In Sum – Sharyn Skeeter


Re-Markings Vol. 10 No. 1 March 2011

Editorial

One fine afternoon, nearly a quarter century ago, I received a packet from Mr. Bhupendra Hooja, the esteemed Chief Editor of the book review journal, Indian Book Chronicle. I was pleasantly surprised to find inside the packet three books, each slim in shape and elegantly handbound with sari cloth from handlooms with exquisitely beautiful calligraphy on the title pages. A letter from Mr. Hooja accompanying the packet asked me to take a look at the three volumes and see if I would be interested in reviewing them for IBC. I was intrigued. They were poetry collections by authors whose names I had never heard of. One common element that connected the three volumes, besides their beautiful exteriors, was that they were all published by the Writers Workshop in Calcutta. I picked up one book and browsed through the poems. Here and there a line or two caught my attention: “I have smelt deer-musk in my dreams,/ But if an everyday meal has to be woven into a dream/ Then show me how to keep on living”….“That girl standing on the street…/ Examine her closely, pay the price and take her./ Want to see her body? Don’t ever do that even by the mistake that your eyes might make…./ She is the Sundarbans forest wrapped in twilight.” I learnt from the Preface written by Sunil Gangopadhyay that it was an unknown poet’s (aged 63 and suffering from a terminal illness) maiden attempt in the realm of poetry. What overwhelmed me, however, was the manifesto of the Writers Workshop that appeared at the end of each book. It stated in no uncertain terms how the Writers Workshop, founded in 1958, comprised a group of writers who “agree in principle that English has proved its ability, as a language, to play a creative role in Indian literature, through original writing and transcreation. That was something indeed! If the despair arising from the rejection of the manuscript of Swamy and Friends by many publishers could drive R.K. Narayan to contemplate throwing it into the river Thames, it was significant indeed that the Writers Workshop was playing such a stupendous role in providing the much-needed platform to new comers and upcoming poets writing in English so that they were not constrained to blush unseen and waste their latent sweetness on the desert air. Consequently, I not only readily agreed to review the books but also decided to get an update on the epicenter of the Writers Workshop, its venerable Founder and Director, Professor P. Lal. I soon learnt that the inspiration to start the Writers Workshop came from his own experiences. Since, in 1958, no one was interested in publishing his writings, he set out to undertake the job himself. What may have appeared a small step for him then paved the way for a giant leap for Indian Writing in English with hundreds of writers falling in line to bring their creative renderings in English into the clear light of the day. He was very forthright in articulating the mindset of publishers who were wary of publishing the works of new writers in English: “English book publishing in India was governed by a “nexus” of high-profile PR-conscious book publishers, semi-literate booksellers, moribund public and state libraries, poorly informed and nepotistic underlings in charge of book review pages…and biased bulk purchases of near worthless books by bureaucratic institutions.” Though his agenda included the breaking of such a “nexus” and encouraging raw talent, it is not insignificant that the Writers Workshop was instrumental, to a large extent, in launching the creative careers of the likes of Vikram Seth, Nissim Ezekiel, Meena Alexander, A.K. Ramanujan, Vikram Seth, Jayanta Mahapatra, Kamala Das, Adil Jussawalla, Agha Shahid Ali, Keki Daruwalla, Mani Nair and many others whose works are distinguished signatures in the pantheon of Indian Writing in English today. From the vantage point of the twenty-first century when Indian Writing in English has begun to merit a place alongside the most flourishing literatures in the world what with top publishers like Penguin, Picador, Harper Collins etc. camping in India to discover and market emerging talent in the sphere of IWE, it may not be inappropriate to see a veritable connection between the dazzling lights of the present era and the little lamp that was lit more than a half-century ago by that great soul. If the lake districts in England could usher in the famed Romantic Age in English Literature, it may be proudly accepted that the Writers Workshop – located in the Lake Gardens, Calcutta – did no less for Indian Writing in English. In mourning the passing away of the legendary Professor Purushottama Lal (28 August 1929-3 November 2010), it is an honour to offer, on behalf of the Re-Markings fraternity, a humble tribute to the work and memory of the one-man army who could firmly entrench in the colonial mindset that English too is an Indian language.
-Nibir K. Ghosh
Chief Editor

CONTENTS

Creating Desires and Changing Mindsets: Conversation with Omkar Sane – Nibir K. Ghosh
Playing with Historical Shapes: Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children – Jitendra Narayan Patnaik
The Renaissance Concept of Time in Shakespeare’s Sonnets – Sharad Rajimwale
The White Dilemma in Post-Apartheid South Africa: J.M. Coetzee’s Disgrace – Simmi Gurwara
Deterritorialising Desire: Manju Kapur’s A Married Woman – Pooja Sharma
Conflict of Two Selves in Surfacing – Seema Shekhar
Michael Frayn’s Copenhagen: A Note – Sanjeewani Deshpande
Khushwant Singh’s Train to Pakistan and its Screen Adaptation by Pamela Rooks – Subhash K. Shinde & Pandit B. Nirmal
Political Participation of Women in Bihar – Swayam Prabha
Intra-Family Communication in 2 States: The Story of My Marriage – Y.L. Srinivas
Social Criticism in Adiga’s The White Tiger – Shrikant Singh
Diasporic Concerns in Kamala Markandaya’s – The Nowhere Man – Sunita Siroha
Bharati Mukherjee’s Wife: A Bleak World – Monika Gupta
Inauthentic Depictions of India: The White Tiger and Slumdog Millionaire – Shri Krishan Rai & Dhananjay Tripathi
Gender, Genre and Race in Martha C. Lawrence’s Detective Fiction – Namita Sethi
Cultural Conflict and Comic Irony in Jhabvala’s To Whom She Will – Ashish Gupta
The Partition and Women: Jyotirmoyee Devi’s The River Churning – Neena Arora
Deep Ecological Perspectives in Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea – Bhavesh Chandra Pandey
The Flip Side – Seemin Hasan
Three Poems – Sandhya Tiwari: Mind-Made Manacles, Infinite Yearnings!, The End of the Game
Three Poems – Punita Jha : Vision , My Mother , Life Human Time is a City

Review of W.H. Auden: Therapeutic Fountain – Anita Money
Review of Stagestruck – Saumitra Chakravarty


Re-Markings Vol. 9 No. 2 September 2010

Editorial

Caught in the whirlpool of monotonous routine, it is perhaps quite natural for the average man or woman to seek relief and respite in a dramatised world of transformed reality. Eliot was not far from the truth when he stated in “Burnt Norton” – though in a different context – “Humankind cannot bear very much reality.” If amazing spectacles of gladiatorial combats and venations entertained and delighted spectators in the colosseums and amphitheaters of the civilized Roman Empire centuries ago, we in the twenty-first century have at our disposal the irresistible idiot box that doles out 24×7 encapsulated versions of fictionalized reality right inside our own habitats. As a matter of fact, Reality Television has contributed to our preoccupation with the lives of others to such an extent that we have little time to ponder over our own. Most of us might remember the Jade Goody-Shilpa Shetty face off on Celebrity Big Brother where Jade Goody hurled racist comments at Shilpa Shetty, an event that gave an imminent thrust to our patriotic fervour and brought millions of us together to condemn the racist affront with an enthusiasm that could only be matched perhaps by an earlier generation’s spirited response to Mahatma Gandhi’s Quit India movement. Whether it is Big Brother, Big Boss, KBC, Indian Idol or Chak Dhoom Dhoom and the like, come primetime and we sit glued to our TV screens, mesmerised by the spectacle of illusions, cleverly simulated and stage-managed by considerations that are inherently commercial. Lured by the glitter and glamour of dramatised pageants, we remain captivated and hooked by the drama that unfolds on the screen quite unmindful of other pressing realities around us. According to David Shields, author of Reality Hunger, “The success of the genre reflects our lust for emotional meaning. We really do want to feel, even if that means indulging in someone else’s joy or woe. We have a thirst for reality (other people’s reality, edited) even as we suffer a surfeit of reality (our own – boring/painful).” It is intriguing to see how, while the “reality” shows go on, millions of votes cast through SMS conveyor belts are transformed, with the speed of light, into unimaginable profits for the TV channels. It is common knowledge how KBC (Star Plus)and Indian Idol (Sony) have made history in terms of people’s participation and generation of revenue. One may indeed be startled by the fact that in the year 2008, more votes were cast for American Idol than for Barack Obama for President: 97 million for American Idol and, on Election Day, 70 million for Obama. Such is the power of glamorised illusions! In sharp contrast to such a simulated world, it is gratifying indeed that we, lovers of literature, continue to believe that fancy, the deceiving elf, cannot cheat so well as to take us away to bask in the glorious sunshine of “faery lands forlorn.” Even a cursory glance at the contents of the current issue of Re-Markings reveals the interface of beauty and truth that characterises great works of art wherein we get the opportunity to reflect upon the quintessence of life. If Lori Langer’s story in this volume tells us about the impermanence of life and the unreliability of desires, it also succeeds in making us aware of the significance of “touch and affection” in our lives. Similarly, we feel no less elevated to see spirited individuals, located on the margins of human society, wage relentless battles to contend with the dilemmas of democracies in terms of race, caste, gender or class. While the protagonists of Shashi Deshpande attempt to negotiate the trajectories of silence in their respective domestic fronts, we can see Hawthorne creating an exquisitely beautiful landscape with words and colours. We may be ridden by agony and anxiety to see Emperor Jahangir’s paradise on earth torn by terrorism, violence and conflict, but we do feel redeemed by the melodious renderings of Aga Shahid Ali’s ghazals that sing of the beauty, joy and peace that Kashmir once stood for. Likewise, the exclusive interview with Prof. Pirzada Qasim and other intellectual delicacies from the realm of lived experiences should decisively entertain and enrich our sensibilities. Before closing this editorial note, I deem it a pleasure to warmly welcome the members of the Re-Markings fraternity to our new location in cyberspace: www.re-markings.com, an address that corresponds to the name of the journal. I deeply appreciate the proactive role of our Executive Editor, Mr. Sundeep Arora, not only in making this feat possible but also in providing constant updates on the aesthetic website. I also stand beholden to our contributors who have been displaying remarkable patience in waiting to see their scholarly imprints in Re-Markings.
-Nibir K. Ghosh
Chief Editor

CONTENTS

The Week I Was Radioactive – Lori Langer De Ramirez
Give to the World the Best You Have: Conversation with Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui – Sunita Rani & Nibir K. Ghosh
New Media and Writing: Some Issues – Dharamjeet Singh
Orwell’s Treatment of Imperialism in Burmese Days – Jawed S. Ahmad
Use of Color in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The House of the Seven Gables – Nazmi Al-Shalabi
Gloria Naylor’s Mama Day: A Cultural Study – Anurag Kumar & Nagendra Kumar
Comparative Study of Violence in Shakespeare’s King Lear and Edward Bond’s Lear – Manju Rani
Oriental Content and Context in Lord Tennyson’s The Fall Of Jerusalem – Syed Faiz Zaidi

Herman Melville’s Mythopoeia – Divyajyoti Singh Agha
Shahid Ali: Poet of Humanism – Sadaf Shah
Balram Halwai: A Re-Creation of Mulk Raj Anand’s Bakha and Arundhati Roy’s Velutha – Binod Mishra
Articulating Silence: Shashi Deshpande’s – The Dark Holds No Terrors and That Long Silence – Gunbir Kaur
Limbale’s The Outcaste: A Search for Identity – M.S. Wankhede
Rural Development and Women Participation in Uttar Pradesh – Mohini Agarwal & Praveen Sood
Ecocritical Reading of Arun Joshi’s The Strange Case of Billy Biswas – S.D. Palwekar
Toni Morrison’s Paradise: A Trauma Narrative – Lata Mishra
A Fanonian Reading of Chetan Bhagat’s The Three Mistakes of My Life – Sunita Jakhar
Political Issues in Rohinton Mistry’s Such A Long Journey and A Fine Balance – T. Sasikanth Reddy
Realistic and Expressionistic Techniques in Arthur Miller’s Death of A Salesman – Shishu Paul
POETRY
Tiger, Tiger… – Ashok Tiwari
Three Poems – Heartbeats, Innocence Betrayed, We, the Living – Shobha Diwaker
Book Review
Review of Perspectives on Legends of American Theatre – Shanker A. Dutt


Re-Markings Vol. 9 No. 1, March 2010

EDITORIAL

Three quarters of a century ago, in the spring of 1935, a black writer and intellectual, inspired by the idealism of the Communist utopia, arrived at a New York hotel to participate in a conference of Left-Wing writers organized by the John Reed Club. The opening mass meeting was scheduled at Carnegie Hall. When he casually asked the concerned committee about his housing accommodation, every one around looked baffled and embarrassed for they couldn’t have gathered from the name of the delegate earlier that a black Communist too would be a part of the gathering. During the trip to New York, the gentleman in question had not thought of himself as a “Negro” as he was preoccupied with the problems of young Left-Wing writers which he thought to highlight at the conference. As he saw one white comrade talk frantically to another about the color of his skin, he felt disgusted and burned with shame. He walked out wondering where he would sleep that night. He stood on the sidewalks of New York “with a black skin and practically no money, absorbed, not with the burning question of Left-Wing literary movement in the United States, but with the problem of how to get a bath.” If Communism for him had hitherto been a liberating force, it had liberated him of all his illusions. What seemed important to him now was: “Could a Negro ever live halfway like a human being in this goddam country?” The writer in question is Richard Wright whose wrath exploded in 1940 in the form of Native Son. At the end of the essay from which this event has been taken, Wright poignantly describes his disillusionment with the Red God in the Pink Decade: “I headed toward home alone, really alone now, telling myself that in all the sprawling immensity of our might continent the least-known factor of living was the human heart, the least-sought goal of being was a way to live a human life. Perhaps, I thought, out of my tortured feelings I could fling a spark into this darkness.…I would hurl words into this darkness and wait for an echo; and if an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight, to create a sense of the hunger for life that gnaws in us all, to keep alive in our hearts a sense of the inexpressibly human.” How the Communist party in America persecuted Richard Wright for his honest confessions till very the end of his life is history now. Against the backdrop of this narrative, let us now take a look at an event that describes the grim story of the travails of a woman writer under the brutal Communist dictatorship of Nicolae Ceausescu in Romania: “One day, on the way to the hairdresser, somebody suddenly grabbed me by the arm: it was a policeman who took me to the basement of a nearby block of flats, where three men lay in wait for me. The one who seemed to be the boss accused me, amongst others, of being a prostitute of Arab students and that I was doing it to be paid for in kind for cosmetics (under communism beauty products considered inessential were absent from shops). I answered that I knew no Arab students to which he retorted that if he wanted to he could find twenty Arab students to testify against me. Then the slender policeman opened the door to let me out and threw my ID card on the ground. As I bent he kicked me hard in the back: I fell face down on the grass, behind some bushes.” This writer who underwent ceaseless persecution and torture for refusing to conform to the government ideology and diktat, is none other than Herta Müller, the recipient of the 2009 Nobel Prize for Literature. Notwithstanding the controversy that often surrounds such prestigious literary prizes, the Swedish Academy’s decision does help to bring to light the poignant tale of repression of a writer under Communist dictatorship in Eastern Europe. In The Land of Green Plums Herta Müller, writes: I sang without hearing my voice. I fell from a fear full of doubt into a fear full of absolute certainty. I could sing the way water sings. Maybe the tune came from my singing grandmother’s dementia. Perhaps I knew tunes she lost when she lost her reason. Perhaps things that lay fallow in her brain had to pass to my lips.” Noteworthy in the instances cited above is how, time and again, sensitive souls have combated repression and transformed individual suffering and agony by flinging words “into the dark,” words that illumine and inspire the rest of mankind to awake and arise against all powers that dare to stifle truth and creativity. Come, then, let us sing in unison with such fearless and inspired souls and proclaim that political expediency can never justify lies.
-Nibir K. Ghosh

Chief Editor

CONTENTS

Humour and Wisdom in Mark Twain’s Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar – S. Ramaswamy
Arms and the Woman: A discussion of Candida – Shernavaz Buhariwala
Rethinking the Politics of Literature: Jacques Rancière’s Contribution – Navleen Multani
Ibsen’s A Doll’s House: A Marxist/Feminist Reading – Umed Singh
Obi Okonkwo as “Beast of no Nation” in Chinua Achebe’s No Longer at Ease- Geetanjali Kumar
Dialogic Discourse in Aruna’s “My Mother” and “Back Bone of Economy” – C. Kannammal
From Defiance to Resignation: The Poetry of Eunice de Souza – Tanu Gupta
Linguistic Devices of Repetition and Selective Vocabulary in McCullers’ The Heart is a Lonely Hunter – Mahesh Kumar
Alienated Selves in Anita Desai`s Fire on the Mountain – Shailja Singh
From Kenosis to Plerosis: Celie in Alice Walker’s The Color Purple – Vibha Bhoot
Theatre as Carnival: Habib Tanvir’s Agra Bazaar – Shyam Babu
Psychological States of Immigrants in Bharati Mukherjee’s Fiction – Shweta Arora
New Black Woman in the Poetry of Alice Walker – Silky Khullar-Anand
Namdeo Dhasal: Radical Voice of Dalit Protest – Shaleen Kumar Singh

Dalit Feminism: Issues and Concerns – B.K. Sharma
Kamala Markandaya’s Nectar in a Sieve: A Tragic Saga – Rashmi Gupta
Affirmation in Coelho’s The Alchemist – Bindu Sharma
Articulating Silence in Tendulkar’s Silence! The Court is in Session – Mohammad Yusuf Ansari
Women in the Select Poems of Kamala Das – Naveen K. Mehta
Role of Educationists in Curbing Terrorism – Alok Chansoria & S. Syed
Seamus Heaney: An Introduction – Siva Nagaiah Bolleddu


Re-Markings Vol. 8 No. 2, September 2009

EDITORIAL

In the early years of the new millennium an American Fulbright Scholar to India (2004-05) was initially bugged on seeing a cow outside the international terminal after his arrival in New Delhi for it affirmed “every clichéd idea an outsider might have had about India.” But during the course of his stay in India he was happy to observe firsthand how the nation was rapidly coming out of its distant exotic past to assert itself as a potential power in the global market. He was happy to note that Indian prowess at information technology, fueled by keen foreign investments, had destroyed the idea of the mystical, exotic, ancient India that had previously captured the world’s curiosity. He was definitely aware that India had to contend with societal problems and deep-seated issues of inequality and poverty that needed to be addressed with all seriousness and gravity. Though he felt that trade, not philosophy and enlightenment, was now India’s prime focus, he was optimistic that “belief in life, that faith in the beauty and value of all life, ultimately will provide redemption and fulfillment for India.” Add to this testimony of hope the recent affirmative utterance of Thomas Friedman, the Pulitzer winning New York Times journalist, and you shall see a rejuvenated modern India in the making: “When we were young kids growing up in America, we were told to eat our vegetables at dinner and not leave them. Mothers said, ‘think of the starving children in India and finish the dinner.’ And now I tell my children: ‘Finish your homework. Think of the children in India who would make you starve, if you don’t?’” Now contrast this utterance with the image of India that emerges from books like Aravind Adiga’s Booker winning The White Tiger or the Nobel Laureate V.S. Naipaul’s An Area of Darkness or the Oscar winning film Slumdog Millionaire. Notwithstanding the adulation bestowed by the Western horizon on the projection of the seamy side of India in such works of art, it is easy to comprehend why such accounts make even an ordinary Indian wince in sincere disgust. As an instance, I wish to recall the response generated in this subcontinent when Louis Malle produced his mammoth 378-minute documentary Phantom India (1969). Malle’s film provided occasional strong criticisms, especially of widespread poverty and bureaucratic corruption, the problematic status of women and the caste system, which although officially abolished with India’s independence from Great Britain in 1947, he found to be worse than ever 20 years later. Commenting on Phantom India, the maestro Satyajit Ray stated: “personally, I don’t think any film director has any right to go to a foreign country and make a documentary film about it unless a) he is absolutely thorough in his groundwork on all aspects of the country – historical, social, religious and b) he does it with genuine love. Working in a dazed state – whether in admiration or disgust – can produce nothing of value.” Ray reiterated that what was deficient in the Louis Malle’s version of India was the integrity of design which, according to him, was a requisite that validated creativity in filmmaking and in writing. In a similar vein, Nissim Ezekiel, in his brilliant essay entitled “Naipaul’s India and Mine,” exchanged facile fences with V.S. Naipaul who saw in India only areas of despairing darkness coloured by unmitigated pessimism. Ezekiel acknowledges without hesitation the existence of all the darkness Naipaul has illuminated in projecting “the land of his ancestors.” But he is quick to point out that even while holding a mirror to reality, a writer cannot and should not dispense with the imperatives of the integrity of intent and design. The hypersensitivity of the writer ought not to trample on the sensitivities of other people, he said. Ezekiel is not unaware of the vulnerability of India – the poverty and the squalor, physical, social and moral – but what he detests is “Mr. Naipaul’s refusal to see it in human and historic terms.” Ezekiel’s dissatisfaction is primarily with Naipaul’s “mode of argument, his falsifying examples.” It is true that India is too beautifully diverse a nation to be faithfully represented by one clever movie or one clever book. Nevertheless, rather than deny ourselves the jubilation or otherwise that comes with coveted Bookers, Oscars or the Nobel, we must subject the respective works to the ultimate litmus test to determine whether in mirroring unpalatable reality they also sing of the ultimate triumph of the human spirit. Besides ruminating on these sensitive areas, this volume of Re-Markings has plenty to offer in terms of its continued commitment to foreground broad socio-political and cultural issues of human import. I heartily thank all the contributors for enriching the journal with the decisive imprints of their perception of life and literature.
-Nibir K. Ghosh
Chief Editor

CONTENTS

Beauty in the Poverty of India: A Review of Slumdog Millionaire – Jonah Raskin
Jonah – Kathleen Alcalá

Reinventing a Form: John Barth’s Giles Goat-Boy – Mojgan Abshavi

Feminism in India: Challenges and Obstacles – Mohammad Asim Siddiqui
Harold Pinter: A Tribute – Padmakar Pande
The Artist-God: Nietzsche’s Aesthetic Philosophy and The Poetry of W. B. Yeats – Sudeshna Majumdar
Dilemma of Name in Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake – Apara Tiwari & Shahewar SyedEnvironmental and Ecological Concerns in Amitav Ghosh’s The Hungry Tide -Sanjay Kumar Misra
Somerset Maugham’s View of Life – V.K. Singhal
Traditionalism to Modernism: Shashi Deshpande’s Feminism – Prabha Pant
Deconstruction: The Palindrome of Existentialism – Namrata Gupta
The Oriental Travelogue: Exoticisation of the Orient – Chandra Prabha
Unselfing of the Self in Iris Murdoch’s Under The Net – Geeta Bhandari & Vikas Bembi
Irony and Ambivalence in Emecheta’s The Joys of Motherhood – N.V.S.N. Laxmi & C. Sharada
Portrayal of Indian Woman in Shashi Deshpande’s The Binding Vine – Chandip Kaur
Identity and Violence in Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger – Sangeeta Handa
Between Captivity and Freedom: A Study of Mary Gordon’s Pearl– Raichel M. Sylus
Asif Currimbhoy’s Inquilab: A Glimpse at Indian Politics – Kamlakar K. Askar
Alienation and Affirmation in Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye – Pratima Singh
POETRY
Two Poems: Nausea; My Mistake – David Ray
Two Poems: Passing Through a Dark Locality after Dusk; Waiting for a Dust Storm – Kedarnath Singh (Translated from the Hindi by G.L. Gautam)

Two Holi Poems: Holi – Fall Out; The Joy of Holi – Ashok Tiwari
Two Filmy Poems: Sholay; Mughal-E-Azam – Shweta Rao

Yearning for Bygone days – Vaibhav Shah


Re-Markings Vol. 8 No. 1, March 2009

EDITORIAL

Engaged and engrossed in the study of race-relationships in America for nearly three decades now, I had always wondered whether a Black man or woman for that matter would ever inhabit the White House as the first citizen of America. Even in 2003-04 while I was on a Senior Fulbright Fellowship to the University of Washington, Seattle, USA, I was curious to know from many writers and statesmen, with whom I had the opportunity to interact, about the remote possibility of White America ever transcending the American Dilemma to accept any black President in the White House. On an average, while many writers were deep in their optimism for such an eventuality to actually happen, they were nevertheless very skeptical about the illusion turning into reality. I would like to make a special mention of Charles Johnson, the winner of the National Book Award (USA), who did not rule out the possibility of such a miracle happening in the land. Referring to his own rise to his present stature he said, “In this country no individual or group, white or black, could tell me not to dream.” When I pointed out to him how statistics showed that there were more Black Americans in jails than in schools and that racial prejudice continued to be unusually strong in American society, Johnson seemed unruffled and stated with absolute confidence: “America is very much a pluralistic society…In other words, America really is the point where so many cultures are crossing. And so the large questions that will be carried into the 21st century will be questions of who are we as Americans. And who we want to be as Americans. But it won’t be a black/white dialogue in that respect anymore. This is indeed a significant moment of cultural transition in the early part of the twenty-first century.” Though I deeply respected Johnson’s opinion, I continued to believe in what Winnie Mandela had once stated” “There can never be a rainbow nation because the colour black is not there in the Rainbow.” In just four years time, the grand reality of Obama’s unprecedented and spectacular victory has brought to the fore that facts are stranger than fiction. When I sent a congratulatory email to Charles Johnson after Obama’s phenomenal triumph at the polls and complimented him on the power of his prophecy, he responded very warmly and said that his optimism was actually based on his belief that “For black people, the promise of his becoming president is the ‘impossible dream’ their ancestors had nurtured since the era of slavery. While Obama graces the White House as the first Black man in command, one can visualize the happiness and fulfillment that the likes of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X may be experiencing in heaven to see the dream they had lived and died for had materialized in such a dramatic way. In a multicultural setting characteristic of a globalized world, it is quite significant that Barack Obama transcends dualism. In fact, it is primarily his cosmopolitan, globe-spanning background and sensitivity that determined his victory. Obama is, as he himself has said, a kind of blank slate onto which Americans have projected their deepest and most visceral social and cultural longings. His victory reaffirms the weight of what he told an audience of 200,000 in Germany. That he is an American who views himself as “a fellow citizen of the world.” Eloquent and elegant, this charismatic personality has given the turmoil ridden world much needed relief from centuries of racial masks and dissembling. And, in becoming the leader of the most powerful nation in human history through the attributes of his humanity, empathy, and compassion, Obama has convinced everyone on earth that excellence is color-blind, and that broad service to others has no tribal affiliation. With the current issue of Re-Markings we enter the eighth year of our glorious partnership with avid readers, contributors and well wishers who have strengthened our resolve to offer nothing but the very best as a tiny recompense for their unstinted support and invaluable cooperation.
-Nibir K. Ghosh
Chief Editor

CONTENTS

‘Home’ and ‘Imagined Community’ in Canadian Immigrant Writing – S.S. Sharma
Quest for Identity in Margaret Atwood’s Surfacing and Scott Momaday’s The House Made of Dawn – A. Karunaker
From Activism to Nation-Building: Sarojini Naidu, Kamala Devi Chattopadhyaya and Aruna Asif Ali – Mini Nanda
From Bondage to Freedom: Three Protagonists of Khalid Hosseini – Neera Singh
Rewriting History for Politics: Girish Karnad’s Tughlaq and Tipu Sultan – Alpana Saini
Homing In: The House in Amit Chaudhuri’s Novels – Somdatta Bhattacharya
From Narrative to Dialogical: Tennessee Williams’ “The Malediction” and The Strangest Kind of Romance – Prakash Joshi
Voicing for Space: Contemporary Indian Women Poetry in English – Sudhir K. Arora
Female Migrants in Divakaruni’s Arranged Marriage – Smriti Singh
Gender Discrimination in The God of Small Things – Anupama Tewari
Rediscovering Self: A Study of Ma Joad’s Character in John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath – Ajay Kant Sharma & G.A. Ghanshyam
Cultural and Emotional Metempsychosis: A Study of Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s The Unknown Errors of Our Lives – Anupreet Kular
Jane Austen’s Novels: A Feministic Perspective – Ashish Gupta & Ravikant Malviya
POETRY
Three Poems – Above Kibber, Key, Avalokiteshwara – Gemma Mathewson
The Whole of Human Life Laughs – R.C. Shukla
Two PoemsKosi, An Album of Images – Alvia Abedin
Three Poems – Before the Colours Got Scattered on the Canvas, Bewildered Images, Two Pairs of Lips – Narendra Mohan
Two Poems – Orchard, Kite Flying – Krishna Bose
Three Poems – After Showers, Creeping Saplings, Disaster – Ram Sharma

BOOK REVIEW
S. Ramaswamy’s The Salad Bowl – Essays on American Literature – U.K. Jaydev
Ian Watt’s Myths of Modern Individualism: Faust, Don Quixote, Don Juan, Robinson Crusoe – M.L. Raina
Keki N. Daruwalla’s Collected Poems: 1970-2005 – Shanta Acharya


Re-Markings Vol. 7 No. 2, September 2008

CONTENTS

The Stranger at the Door: Mobility, Arrival, Hospitality – Rüdiger Kunow

Poetry by Women in Post-Independence India – Seemin Hasan

Redefining Transcendentalism in the Light of Ambedkarvad: A Study of Kirvant and Routes and Escape-Routes – Dharamdas M. Shend

Identity of the Self and the Nation in Mailer’s The Armies of the Night – Arun Soule

Indian Landscape in the Poetry of Jayanta Mahapatra – Satendra Kumar

Nationalism in Question: A Reading of Kiran Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss- Girija Nambiar

Identity Crisis in Indian Diaspora – Deepkumar Jayprakash Trivedi

Sense of Place in the Poems of Judith Wright and Arun Kolatkar – Mridula Rashmi Kindo

James Baldwin: A Secular Humanist – Gur Pyari Jandial

Subaltern Speak: Feminist Identity in The Nautch Girl and Umrao Jan Ada – Haris Qadeer

Women as Outsiders in The Middle Plays of Henrik Ibsen – Poonkodi Shrri

Feminism in Anita Desai’s Cry, The Peacock – Sandeep Kumar Sharma

Magic and Memory in Louise Erdrich’s Love Medicine – Rajyashree Khushu-Lahiri

Faces and Facades: Mahesh Dattani’s Bravely Fought the Queen – Srideep Mukherjee

BOOK REVIEW

K. K. Srivastava’s An Armless Hand Writes – Patricia Prime

K.S. Pal’s Descending Dark Stairs – T.S. Anand & Silky Khullar-Anand

Arunachalam Angapan’s Vibrant Moments Vol.III – Shujaat Hussain

Sucha Nand’s The Partition: A Novel – Shalini Gupta & Silky Khullar-Anand


Re-Markings Vol. 7 No. 1, March 2008

CONTENTS

Herbert Marcuse’s  One-Dimensional  Man: A Study in Contemporary Relevance - Dharnidhar  Sahu 
Humanism in Saul Bellow’s The Dean’s  December - S.S. Gill
Emancipated Women in Arthur Miller’s After the Fall - Silima Nanda
Tennessee Williams’ Summer and Smoke: A Study in Alienation -  Vinod Kumar Maheshwari
Women and the In/visible  Violence in Amita Kanekar’s  A Spoke in the Wheel -Shikha
Michel  Foucault and the Discourse  of   Power - Sudhir V. Nikam
Quest for Identity in the Fiction of Toni Morrison - Y. Somalatha

Special Section 
Doris Lessing
Guest Editor : Jonah Raskin
Introduction - Jonah  Raskin
Doris Lessing in London, 2007 - Jonah Raskin
Doris Lessing’s  ‘African’ Nostalgia - Dennis Walder
Leaving Caroline: The Social  Construction of Motherhood in A Proper Marriage  - Linda Seidel
Doris Lessing’s The Cleft: Historiographic Metafiction and  Prehistory - Sudha Rai
Defying The Male Gaze: Lessing’s The Summer Before The Dark - Anupama  Kaushal
Doris Lessing: An Overview - Smita Jha
Doris Lessing: An Appreciation - Neena Arora
The Grass is Singing:  Saga of A Woman’s Tragedy - Madan Mohan Beura
Two Poems
Going Home (For  Doris Lessing) - Shanta Acharya
Glued To The Golden Notebook - Jose Varghese
Doris Lessing’s   Moral Vision in The Canopus in Argos  Series - Evashisha  Masilamony
Doris Lessing: A Personal Memoir - Paul  Schlueter 


Re-Markings Vol. 6 No. 2, September, 2007

Editorial

“Being a woman is like being Irish. Everyone says you’re important and nice but you take second place all the same.” –Iris Murdoch Whether one looks at the story of the “Genesis” in the Old Testament which shows the Lord God creating Eve out of the rib of Adam, or at the Laws of Manu, one cannot miss the emphasis on the derivative nature of a woman’s existence. Even in the democratic Athens of Socrates and Plato, man’s prerogative was seen in ‘commanding’ and a woman’s duty lay in obeying. Likewise in the medieval period the role of woman remained circumscribed by domestic trivialities, periodically interrupted by the birth of children. In our own time it is perhaps customary to accept Freud’s assumption of “Anatomy is Destiny” which affirms that inequality of the sexes is neither a biological nor a divine mandate, but a cultural construct devised by a male-dominated society. From time to time the Minerva lying latent in every woman did endeavour to soar above the level plain of tradition and prejudice with help of strong wings to carve an identity of her own. But as the wings remained enmeshed in the complex web of interdependence that characterizes a man-woman relationship, the daring ones often had to return fluttering back to earth, bruised and exhausted. More than a century ago, when Nora in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House (1879) walked out on her husband and children after telling him – “Our house has never been anything but a play-room. I have been your doll wife, just as at home I was daddy’s doll child,” – she literally shocked the world out of its complacence by taking a drastic step ahead of her time. Her daring departure from the assumed security and comfort of her husband’s home, prompted by her urge to assert her own individuality, created a sensation when the play was first produced and many women refused to play the role of a woman who deserts her husband and children. Two decades later, when Edna Pontellier the female protagonist in Kate Chopin’s The Awakening (1899) awakens to her own sense of existence and refuses to be treated as the “property” of her husband, and decides to swim out far from the confines of domesticity imposed by her marriage, her rebellious act of asserting her own individuality is lightly seen as an incomprehensible action prompted by “some sort of notion in her head concerning the eternal rights of women.” In our own times, when the Feminist Studies industry is expanding like the Reliance Group, there may be few takers of the stand espoused by Mahashweta Devi at the end of her story “Draupadi, ” where, unlike the legendary Draupadi in Mahabharata – who in her helplessness pleads to Lord Krishna to protect her from being ignominiously disrobed in public – Mahashweta’s protagonist Dopdi subverts the accepted and acceptable notions of “female virtue and modesty” by boldly daring the exploiters of her modesty to touch her again: What’s the use of clothes? You can strip me, but how can you clothe me again? Are you a man?…There isn’t a man here that I should be ashamed. I will not let you put my cloth on me. What more can you do? After such knowledge, what forgiveness! Against such perspectives, the Iris Murdoch quote perhaps best expresses the ambivalence of being a woman in an essentially male dominated universe and rightly gives rise to the debate that is so perceptively taken up in the present volume by extremely sensitive critiques of works by women writers like Shashi Deshpande, Toni Morrison, Pratibha Ray, Imtiaz Dharker and others who, having made good use of the room of their own, boldly question the status quo and refuse “to take second place all the same” for the mere privilege of being considered “important and nice.” Apart from these interesting discourses related to the most intricate area of human experience, this volume offers insightful forays into various dimensions of significant dislocations as well as location of cultural spaces that have significantly impacted paradigms of creativity in fiction, poetry and films. Perceptive essays on Edmund Wilson, Sri Aurobindo, R.K. Narayan, Othello, a post-modernist interrogation of reality and representation in Indian aesthetics and the review of Miguel de Cervantes’ are bound to engage the attention of our readers.
-Nibir K. Ghosh
Chief Editor

CONTENTS

Passage to America : The Indian Movie Goes Global – Jonah Raskin

Indian Diaspora and the Constituency of Dissent – Shanker Dutt

The Tyranny of the Tangible: An Analysis of Othello – Shernavaz Buhariwala

This Violet and that Violet: From Fragmentation to Wholeness in Jazz – Soophia Ahmad

Indian Thinking: Post-Modernism and Beyond – Sunita Mishra & C. Muralikrishna

Historical Criticism and Edmund Wilson – V. Premlata

Sri Aurobindo’s Criticism: An Evaluation – Pramendra Kumar Pandey

Partition in Sindhi Fiction – Neena Arora

Locating Cultural Space: Dom Moraes’s “John Nobody” and Nissim Ezekiel’s

“Background, Casually” – Sandeep Kumar Yadav

Chinua Achebe and the African Oral Tradition – Ranjana Mehrotra

Between Sita and Draupadi: Search for Identity in Pratibha Ray’s Yajnaseni: The Story of Draupadi – Saroj Thakur & Aushima Thakur

Polyphony in R.K. Narayan’s The World of Nagaraj – Nityananda Pattanayak

Inside and Beyond the Veil: The Poetry of Imtiaz Dharker – R.K. Bhushan

Reclaiming the Self through Creative Writing: A Study of Shashi Deshpande’s That Long Silence – Sunita Goel

Displacement in Amitav Ghosh’s The Circle of Reason – Nagini Ram

Book Review

Quixotic Encounters: Indian Responses to the Knight from Spain – Christopher Rollason


Re-Markings Vol. 6 No. 1, March 2007

Editorial

Thousands are still asleep…

But shall wake soon and long for letters.

And none will hear the postman’s knock

Without a quickening of the heart,

For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?

– W.H. Auden, “Night Mail.”
Happily ensconced in “another kind of wood,” Auden may acknow-ledge with a condescending smile this humble greeting to him on the centenary of his birth from his admirers in India , where his poetry survives, half a world away from the “valley of its making.” It might possibly quicken his heart to see Edward Mendelson – the celebrity Executor of his Literary Estate – join the Re-Markings fraternity in remembering him as one who “became the most universal of modern poets by being the most individual.” Auden may nostalgically remember David Ray who had the privilege of chauffeuring Auden when he visited Cornell University in the 1960s. Auden might possibly be delighted to see, in the Special Section devoted to him, the “Address” that he had so articulately delivered at the 1951 Session of the Indian Congress for Cultural Freedom at Bombay, an address meant to remind people who govern “of what they do not like to be reminded, that the government are people and not numbers.” It is a pleasure to remember a poet for whom the freedom of the individual always remained a matter of primary concern. W(ystan) H(ugh) Auden (1907-1973) began his career thinking and writing about what the world would be like if men could create an earthly paradise. Exploring the terrains of democratic Athens , the New Jerusalems and the Ideal State , Auden experimented with all available theories and ideas to resolve the political, social and economic crises that beset his own civilization. However, his chief concern was not to become a political person but to find a formula for saving “a world that has had its day.” In the process, he adopted what he could accept politically and use poetically. But when History intervened to show him the limitations of his euphoria, he conceded in no uncertain terms that “Poetry makes nothing happen,” a statement that has resonated time and again throughout the twentieth century and after to stir up the debate concerning the role of poets and the true functions of poetry. Alarmed by political systems which attempted to remove economic pressures and incentives by substituting them with “social and Governmental ones,” Auden realized that in politics the individual is a mere statistical entity. As a result, his concerns rightly shifted to the creation of “healing fountains” in the “deserts of the heart.” He began meditating on the richer functions of poetry and saw art as both an escape from and a revelation of reality: We want a poem to be beautiful, that is to say, a verbal earthly paradise, a timeless world of pure play, which gives us delight precisely because of its contrast to our historical existence with all its insoluble problems and inescapable suffering; at the same time we want a poem to be true, that is to say, to provide us with some kind of revelation about our life which will show us what life is really like and free us from self-enchantment and deception. Like the ‘hawk’ or the ‘helmeted Airman,’ Auden had the remarkable ability to tell the truth, to disenchant and disintoxicate. Auden valued sincerity above all things, be it life or art. In his view, “The secret of good art is the same as the secret of a good life; to find out what you are interested in, however strange, or trivial, or ambitious, or shocking, or uplifting, and deal with that, for that is all you can deal with well.” Taking cue from Old Masters, Auden could visualize the extraordinary nature of day-to-day ordinary human suffering and yet reveal how life remains a blessing. Endowed with an innate gift for “memorable language,” Auden never failed to convey the thoughts of “a wise man in the speech of the common people,” attributes that ensured his permanent presence in eternity’s Hall of Fame. Besides the comprehensive Special Section on W.H. Auden, the present issue of Re-Markings offers a rich spectrum of creative and critical renderings that include Charles Johnson’s story, “Kamadhatu,” Ramaswamy’s glowing centenary tribute to Samuel Beckett, a comprehensive survey of contemporary African poetry, insightful deliberations on writers of the Indian diaspora in the United States, an analysis of India-Canada relations, a critique of Pynchon’s allusive fictional world, a bouquet of verses and a passionate review of The Vagina Monologues. Re-Markings is grateful indeed to all the contributors who have made this volume memorable.
-Nibir K. Ghosh
Chief Editor

CONTENTS

Kamadhatu, A Modern Sutra – Charles Johnson Samuel Beckett: A Birth Centenary Tribute – S. Ramaswamy Canada-India Relations: Major Issues – Anupma Kaushik Prominent Poet-Performers in Contemporary African Poetry – Thomas K.K. Life Masks a Void: Pynchon’s Use of Allusions as Post-Modern Strategy – Mohammed I. Mahameed The Trope of Home in Bharati Mukherjee’s Wife – Ambreen Khanam Nostalgic Overtones In Diasporic Writings: A Study of Jhumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies – Sunita Agarwal Diasporic Experiences in Anjana Appachana’s Incantations and Other Stories – Alka Saxena Special Section – W.H. Auden Remembering Auden – Edward Mendelson W. H. Auden’s Plainspeak in India : A Prefatory Note – K. Narayana Chandran Address – Wystan Hugh Auden Three Poems – David Ray : Auden in Error, Auden at Princeton , The Great Auden Auden Legacy in Joseph Brodsky – M.L. Raina Auden-Isherwood Collaboration: A Personal Recollection on Auden’s Centenary – S. Ramaswamy In Praise of Limestone: A Review – Shernavaz Buhariwala W.H. Auden: Poet of the Human Psyche – Shaleen Kumar Singh Auden and the Human Predicament – Sanjit Mishra Poetry The Kiss – Sardar Panchhi Truths – J.P. Das Two Poems – Krishna Bose : A Rape Victim, The Koel’s Song The Drop-Out Boy – G.L.Gautam Two Poems – Rudra Kinshuk: Better Sleep, Proposal Two Poems – R.C. Shukla: My Knowledge is Ignorance Indeed, Every Fresh Morning Makes Me Stale Ravana – Shobha Diwakar Shock Market – As You Like It – Lanka Siva Rama Prasad Review Essay Celebration of Women’s Sexuality in Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues – Ujjwala Tathe


Re-Markings Vol. 5 No. 2, September 2006
Re-markings 10th issue

Editorial

The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn. – John Muir It is my privilege and pleasure to greet you all with the tenth issue of Re-Markings. In a short span of five years the journal has gradually evolved as a useful guide to the ever-expanding frontiers of human experience. It has not only provided a perfect platform for addressing specific issues and concerns central to the human predicament in a hostile world but has also been instrumental in creating a powerful climate of opinion to enhance the understanding of our relationship to time, clime and space. I distinctly remember how, when we launched Re-Markings in March 2002, friends, well-wishers and detractors had warned us about the dangers of extremely high infant mortality rate that beset academic journals in India. Drawing strength and sustenance from the huge reservoirs of trust and faith created by patrons, contributors, subscribers and admirers, this humble enterprise has succeeded in leaving its indelible imprints on the shifting sands of time. Responding to the earlier issues of Re-Markings, Charles Johnson, has observed: “All in all, with its impressive global range and vision, and especially the international writers included, Re-Markings is magnificent, critically and creatively. Congratulations! There is really nothing quite like this fine publication in America .” Prof. M.L. Raina is no less eloquent in his appreciation: “The journal carries promising articles and has a variety that is not to be found in the Indian journals that come my way.” While mourning the sudden and untimely demise of Shri Bhoopendra Hooja, Chief Editor, Indian Book Chronicle, on 9 April 2006, I distinctly recall his inspiring words following the March 2003 issue of the journal: “One admires (almost envies) your ‘debut’ with such a flourish and wide support. The journal has established its mark – so early in its infancy – at least among the ‘elite’ – scholars, book-lovers, critics. It goes to your and your team’s credit that with only three issues, one as good as the other, you have carved out a place for yourself and the Re-Markings amongst the half-a-dozen or so special select literary journals in India.” In saluting the immortal soul, I can only say that we shall ever cherish Shri Hooja’s presence in our midst as an ever radiant lighthouse of inspiration. While it is quite natural for us to be swayed with such praise and appreciation, we shall not forget the burden of responsibility that comes with accolades and shall remain committed to both ethics and aesthetics in giving the best to the readers. I deem it a great honour to welcome the distinguished celebrities on our newly constituted advisory board. By contributing their creative energy in the form of stories, essays, articles, poems, and reviews in this and earlier issues of the journal, they have embellished in no small way the cause of this academic enterprise. I greatly appreciate their enthusiasm in being so realistically involved in promoting the cause of Re-Markings, something that is exceedingly rare to find in literary journals where names of luminaries are often used as mere ornaments. I also extend a hearty welcome to Ms. Katy Howe who has so happily consented to share the editorial responsibilities. It is perhaps a happy coincidence that Re-Markings, like the equinoxes, appears in March and September each year. The vernal and the autumnal equinoxes set the globe in perfect gravitational balance and become the harbingers of the Spring of life and the fruits of its Autumn. I am optimistic that Re-Markings will continue to offer, through a clockwork precision of the biannual event, the hope and cheer that one finds in the songs of Spring and the music of Autumn.
-Nibir K. Ghosh

Chief Editor

CONTENTS

The Problem of Authenticity – Stanley Crouch Upton Sinclair and The Jungle: America ‘s Forgotten Novelist and His Legendary Novel – Jonah Raskin Women in Science Fiction – S. Ramaswamy Gizmo (Short Story) – Charles Johnson Unpeeling the Layers of Draupadi – Archna Sahni The Freedom of a Translator: Tagore’s Chokher Bali and Krishna Kripalani’s Binodini –Ajit Kumar Mukherjee The Trauma of Partition In Punjabi Fiction – Gurdev Singh Chandhi The Streets Of Laredo (Short Story) – James Giles Daring to Hope: Maya Angelou’s Writing the Self – Mojgan Abshavi Facts Through Fiction: Bhisham Sahni’s Tamas And Khushwant Singh’s Train To Pakistan – Poonam Yadav Shashi Tharoor: A Profile – Sushil Kumar POETRY By Jayanta Mahapatra Four Poems: Fruit , Poem of the Sleepless Nights, A Disturbed Sky, The Years By Ethelbert Miller Five Poems: Whatever Lola Wants, Che, Curtains, Grace Grace Notes By David Ray Two Poems:Friends, Even as Birds Wonderful! Re-Markings by R.K. Bhushan Two Poems: I Still Adore You, The Lost Universe by Krishna Bose Book Review Ivo Andric’s The Bridge on the Drina ; Bosnian Chronicle or The Day of the Consul; The Damned Yard and Other Stories by M.L. Raina Rukmini Bhaya Nair’s Narrative Gravity: Conversation, Cognition, Culture by Rajul Bhargava Neera Singh’s The Night Halt and Other Stories by S.S. Sharma

To The Editor

“Thank you for sharing your editorial (March 2006) with me. You have dared to touch some delicate nerve points. Criticism, it must be recognized, painfully demands from all of us the utmost honesty and sincerity in saying the truth. I recall Mulk Raj Anand’s predicament in his “Apology” in recognizing the importance of humanistic value of truth; that truth is beyond rationalism. The tendency to conceal truth cannot be equated with the truth of the human condition. The western idiom and eastern thought have been at war. I have for years struggled to see Forster’s meaning in the last few pages of A Passage to India . … Keep up the good work!” -Dr. Kamal Verma, Editor, South Asian Review, University of Pittsburgh, Johnstown, USA.

“Your editorial is indeed admirable – and quite provocative for an ‘advocate’ of theory like me! Seriously, though, I think you have raised a number of issues: how do we use theory in understanding literature and culture, instead of creating an arcane specialisation to compete with technology, IT and business management, a knowledge over which our refusal of access to the uninitiated guarantees our ‘expertise’ over the subject? I, too, am worried over the overuse of jargon and deliberate obscurity as signposts of profundity: I am currently burdened with a Ph.D. student who searches the thesaurus for the most difficult, the most obscure word for expressing an idea that could easily have been expressed in more accessible terms! That is a major problem that I currently face. I am writing a book on disease and cultural identity (on a fellowship from the Social Science Research Council, New York ), and everything I write I give to my wife Sumitra to read. She is a housewife and has a Master’s in English, so I assume that whatever she doesn’t understand needs to be rewritten and simplified. And, believe me, it’s really difficult to do it – it’s so much easier to simply imitate the language and style of the ‘masters’. Your editorial also brings up, though indirectly, the question of how we teach theory to our students: do we teach them to understand it, or do we simply give them a sample of poststructuralism, postcolonialism, postmarxism, postfeminism, post, post, post, etc., to simply pick up a few catch phrases and techniques here and there? In fact, there are so many questions your editorial raises that I am tempted to respond to it – maybe this would be my first contribution to Re-Markings.“ -Dr. Dilip Das, Behrampur University , Behrampur (Orissa).

“Here is my spirited response to your equally spirited editorial! I enjoyed reading and thinking about your writing. As an English American liberal feminist scholar specializing in contemporary American short fiction by women writers writing in a multicultural postmodern field, it often astounds me that my fellow scholars try so hard to impress their peers by using as many obscure words from the OED as possible when composing a piece. Like it or not, ours is a field that requires a dictionary be glued to one’s hand at all times if a full understanding of the “jousting” that takes place between scholars is to be reached. The ability to apply theory to literature (or rather, applying literature to theory as seems to be the more usual case) is a well-honed skill that one struggles to obtain. Scholarly discourse affords a paradoxical dilemma in which scholars (should) strive to make their work readable while at the same time maintaining a veneer of respectability and aloofness that behooves even the most discriminated of readers and writers. Yes, obscurity empowers people to climb the mountain of career advancement (this is a point that in and of itself requires further criticism), if I may borrow another metaphor from your editorial. However, what is the point of utilizing obscurity in our writing if all that is accomplished is pushing readers (scholars and students alike) away due to intense density and verbosity? Why not use a more efficient means of communication and allow for a certain amount of simplicity (Don’t be shocked! “Simplicity” is a harmless word!) that will allow others further accessibility? What ever happened to just enjoying literature and sharing our ideas and findings with others who are equally enamored by the joys of the written word? Maybe we should all take a step back…no, make that two steps back…and just read a book or a poem for the sake of reading it. Let’s enjoy art for art and not read something to search for the latest and greatest breakthrough in literary theory. Those breakthroughs will become apparent through reading. Let’s apply our reading to our theories and not the other way around.” – Katy Howe , Rhode Island College, Providence , USA .


Re-Markings Vol. 5 No. 1, March 2006

EDITORIAL If peradventure, reader, it has been thy lot to find yourself trapped in the labyrinths of contemporary academia where literary knights, armed with the lethal arsenal of literary theories, joust with each other and confound the bewildered onlooker, you needn’t recede into the secluded confines of despair or depression. If you have felt intimidated by men and women talking of Bakhtin, Barthes, Foucault, Derrida et al. in conference and seminar rooms, or if you have tried in vain to comprehend critical jargons like poststructuralism, postcolonialism, diasporisation and postmodernism, all you need to do is learn the secret mantra that can inspire you to exchange a lance or two with some of these gallant knights. That mantra is “obscurity.” A firm grounding in obscurity of thought and language can take you to higher altitudes of career advancement. Remember, posture can be as important as politics when it comes to the intelligentsia. In other words, it may be less important whether or not you like postmodernism than whether or not you can speak and write postmodernism. First and foremost, you must realise the inefficacy of using plainly expressed language. It sounds too realist, modernist and obvious. Postmodern language requires the use of play, parody and indeterminacy as critical techniques to point this out. Often this is quite a difficult requirement, so obscurity is a well-acknowledged substitute. For example, let’s imagine you want to say something like, “We should listen to the views of people outside of Indian society in order to learn about the cultural biases that affect us.” This is honest but dull and somehow doesn’t fit into the postmodern paradigm. Instead of the word “views,” you would do well to use “voices”, or better, “vocalities,” or even better, “multi-vocalities.” Add an adjective like “intertextual,” and you’re covered. “People outside” is also too plain. How about “postcolonial others”? To speak postmodern with expertise all you need is switch gears from plain clarity to complex obscurity so that you are able to “mediate” your “identities.” Also, don’t hesitate to use as many suffixes, prefixes, hyphens, slashes, underlinings and anything else you can think of. In order to make your presentation a grand success, just throw in a few names whose work everyone will agree is important and hardly anyone has had the time or the inclination to read. Be careful, don’t you tread on familiar and indigenous grounds. Adopt the “western” viewpoint, for the terminology used by European or American theorists are best when you are hunting for difficult material to navigate your way through postmodern/ postcolonial space. It is rather ironical that the two World Wars resulted in killing not only millions of people indiscriminately but also in maiming and atrophying, by default, the innocent minds of the survivors into believing that everything – the story, the hero, even God – was dead. The perpetuation of this myth by intellectuals lost in the darkling groves of academe led to the negation of the pleasure principle that had hitherto informed the literature of all climes right from the days of Homer to the beginning of the 20th century. In spite of the proliferation of literary theories on a global scale that clouds the understanding of both life and art today, it is heartening to know that even highly acclaimed obscure writers are not unaware of the significance of a good story that appeals to the “laws of our primary nature” and is free from the imposition of all labels and signifiers like colonial, postmodern or postcolonial. As a case in point, I would like to recall a passage from Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things: “The secret of the Great Stories is that they have no secrets. The Great Stories are the ones you have heard and want to hear again. They don’t deceive you with thrills and trick endings. They don’t surprise you with the unforeseen. They are as familiar as the house you live in. Or the smell of your lover’s skin. You know how they end, yet you listen as though you don’t. In the Great Stories you know who lives, who dies, who finds love, who doesn’t. And yet you want to know again.” After such knowledge, what forgiveness!
-Nibir K. Ghosh
Chief Editor

CONTENTS

As Distinct as Black and White: Women in Faulkner’s Light In August, “Dilsey,” “That Evening Sun,” and Walker ’s Jubilee –Katy Howe One Day in Ashadha: Unacknowledged Epic of a Woman –B.T. Seetha Impossible Ideals of Assimilation: Joy Kogawa’s Obasan and Diana Abu-Jaber’s Arabian Jazz –Julie Bowman Anantha Murthy’s Samskara: Happiness of the Absurd–R.K. Bhushan Alienation and Assimilation in Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake: A Diasporic Study–Dipika Sahai Skilled Readers and the Process of Meaning Making–K. Padmini Shankar Thomas Wolfe: His Preoccupation with Death–Sadhana Chaturvedi The Red Light at the City Signal: Discourse on Poetry – Prologue, Dialogue, Epilogue–Arunachalam Angappan Joyce Carol Oates’s “Ruth”: A Psychoanalytic Study–Shalini Bhargava Ahimsa as the Soul Force in Nayantara Sahgal’s Lesser Breeds–Shivputra Shivraj Kanade Holes in the Multicultural Canvas: Hitting the Wall in Diaspora Studies –Rajesh Kumar Sharma Interrogating/Defending Postcolonialism — Manmohan Singh Hindi on the World’s Stage: Conversation with Michael Shapiro–Sunita Rani An Interview with Winsome Pinnock–Ranu Uniyal Present in our Space: A Meditation on the Meaning of Slave Tags–Kathleen Alcalá Remembering August Wilson–Nibir K. Ghosh Book Review Interviews with Edward Said — Tej N Dhar Humanism in Indian English Fiction — Rajesh Kumar Sharma Recollection as Redemption & The Other Voice — Ratan Bhattacharjee Mother and Other Poems – T.S. Anand Shades – V.B.B. Rama Rao Random Descent – Jaydeep Sarangi

FOUR POEMS

Jayanta Mahapatra

Fruit

Tart green pods

hang from the tamarind tree.

The wonder of sweetness

builds through the leaves.

Long shadows spring out

of nowhere as I watch.

The storm has come and passed,

visible still on the horizon.

Today I feel I am surrounded

by a wall of dead fruit;

they are unconcerned

of how I have lived my life.

They seem to insist

I am a traveller lost in the dark

and that the strange ceremony

which once began in darkness

is like the lonely mountain wind

over the grasses.

When I walk up the slope,

a slow thirst for happiness

seeks the worn doorsill

where my dead mother had sat,

as she sternly forbade us

to pluck the fruit

childhood’s sunrise had shaped

so temptingly for our eyes.

 

Poem of the Sleepless Nights

The crucifix on the wall holds

a body of humiliating husks.

Rain runs down the callused windows of our sleep.

There is this tale of the unhappy woman

With her body willing to be burnt to death

and the child born blind

with the enormous eyes of sunlight

guarding the secrets of the sky.

 

All I’ve wanted to do was to spy on God

all my life, to feel empty and light,

but our pains met merely on long sleepless nights.

A Disturbed Sky

The lewd calls of a caged parrot at dawn.

I can never know what its voice is searching for.

The sunlight crawls down the householder’s spine

while the immensities of space are numb with silence.

 

The voices that are heard in the garden

hold plausible lies. The rice is more golden than ever,

the jasmines are whiter, and the goodbyes of mothers to their young who die without reason are louder.

 

I’ve searched everywhere and found nothing there.

Not even the place where I heard those voices.

There’s only something like a sky with sunken cheeks sitting on the arm of the chair staring at me.

 

Mother lay in her last illness a walking distance away,

her feeble voice walking against the wind.

Today my sky is the last thing I’ll ever know:

this sky of voices suffering the retribution

of an unseen purpose’s vengeance

that knows nothing can move it

like the sun, here or ever.

 

The Years

Like leaves returning to the tree,

the past years sprout green;

so much love spent at times,

and a poet loses sight of love

because he loads his life with words.

Again and again the pigeons fly back,

Planning their small strategies,

Choosing slender weeds from the ground.

 

Awake and sleeping,

I feel their exhaustion.

I thought I saw my words

wanting to leave my memory,

and knew my poem had no meaning.

 

But the years continue to exist

in their glass tower with the veiled view,

with the kiss not taken,

and the word afraid of being no more.

 

And these years lie in the future,

and we do not know it.

Words are as far away as their pain.

In the thick cashew groves

Policemen pick up the last clues

of a young woman’s murder; they know

this is not the real end of the story.

Wonderful! Re-Markings

R.K. Bhushan

 

Off-spring of leanings literary,

Being parented with care and caution

For critical sensibility and insight,

Re-Markings was born to thrive

On the soil of rich historicity,

Barely five summers ago.

 

It is growing with a grace

To reach ahead of the race

Ridiculing initial cynicism.

Reciting the mantra of the milieus,

Wow! Re-Markings warmly embraces

The creativity in literature and language.

Its breadth of vision startles,

Its sense of discrimination never falters.

Each issue turns a guidepost

On the divergent roads

Leading into the regions known and unknown.

Looking back to the Olympian heights

From the pastures pure and polluted cities

Revealing the zigzags of ancients

And labyrinths of moderns.

 

Re-Markings retains its originality of conception,

Autonomy of choice and execution.

While the elderly in the fraternity

Struggle for worthiness or identity,

It has become an envious celeb.

The scholars and the students alike

Feel enriched and enlightened with its freshness

And take it as an add-on course.

A gem-studded branch

Of some thick ancient sacred tree

Where the devotees pay obeisance

For the blessing of discovery.

 

On, On, Re-Markings, to explore

New domains of human thought

For the draught-rich world

In your editorial reflections and selections.

I shall announce to the world:

Heed the re-markings of the RE-MARKINGS

Lest they should multiply their losses.

Five Poems

Ethelbert Miller

Whatever Lola Wants

Stan Kenton fixes his shirt

and pants. Life is nothing

but a big band. How come

the dead no longer swing?

 

I walk through the kitchen

to the alley behind the club.

 

Two guys – getting high.

Notes in their arms.

Music in their heads.

Needles singing blood.

Che

We are walking to La Paz

with your smile in our hands.

The mines and fields are dancing together.

Our hats sit on the top of our heads

like the mountains we live in.

Do you remember when you stopped

to catch your breath?

Was that the day you decided

never to sleep or die again?

Do you know the wind never forgets?

Everywhere your face.

Curtains

The war was already inside our house

So I took down the curtains that had blocked

The sun and walked down the street to the corner

Where flies flew in and out

of two bodies resting in the street

I covered them with curtains

after looking into the windows of death.

Grace

I was in New York for a few days.

I looked around and couldn’t find you.

The streets and stores were crowded

but no one had roses. So I walked around

searching for your fragrance.

I needed love as much as air.

Why didn’t the rain fall from your lips?

Grace Notes

My belly was never full when I was a boy.

I slept in a back room in the Bronx. Richard,

my brother, dreamt of becoming a monk.

Merton? In Southern States people bowed

their heads against segregation. Restaurants

had colored signs and no menus. It was a time

of hunger and a taste for change. Amazing grace?

Two Poems

Krishna Bose

I Still Adore You

I still adore you

for the tinkling whispers

you phew on drystone walls

the niche of the night’s blackness

does not stir you

like a cheering cup.

 

 

You still walk

among the rivulets

who have left imprints in dryness

your nibbling fingers

try to feel the last petal

the deep-set eyes strain to find

the jewel in the sand-bed.

 

You still catch up

the ravishing dance of the Lodhas

in desolate wilderness

you shed the shreds of Autumn

with an infinite meaningfulness

as you glide into

the fringes of a different planet.

 

The Lost Universe

The end came at thirteen

Puspa had to leave

with her teardrops clinking

misery tweaking

fear horsing around.

Her eye soullessly combed

the left-behind universe

She stopped to feel the pulse

of her father’s affection

Her playthings scattered in her clockless room

reminded her of a carnage

The edge of her mother’s anger

split her into halves.

She had to complete the circuitous voyage

No anger, no mirth

was possibly her own

The generation of trees standing by

spoke of no guilt

She was holding in her fist

the wishes of her ancestors.

Two Poems

David Ray

 

FRIENDS
My wife and I spend an hour with a Korean poet.
We sip tea. He refuses cookies repeatedly.

He tells us he finds America a strange country.
I tell him I find it the strangest of all,

always have, always will. He tells us his son
has trouble in school, is too shy to make friends.

No one speaks to the son. He gets scared
when bullies shove past him in hallways.

The son would like to have a best friend,
the poet tells us. I would too, I tell him.

My poet wife offers him another cookie.
Again he politely refuses. He apologizes

because his book has no picture on the cover.
I tell him that’s okay, but to please sign

on the cover. My wife and I each give him
a book. We sign on the covers. Parting,

both he and I start to offer a handshake,
then switch to the option of Namaste,

pressing palms as we did often in India.
“We bow,” he says and bows as we have seen
in war movies. I too bow, it’s easy. I feel
humble. Today, the day after, it occurs

 

to me that our hour with tea and cookies
and swapped books was about as close
as we’ll get to finding our ideal reader,
a best friend, a true meeting of minds. But
I must find a dark suit and learn to smile endearingly.

Even as Birds

“We all die, even birds. And so

I went out into the world” —Maxim Gorky, My Life

You were two years old — or ten, or twenty, or fifty —
the first time the world opened before you as if

meant only for you, your advance into the green
or the blue that was like a sharp gong sounding

on the air, or perhaps a swarm of molecules busy
as bees stung your eyes, and after that the clouds

seemed to part just for you, not the jet plane in which
you were a passenger, and never again could museums

compete with scenes of such gold and glory as you
beheld by strolling the earth. Since that day when

you first saw or heard the strange message of nature
you have had an odd faith that nothing is quite

random or not designed by some divinity. You
have honored as many gods as a Greek or Roman,

yet rarely have managed to believe in the light
within you, the one others claim they see in your eyes.

 


Re-Markings Vol 4 No. 1, March 2005

CONTENTS

Greyhound Space in Denis Johnson’s Angels — James Giles A Very Indian English Poet (Nissim Ezekiel, 1924–2004) — K. Narayana Chandran Antony and Cleopatra:Essence and Evanescence — Shernavaz Buhariwala Polyphony in Lawrence ’s Women in Love: A Dialogic Reading — Prakash Chandra Pradhan Narrative Strategy in R.K. Narayan’s Grandmother’s Tale — Nityananda Pattanayak Talking To Dolls: Ntozake Shange’s Sassafrass, Cypress And Indigo — Ram Badode A Cry for Self-Assertion and Self-Expression in Shashi Deshpande’s That Long Silence — Anuradha Gaur Aristotle And Bharata : A Critical Study in Prototypal Affinities — Gunjan Chaturvedi Jayadev’s Geet-Govind in the light of Edwin Arnold’s The Indian Song of Songs – Hemlata Srivastava An Interview With Jayanta Mahapatra — Jaydeep Sarangi Quest For Self-Realization And Liberation In Ambai’s “A Kitchen In The Corner Of The House” — C. Sharada The Impact of the East and the West on Somerset Maugham — V.K. Singhal Plentitude in Keats’s “To Autumn”—S.S. Sharma Death is Dead, Not He: A Tribute to Arthur Miller — Nibir K. Ghosh POETRY Bulhe Shah’s Mystic Verses tr. N.S. Tasneem Two Poems –The Barbarians; The Death of an Artist – O.P. Arora Alcatraz Around – V.V.B. Rama Rao Two Poems Sounds; Will You Come Back – Tejinder Kaur REVIEW ESSAY: The (B)Reach of Guru Nank Dev’s Mission (Roopinder Singh)—Amritjit Singh An Indian Response to (Keith Gandal’s) Cleveland Anonymous –Anand B. Patil Re-Markings Vol 3 No.2 September 2004 CONTENTS The Girl in the Tree: On Re-Reading Green Mansions– Kathleen Alcalá Re-Visiting Hamlet: The Moral Matrix of Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead — C.R. Visweswara Rao Desire Under The Elms:O’Neill’s Dialogue with Puritanism — A.Karunakar Diasporas: A Comparative Study of Migration in Canada and India –Jayita Sengupta Voice of the Sequestered Soul: Feminist Articulations in the Poems of Emily Dickinson –Renu Josan Contemporary Social Issues in the Poems of Keki N. Daruwalla — Alka Saxena Touching Lives in a Meaningful Way: A Conversation with David Guterson — Nibir K. Ghosh Buddhism and the Poetry of T.S. Eliot — Raghunath Prasad Kachhway Discourses on African Philosophy: Senghor’s Concept of Negritude –Arunoday Bajpai “The Postmaster” : An Image of Tagore — Gourab Gangopadhyay Indian Aesthetic Tradition and The Poetry of Jayanta Mahapatra — Priyam Ankit The ‘Terrible Sonnets’: A Theological Perspective — K.K. Thomas Breaking the Silence: A Cartography of Black Canadian Women’s Voice — Raja Sekhar Patteti Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Quest for The Deep Warm Secret — Mrinalini Karmoker POETRY Three Poems: Advice; The Stake; Blind Alley by Gurcharan Rampuri Two Poems: Gone Away; My Separate Hell by Ritu Bali Harvest of Dreams by Ammangi Venugopal The Sea by P. Laxminarayana The Seer’s Eye by V.V.B. Rama Rao BOOK REVIEW The Collected Writings of Wallace Thurman:A Harlem Renaissance Reader — Nita N. Kumar


Re-Markings Vol. 3 No.1 March 2004

CONTENTS

Remote: Reflections on Life in the Shadow of Celebrity – David Shields The Moving Frontiers : A Sample Survey of Indian Writing in English – S. Ramaswamy Re-Orienting Macaulay’s Rhetoric in the 1835 “Minute” – Bruce G. Johnson Making Of An Indian Jewish Novel: A Reading Of Esther David’s The Walled City D Venkateshwarlu Kamala Das: The Voice Within Piyas Chakrabarti Wordsworth’s Prelude: Mirage and Disillusionment – Ashish Gupta Discoursal Prominences : A Philosophical Inquiry Concerning Translation of Select texts — D. Himalayanath POETRY My Neighbour’s Son – Krishna Bose ‘Haiku’ – R. K. Singh SPECIAL SECTION: DAVID RAY “Nobody’s Darling”: Reflections on David Ray’s Poetic Odyssey – Amritjit Singh Poems By david ray The Lindbergh Claimant, At The Desert Museum , Cedar Windmills, Millennium Madness, Delphi , The Ritual, Flight, The Sleepers, Learning the Language, Portal, The Shared Bliss, On the Outbreak of War, The Pecking Order at Ground Zero,The Remains, Water Gathas, Randomness Essays by david ray Subsidizing Jeopardy, On the Necessity of Suitcase Locks, Cherchez L’ascenseur Hearing and Speaking the World: David Ray’s New Poems – Seanna Oakley Mirrors and Lamps: A Conversation with David Ray – Nibir K. Ghosh Reading David Ray’s poetry, essays and memoirs can convince you that he is not simply one of those flowers whose fate it is to be born to blush unseen and waste its sweetness upon the desert air of Arizona . Like the Grand Canyon , he stands majestically in his grand isolation. He delights in ceaselessly creating, out of the raw material of life, a fabric of exquisite beauty that offers a fine blending of agony and pain, happiness and cheer. His works do often mirror a world in chaos and disorder but his prolific genius and his love for truth provide ample light to negotiate such darkness. In this lively conversation with Nibir K. Ghosh at his home in Tucson, Arizona, Ray uninhibitedly shares his priorities and concerns about life, literature, and politics.

Guest Editors for Special Section: Amritjit Singh , Rhode Island College & Seanna Oakley, University of Michigan.


Re-Markings Volume 2 Number 2, September 2003

CONTENTS

Fathering Words and Honoring Family: E. Ethelbert Miller’s First Memoir – Julia Galbus In a thick and rich soil for writers: An interview with Douglas Barbour — Anisur Rahman Desani’s Hatterr : Crossing Thresholds — Rashmi Tikku Feminism Incorporated: The Construction of Resistant Female Subjects in Two Literary Texts– Rajesh Kumar Sharma Nativism in Gurdial Singh’s Parsa — V.V.B. Rama Rao The Emergent Feminine Psyche in Indian Women Novelists Writing in English –Arati Biswal Madeleine’s Metamorphosis and Buddhism: Raja Rao’s The Serpent and the Rope — Akhileshwar Thakur SPECIAL SECTION ON JOHN STEINBECK Multi-Dimensional Steinbeck: A New Millennium Perspective – Opening Remarks –D.M. Shende Dialogistic Strategies In Steinbeck’s Cannery Row Novels –P. Balaswamy Landscape of Moral Wasteland: Dialectics of Anti‑Materialism in the Novels of John Steinbeck — S. Prabhakar Rao Ideology And Beyond: A Study Of Steinbeck’s In Dubious Battle — Nibir K. Ghosh The Impact of Buddhism on John Steinbeck’s The Pearl — M. A. Nare The Grapes Of Wrath: Art and Ideology — Shoma Sen poetry My Neighbour’s Son — Krishna Bose Haiku — R.K. Singh Review Essay: Postcolonial Theory & American Culture — Tej N. Dhar


Re-Markings Vol. II, No.1. March 2003.

Editorial

In the complex equation of power relations the factor which seems to have remained constant is man’s inhumanity to man. The ever onward march of human civilization has revealed, among other things, man’s ingenuity to invent a dependable database to justify and account for oppression and exploitation in various forms. The narratives of empowerment emanating from the corridors of power have constantly provided the much needed rationale to keep the ‘wretched of the earth’ in their designated places. The vast proliferation of knowledge in every sphere has strongly fore-grounded ideologies to support the ones at the apex of the superstructure of power, be they gods or mortals. Scriptures too have been found very handy in justifying what man has made of man. In this grim scenario the only redeeming feature seems to lie in the hope generated by the flux of counter-narratives provided, from time to time, by the ‘hierophants of an unapprehended inspiration’ — the writers, poets and intellectuals. These narratives, emanating from the fertile soil of human compassion, sing in profuse strains of deeply meditated verse songs not only of distress but also of man’s capacity to survive with courage and dignity in a hostile world. The latter part of the twentieth century has especially shown how passivity towards the fate of the downtrodden is no longer a matter of intellectual luxury. The ongoing debate concerning the variables in the power equation has necessitated a virtual remaking of history where Caliban is no longer content with merely abusing Prospero in the language he has appropriated from the latter but shows instead the insidious intent of appropriating his place and position in the hierarchy of power. Likewise, Sisyphus is no longer a hapless victim of the wrath of the gods but a veritable epitome of steadfast determination endowed with the ability to confront his fate with the gleaming smile of scorn. The euphemisms of the Orwellian doublespeak are no more the exclusive prerogative of the oppressor. The conflict between ‘freedom’ and ‘fear’ awaits new visions and revisions from contending camps. What is so very heartening about the emergence of such narratives is the role they have assumed in promoting a profound understanding of the age in which we live. And it is equally satisfying to view with humility the small but decisive imprints Re-Markings has made in offering its enthusiastic readers a wide spectrum of divergent ideas from the viewpoint of multi-cultural perspectives. The current issue of Re-Markings marks the first anniversary of its birth. Committed to issue-specific analysis and treatment of a wide range of narratives and counter-narratives which transcend the barriers and boundaries of time, clime and space, the journal has become a receptacle for the ‘thinking man’ in a relatively short span of time. Thanks to its avid readers and contributors, this journal has found effective sustenance in what it has to offer. While unqualified appreciation and praise from host of statesmen, academics, writersand intellectuals like His Excellency Dr. A.P.J. Abul Kalam, Charles Richard Johnson, Jayanta Mahapatra and others from different parts of the globe offer exhilaration and encouragement, the advice and guidance of critics will continue to play a seminal role in making Re-Markings move closer to the essential concerns of the human predicament. Light can only show reality. I am optimistic that Re-Markings will take you along the unlighted road to the yet unrealised.
– Nibir K. Ghosh
Chief Editor

CONTENTS

Reading Delillo After 9/11 — Jonathan Little Excerpts: “I picked up one of DeLillo’s novels shortly after the September eleventh attacks, hoping to find some kind of explanation for this mass murder not circulating in the media. No writer I know, including Pynchon, taps into the shadowy conspiratorial world of international terrorism better than DeLillo. DeLillo has always been interested in terrorism. One could argue that nearly all of his novels deal with the subject, whether directly or indirectly.” –Jonathan Little From Page To Screen: Adapting Literature To Film — S. Ramaswamy From Resistance To Reconciliation: Narrativizing Colonialism In Vassanji’s The Book Of Secrets & Gooneratne’s The Pleasures Of Conquest — Urbashi Barat Reception Theory and The Theory of Rasa — E. Suresh Kumar Recent Trends in Modern Sanskrit Literature with Particular Reference to Poetry Foregrounding the Marginal: Narrative Strategies in Partition Fiction by Women Narrators — Seema Malik Shaping of a Genere: V.S. Naipaul’s Non-Fiction with Special Reference to An Area Of Darkness — B. Yadava Raju Privileging Tradition: A Study of R.K. Narayan’s The Man-Eater of Malgudi — G. Thirupathi Kumar Translating Discourse: Foregrounding Problems Through the Study of “Sherlock” & “Andern Orts” — D. Himalayanath The American Dramatic Tradition: Idea and Technique in The Plays of Arthur Miller — R. Saraswathi
CREATIVE WRITING SECTION
The Dolphin Life By Jonathan Little (Excerpts) This feeling reminded him, he thought, of what it was like to be a child, and feel (not think) that everything was coated in some kind of magic. There was freshness here, there was light, there was a feeling of contentment and peace that resembled making love except better, more all-encompassing. And the colors were back in all their many-shaded hues and entertaining brightness…. This is what it means to die, he thought. To go into another state of consciousness where things are better. To lose that sense of isolation, and of being trapped in your own skin. To lose that sense of this and that, of inside, and outside, of self and not-self, of me here and Tanya there. Of regrets and loss and the endless parade of disappointments.
POETRY CORNER
Ritual / The Pleasure Garden : Two Poems — Nandini Sahu Getting Muted — Siva K. Reddy (Translated from the Telugu by T.S. Chandra Mouli) Keeper of the Kings — Ritu Bali
SPECIAL SECTION ON RACISM
The Artist As Witness: An Epistolary Interview with Ethelbert Miller — A. Karunaker “It is the fusion of art and politics which gives rise to the political imagination. How one sees the world through the prism of art as well as the belief that art is a force by which one can alter reality, must be linked to what the artist holds dear. In other words, my early poems were written under the rubric that a new world was possible. My work today is a further confirmation that I still believe change is possible. My politics have expanded to include issues and concerns outside the Black experience.” –Ethelbert Miller Karunaker: Don’t you think that Afro-American writers should deal with issues larger than black identity and expand their horizons. Miller: African American writers have always looked beyond race. Too often critics have failed to give them credit for their genius. For example the experimental creativity of Ishamel Reed, Clarence Major and other writers is seldom acknowledged. Their work is only discussed in terms of race and race relations. How sad and unfortunate. Karunaker: Can James Baldwin be termed as a Prophet of the Black future ? Miller: Yes ! He is a prophet to me. Quest for Identity in Chinua Achebe’s The African Trilogy — Smita Jha From Innocence to Experience: A Study Of James Baldwin’s Essays The Fire Next Time & No Name In The Street — Melva Pope Margins To Centre: Toni Morrison’s Rewriting of Black Women’s History — B. Devaki & S. Kannammal Companion –B. Yadava Raju


Re-Markings Vol. 1, No.2. September 2002

Editorial

“Come September!” The epithet easily helps one to joyfully recall from down the memory lane that lilting tune from Billy Vauhn and His Orchestra which set the hearts and feet of the young and the old alike dancing with happiness and cheer. All that seems long ago. 11 September, 2001 changed all that. The catastrophe that reduced the mighty twin towers of the World Trade Centre to mere fragments of etherised memory in the twinkling of an eye showed the seamy side of inhuman ingenuity to which even the sky seems no limit. April is no longer ‘the cruellest month’. September has forged ahead with its dead weight of ‘broken images’ spilled the world over. In an age of globalization nothing can remain neutral. Even terrorism has turned global. In a world already beleaguered with fanaticism and violence where the emphasis is on the adage: ‘good fences make good neighbours’ and where instant justifications are rendered in the name of either justice or counter-revolutionary retaliation, there must be those countless mortals who would like to rise and proclaim: ’Something there is that doesn’t love a wall, / that wants it down’. Such mortals, however, prefer to remain inert and waiting like the ‘winged seeds’ in Shelley’s ode for the clarion call of the West Wind to awaken them from their slumber. Nearly two centuries ago, Shelley, in a spirit of intense idealism had referred to the poets as “the hierophants of an unapprehended inspiration; the mirrors of the gigantic shadows which futurity casts upon the present;” and went on to call them “the unacknowledged legislators of the world” (‘A Defence of Poetry’). In our own time, another poet-prophet, W.H. Auden, disillusioned with the inefficacy of his poetic beliefs to make the world a better place to live in, stated in a spirit of calm resignation, “Poetry makes nothing happen…it survives,/ A way of happening, a mouth.” (‘In Memory of W.B. Yeats’). Both seem to be extreme viewpoints. For global calamities and cataclysms require to be addressed not from the narrow confines of ideas and ideologies but from the vantage point of the healing fountain of human compassion which literature alone can make perennial. The power of art, like the power of the West Wind, to awaken, motivate and inspire people, springs from the mind and soul of those sensitive mortals who have reflected in a spirit of calm contemplation on the need to strike a perfect poise between external conflict and inward peace. All this seemed, undoubtedly, a mere idealistic notion until very recently when I had the sheer fortune of discussing this dichotomy–related to the role and function of art and artists in the context of the contemporary world–with one of the most persuasive voice in Afro-American writing today i.e. Charles Richard Johnson. I came across a statement by him in the ‘Foreword’ to his epoch-making book Being and Race (1988) : “I see taking form on the horizon of contemporary practice, a fiction of increasing artistic and intellectual generosity, one that enables us as a people—as a culture—to move from narrow complaint to broad celebration.” I really wondered how a writer, with four centuries of slavery embedded in his consciousness, could actually make his creativity move from ‘narrow complaint to broad celebration’. Slightly apprehensive of his reaction, I nevertheless mustered the courage to write and ask him what he actually meant by the above statement. His prompt response (the text of which is printed on the back cover of the present issue of Re-Markings) sheds ample light on how the ‘winged seeds’ that lie dormant for ages can evolve into a process of continual renewal despite apocalypses. In sharing with the readers and friends of Re-Markings what the magnanimous Charles Johnson has so unhesitatingly shared with me, I feel optimistic that the lovers of sweetness and light will not dread the arrival of another September.
-Nibir K. Ghosh

Chief Editor

CONTENTS

The Night Thoreau Spent In Jail as an American Expressionistic History Play — S. Ramaswamy Antinomiana — K. Narayana Chandran Tughlaq – A Nietzschean Enigma — Rajesh K. Sharma Literature and Politics : The Black in Saul Bellow’s Novels — T.S. Anand The Grotesque Art: Society as (Male/Female) Creative Burden in 20th Century America — Davees C.J. An Anatomy of Poetry: Conception, Birth and Death with reference to The Ancient Mariner, Kubla Khan and Ode to Dejection — Shernavaz Buhariwala Perry Miller And Puritan Origins Of America : A Critical Study — A. Karunaker Fictionalising History: Bharati Mukherjee’s The Holder of the World –Nagendra Kumar Racist and Colonial Consciousness: Reading Judith Wright and Sally Morgan –Harpreet Pruthi Towards The Teaching Of Effective Communication: Yoga-Nidra and Suggestopedia — Sunita Mishra & C.Muralikrishn Self-Agony as a Mode of Protest in Jainendra Kumar’s Tyagpatra — Sunita Rani Raft on the River: Motifs of Disruption in Huckleberry Finn –P. Laxminarayana Technology and Dystopia –Bhavna Goyal Special Section on Communalism Politics And Communalism: A Managerial Profile — A.P. Maheshwari The Con(Textual) Contours of Lajja: A Re(Visioning) of the Social Praxis in the Indian Subcontinent — Nishamani Kar Review Essay : An Autobiography Ever to Inspire: APJ Abdul Kalam’s Wings of Fire –Pashupati Jha


Re-Markings Volume 1 Number 1, March 2002

Editorial

A good work of art invariably leaves its indelible markings on the shifting pages of time. It may or may not offer solutions to the problems that beset mankind but its sublimity lies in the way it contributes not only to the profound understanding of the age in which we live but also in making us aware of our private fears and insecurities, our joys and hopes. In epochs of historical crisis, when the world seems to be divided into hostile ideological camps, it compels us to emerge from the ivory tower of passivity and inertia to ponder over the principles and assumptions which make our private faces encroach upon public places in search of panaceas. The sublimity of such time-honoured imprints is further affirmed through subsequent revaluations and reconsiderations by succeeding generations who visualise and discover in these paradigms of the essential human condition, the relevance of every living idea that is dynamic, and the significance of every precise emotion which tends towards intellectual formulation. What is, therefore, needed is an effective forum which can function as a repository for a coherent system of thoughts and ideas. I strongly believe that in addressing specific issues and concerns central to the human predicament, Re-Markings will play a seminal role. The avowed purpose of the present endeavour is to create a climate of opinion congenial to critical inquiry and intellectual debate. The Inaugural issue of Re-Markings offers a panoramic view of the kaleidoscopic range and variety of incisive critical response to British, American, African, Canadian and Indian literatures. It is perhaps a happy coincidence that through this amazing spectrum of diversity runs a unifying thread of issue-specific analysis and treatment of literary discourses which deal not only with the nuances of human predicament and suffering in a hostile world but also with the possibilities of evolving strategies for resistance and survival. In the current issue of Re-Markings a Special Section has been devoted to V.S. Naipaul, the great chronicler of the Indian diaspora who loves to remain in perpetual controversy. Fifteen years ago, in the July 5-11 issue of the Illustrated Weekly of India, Pritish Nandy, the then Editor of the Weekly, had hailed V.S. Naipaul as ‘the world’s greatest living author.’ Irked by what seemed to me to be an unqualified lavish praise I had, unhesitatingly, dispatched a letter to Pritish which he, very sportingly, published in the August 2-8 issue of the Weekly. In the letter I had drawn the Editor’s attention to the spirit behind Hamlet’s advice to Polonius : ‘Use every man after his desert and who shall ‘scape whipping ? Use them after your own honour and dignity – the less they deserve, the more merit is in your bounty’. I had pointed out that it was “gracious indeed that such praise be heaped on a writer of Indian origin whose myopic vision observes nothing in this vast and complex country except the ruins of a ‘wounded civilization’ shaded by an ‘area of darkness’.” Now that Naipaul has enhanced his celebrity status with the coveted Nobel Prize for literature one can only gracefully say “congratulations, Mr. Naipaul !” Despite his overtly critical attitude towards the Indian subcontinent, Naipaul will continue to remain in the news and attract the attention of critics for being able to reconfigure reality exclusively on his own terms, a fact quite apparent from the write-ups which appear in this issue of Re-Markings. Special Sections based on specific events, issues and themes will be a regular feature of Re-Markings. Besides assuring a durable shelf-life, such specificity will make the journal a useful guide to the frontiers of human experience. I humbly hope that the academic fraternity in India and elsewhere will warmly welcome this enterprise and contribute towards its growth with the sunshine of thought and breath of life. As the Gita says: “Every surface derives its soil from the depths even as every shadow reflects the nature of the substance,”I am optimistic that Re-Markings will find effective sustenance in what it has to offer.
– Nibir K. Ghosh
Chief Editor

CONTENTS

Towards a Feminist Proxemics: Kamala Markandaya’s Possession –Pramod K. Nayar In a Frame of Many References: Daphne Marlatt –Anisur Rahman. Loss and Recovery: Death in Sandra Lunnon’s Poetry — Susheel Kumar Sharma. Autobiography: An Act of Assertion –Sudhi Rajiv The Polemics of Decolonisation in Ngugi’s Weep not,Child and Meja Mwangi’s Striving for the Wind — Jaiwanti Dimri Mother In Macbeth : A Study of the Characters of Lady Macbeth and Lady Macduff — Ajit Kumar Mukherjee Moods of Love in Browning’s “Pippa Passes” — Asmat Jahan Supramental Transformation Through the Creative Mode: A Reading of Sri Aurobindo’s The Future Poetry — Sumita Roy Antithetical Patterns in Upamanyu Chatterjee’s English,August – Mukesh Ranjan Verma Mother-Daughter Relationship in Sylvia Plath — Shahneela Kausar Oedipa’s Night Journey in Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49 — Prasanta Das Special Section on V.S. Naipaul India and V. S. Naipaul: The Intervening Area of Darkness — Pashupati Jha & T. Ravichandran The Sense of History in V.S. Naipaul’s The Mystic Masseur — Bijaya Kumar Nanda A Struggle Against the all Pervading Nihilism: A Re-reading of Naipaul’s Mr. Stone and the Knight’s