When the only joy you know is waiting. 2nd Edition.
on Books, and on Receiving them
A wait of 20 years, a month and 9 days!
‘How to tell a shattered story?
By slowly becoming everybody.
No. By slowly becoming everything.’
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness. Arundhati Roy.
The feeling of being content fills in your empty and dead heart as you walk with a thick, beautiful designs-over white cover, most probably encasing magics that will blow the thousand minds you pretend to own, a sufficiently heavy, and hard — yes, you heard that right, hard covered copy of a fave sorceress-author of yours who has provided you with this pleasure after a wait of twenty long years. Sure she talked algebra and justice, of ordinary and empirical, of beasts and bugs, brokens, comrades and other stuff in these two decades, and she must have done it as magically obviously, but not of her minds’ masterpiece. A fiction is what refuges us from life. And this one in my hands right now while I’m on its first chapter is a mother of consolation, as Roy begin it, designated “To The Unconsoled”.
I am not going to review this book critically, as I never do. Heck I am just a literary critic wannabe, not one yet. And neither am I in any position to do it even if I’d read it already, which clearly I’ve not; and knowing that the sorceress-author has a Booker prized phrase permanented to her name already (that was 1997, the year I entered this world), one is backed off even more so. Though I’ll say this for sure: just recommending this book to anyone won’t have any effect than when he or she would come to know of it, and the same person won’t desire to go through it. For instance the moment I told Ivana Knezevic, my sis, that her latest book is out, she was all weapons on Amazon, telling me to spell it precisely so that she could place an order the very moment. And you can’t blame her, or me for that matter: Roy is such an eye candy for eternal book nerds like us. I’m not, I think, allowed to unravel any more magic of it, under legal terms and moral feelings of the will-be readers; hell everyone hates it when someone spoils something for them. Nor do I plot on doing anything similarly gross and evil, but I guess a flash of the only page more-than-preface would be worth it and appreciated. It will tell the reader about the poetic-prose style Roy has acquired this time to tell a world of lives. And must I tell you, what follows inside and ahead is even more orgasmic!
Though I said I won’t criticize it, but I am adding this paragraph, after I was already done with the draft as it was earlier, without this one that is: after reading some more of it, I felt the need to write this up. As I moved on, eyes crawling in speed to the next chapter, and through it, I am finding her narrative a bit… weak! I have read her The God of Small Things, and this one has an after-taste of the same. Here, though, she is trying to tell a story more serious than The God, but I feel her not succeeding, at all; the tone she’s desperately trying to gain, but it just ain’t happening! Her paragraph transitions don’t feel natural, though she’s giving it all. Words seem loosing their force of air. The crux of the situation seems not to be handled properly; and a tale like this needs a master story-telling, with an effect that is supposed to grab the readers by the imagination, like his fellow multiple-Booker winner Salman Rushdie does, or as Nobel prized Gabriel Marquez in his One Hundred Years of Solitude. Of course it is unfair, even dumb, to compare writers, but a surreal story like this one would have been better in either of the latter writers’ hands. She could have managed it all a bit more, well, maturely; I mean 20 years claims great expectations!
A last paragraph — I plead guilty! I did buy this masterpiece and a will-be-classic from Amazon! I know I ranted so bad of the corp in my earlier review of the Ulysses, but I just couldn’t help it: it was available there with such an amazing deal — 323 rupees (delivery charge= 50) for a spotless, newly published after 20 years, hard-covered copy whose real price was 599. I mean I’m not that dumb-headed to miss an opportunity like this. I was, though, anxious of how Amazon would deliver it, recalling what it did to my baby Euripides, but it did fine this time: the book was intact and still breathing. I placed this order with the remaining of pocket money I was left with and was saving, post buying a handful of sexy world Classics (what could have I done; I’m a sucker for them), for Jack Kerouac’s Doctor Sax. But Jack, to be honest, I didn’t like that book. Sure all that Joycean language and flow was great, and though it was sub-titled classically Doctor Faust, part III, but frankly I never liked Goethe either, as much as I love Marlowe. So yeah I won’t be buying it, plus it was too damp, and dark — that dream narration! oh, reminded me partly of my those pox nights! Dreary! I apologize. Maybe next time one with a lot of pixie dust and sparkle would do, haha… ooohh, ooohh, I know, Emma. After my Leaves of Grass arrives and I gather a bit of money, Austen will be mine ;-)*
So that’s it for now. Zev, literary critic wannabe, over and out.
here’s 1st Edition of the review series. James Joyce’ Ulysses —