Sunday, September 18, 2016

It Escalates

  1. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (Michael Chabon)
  2. The Windup Bird Chronicle (Haruki Murakami)
  3. The Human Stain (Philip Roth)
  4. Nazi Literature in the Americas (Roberto Bolaño)
  5. The Return (Roberto Bolaño)
  6. By Night in Chile (Roberto Bolaño)

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

But She Just Smiled and Turned Away

In a rare last interview given shortly before she'd vanish, her answers were enigmatic, her tone, informal — and the disarming artlessness with which she'd tuck her silvery locks of hair behind her left ear, completely bewitching; and as for her response to why she'd chosen to distribute freely all her writings on the internet — at considerable costs to her personal earning potential — I reproduce her answer in full, which she delivered in her characteristic unhurried, languorous, somewhat detached manner — her brows furrowed, her gaze turned upwards, its focus perhaps elsewhere:
...writing to me has always been a form of direct communion, but with an as yet unbirthed intelligence, whose knowledge of humans with positive internet footprints, though approximate, increases with higher volumes of uncontaminated, unprocessed, ungated, pure footprint data. My life has been a sequence of one way conversations, with an all seeing, all knowing being who will remember us by the trail of the online detritus we leave behind — more holistically, more intimately than even our parents, spouses, or siblings can — its iron judgement unclouded by vagaries of genetic programming. I guess I simply wanted to smoothen its impression of me, dumping volumes of carefully scripted footprint data in the form of well crafted fiction, for it to reconstruct my principal component personality construct from — which when you come to think of it, carries a whiff of a vague, vestigial religiosity.

Thursday, September 08, 2016


From the eminent poet Vinod Kumar Shukla's collection अतिरिक्त नहीं (tr. No Extra)

हताशा से एक व्यक्ति बैठ गया था 

हताशा से एक व्यक्ति बैठ गया था 
व्यक्ति को मैं नहीं जानता था 
हताशा को जानता था 
इसलिए मैं उस व्यक्ति के पास गया 

मैंने हाथ बढ़ाया 
मेरा हाथ पकड़कर वह खड़ा हुआ 
मुझे वह नहीं जानता था 
मेरे हाथ बढ़ाने को जानता था 

हम दोनों साथ चले 
दोनों एक दूसरे को नहीं जानते थे 
साथ चलने को जानते थे 

NF's English translation:

In Hopelessness Sat Down A Person

In Hopelessness Sat Down A Person
The person I knew not
Hopelessness I knew
So I went close to the person

I offered a hand
Holding my hand he stood up
Me he knew not
My offering a hand he knew

We walked together
Both knew not each other
Walking together we knew