Books not read

I have not updated this site in the longest time.  That’s because the last book I read nearly a month ago – Wuthering Heights, bugged the crap out of me, putting me off reading at all.   I feel like ranting about Wuthering Heights, but just the thought of the book makes me want to gouge my eyes out.  I am sure there are people who love the drivel, I am not one of them.Combine this with my own inefficiency both on the job and at home, which leaves me a spent force at night.  But, those are excuses for my laziness.  I need to get back to reading.

Writing this blog post as a kick in my donkey to start reading up something soon.


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The Tag

Responding to my daughter’s open tag.

Quoting her:

In this tag, a bunch of Harry Potter spells each carry a question which you have to answer. All of them are book related. I really am not sure who to tag. If any of you are interested in doing this, well, um, I officially tag you! You can do this!

1) EXPECTO PATRONUM (a childhood book connected with good memories)

Not “a” for sure.

The Prince and the Pauper (Mark Twain).  Scarlet Pimpernel (Emma Orczy). Little Women (Louisa May Alcot). The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas), A song of six pence (A. J. Cronin)

2) EXPELLIARMUS (a book that took you by surprise)

Lolita (Nabakov).  I was very squeamish about reading it, given the premise, but it is a wonderfully written book.

3) PRIOR INCANTATO (the last book you read)

Pigs have Wings (Wodehouse)

4) ALOHOMORA (a book that introduced you to a genre you hadn’t considered before)

Rendezvous with Rama (Clarke): Science fiction.

5) RIDDIKULUS (a funny book you have read)

Duh!  Wodehouse

6) SONOROS (a book you think everyone should know about)

Nope, not my style to recommend. But Anna Karenina (Tolstoy) comes to mind. And Transit of Venus (Shirley Hazard)

7) OBLIVIATE (a book or spoiler you would like to forget having read)

Never read spoilers. Book:  A Thousand Acres (Smiley)

8) IMPERIO (a book you had to read for school)

All of the answers to the first question

9) CRUCIO (a book that was painful to read)

It is too judgemental to call any book painful.  I didn’t like the following books: A Thousand Acres (Smiley).  And Vishnupuram (Tamil: Jeyamohan) .  Does not mean the books were bad.  They just didn’t appeal to me.

10) AVADA KEDAVRA (a book that can kill (interpret as you will))







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Booking the weather

Books by the English cannot NOT have an element of weather in it – rains interwoven into the story, or merely as a passing mention.  North American stories invariably feature snow. Russian stories definitely feature the cold.  Pretty sure books from the Far East talk about their weather as well.

Why don’t Indian books feature more weather?  Or do they?

The beautiful end-summer thunderstorm outside makes me wonder.

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Dry talk

I am in that awful phase where I can’t seem to settle on a book to read.  I started a Nabokov, and although I think very highly of Nabokov, I couldn’t persist.  I started Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, but got distracted. Part of the reason for the phase are my eyes that have finally got the memo about my decade and have consequently started rebelling against being taxed to read under less-than-brilliant lumen. Thus enters the pair of reading glasses with which I am yet to get comfortable.  I am unable to lie down and read because being the restless lay-er that I am, the spectacle keeps shifting and the progressively altering focus gives me a headache.  Kindle paper-white is better in that the lit screen allows me to read without glasses, but, with my erstwhile kindle having been adopted by the kid, and the cooler Kindle Voyage being shared with the significant other, I don’t feel “settled”, thus adding to the already unsettled phase of existence.  The result?  I have been re-re-re-re-watching Friends and TBBT like a zombie.  And reading at snail’s pace, Agatha Christie’s Cat among the Pigeons, which is overdue at the kid’s school library by more than a fortnight.

Which comes to the point of this post.  In every other page, someone or the other is saying something ‘dryly’. I tend to imagine scenes as I read, and I can, for the life of me, not imagine what it would be like to sound ‘dry’.   I thought it was one of the useless modern American words/phrases (‘like’, ‘OMG’, ‘postal’ etc.) that everybody has adopted now, but Christie is neither modern nor American.  So, what does it sound like when someone says something dryly?  Is there something called ‘wet’ly as well?

Yes, I know it is a figure of speech, but I would like to have an image of it to be able to imagine it when reading.  Does it mean “sarcastically”?  So why not just say “sarcastically”?

Is this a dry post?  I think so.

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Writing – Stream of Consciousness

Do people who like to read also like to write ?

Is “liking” to write the same as “needing” to write?

Is the need to write real or imaginary?

Is the need to write, merely a need to be read?

Does sound exist without a listener? Does writing work without a reader?

What is it when the need to write is matched by the inability to know what to write?

Why must imagination be held hostage by inhibition?

Is writing a skill to be learnt or is it in-born?

Who are the readers?

What do they read?

To blog or not to blog?









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Pigs have wings

There are times in my life when chemical-driven emotions throw a party in the brain.  Such times are not particularly conducive to reading a Nabokov, brilliant as it may be, and the Bronte sisters had better take their romantic drivel  words with them and hide.  Such times are best served by a Wodehouse.  Any Wodehouse.  But if it features the obese sow, Empress, you’ve hit the jackpot.

I was introduced to Wodehouse by one of my two first best friends, Shobha, when I was in eighth.  I read a Jeeves collection first and was hooked.   Studying in an all-girls convent school, and being of prudish temperament, my crushes had been restricted to characters from books (Joe Hardy, Perry Mason, etc.) and Bertie Wooster soon joined the ranks.  My father’s thirty-year old membership at the British Council library enabled me to bring home hard-bound, leather jacketed Wodehouses that smelled of old paper, dust and air conditioning, which I devoured at a time when my classmates were marking the juicy pages in M&Bs with Natraj pencils. Somewhere along the line, I read books based on Blandings castle, and my allegiance shifted from Bertie Wooster to Gally Threepwood, who, I imagined, was fashioned after the author himself, and so by extension, I developed a crush on Wodehouse, who, unfortunately had been long dead by then.

Pigs have wings has all the arrows from the Wodehouse quiver – brilliant mix of profound and banal vocabulary (“Ice formed on the butler’s upper slopes”), genius of convoluted plot, too many characters who intertwine into knots, to be untangled effortlessly in the end, complicated sentence syntaxes, interesting slangs (although the one PGW created to stay for posterity, “oomph”, does not feature in this one),  unusual allusions (“Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing”), weird metaphors (“it seemed to George Cyril Wellbeloved that the end of the world had come and Judgment Day set in with unusual severity”), and detailed trivialities. There is Galahad Threepwood, the never-ageing last of the Pelicans, Lord Emsworth himself, the amiable but absent minded peer, and the  truest  love of his life, the Empress of Blandings – a serious contender in the fat pig contest, Emsworth’s sister, Connie, the bane of Blandings, the efficient butter – Beech a-la Jeeves, Sir Gregory Parsloe-Parsloe, a fellow, competitive fat pig owner, and the romantic entangles of Penelope Donaldson, Jerry Vail, Orlo Vesper, Gloria Salt and Maudie, the bargirl turned detective, with romantic baggage shared with Sir Parsloe.  Only Wodehouse can save you from the delirium of so many characters and equal number of plot twists.

I can never decide if the Jeeves-Wooster collection or the Blandings collection is better in the Wodehouse repertoire.  If you add the Mulliner and the golf stories into it, you have a serious case of confusion.  Whichever is the best, Wodehouse will continue to remain my sanctuary from ennui, for its stiff upper lip humour, with which I have been raised.  Wodehouse perhaps takes me back to the days of my youth,  where it was possible to laugh out loud, unburdened by the cares of the world.

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Yes, the book was released yesterday in our part of the world.  We were among the first in our city to buy it (having preordered it months earlier), and the kid, despite her fever (or perhaps because of), speed read it in less than two hours and posted a review at her blog.

Being afflicted by the same fever (thanks to the “butter beer” (aerated grape juice with ice of dubious origin) we had for breakfast yesterday at the Harry Potter themed event in our backyard mall), I finished reading the book as well.  While I may not say anything too different from my daughter, here goes my “review” of it.

While I am a hardcore advocate of reading books before watching on-screen or on-stage adaptations, especially of the Harry Potter series, I have to reverse my opinion for The Cursed Child.  If at all the play is staged in your part of the world, watch it first before reading the script.  While the premise of the play is interesting, reading the script is like drinking salt water to quench your thirst.  Leaves you completely dissatisfied.  However, we don’t have too much of choice in our neighbourhood – the play will never be staged here, or if it is, it would be too expensive for middle class attendance and we have to settle for the script of the play.

I am not against reading play scripts.  Oscar Wilde continues to be my favourite play writer and Salome and the Importance of being Earnest are all-time greats.  As script, Cursed Child falls terribly short in its extremely jumpy and sketchy progression.  Agreed that the play has been written to fit into a certain time duration – say two hours, and it has to be racy, but for all the hype the HP franchise generates all over the world, the authors could have expanded the script more for publishing as book.  The first three years of Hogwarts life are too rapid and could have just as well been a narrator’s voice reciting the details rather than scenes.  It is a little irritating to read quarter page scenes, followed by quarter page scene breaks.

While as an adult, I see that the HP stories (the seven original ones) have many plot holes and imbecilities (e.g. why make the triwizard cup a portkey to bring HP to the graveyard and run this whole charade of Triwizard tournament?  Much easier to have one of the death eaters kidnap HP and bring him there, no?  Lots of them in every book), I agree that the series itself is very entertaining, if you just remove the critical eye of an adult reader.  The stories are fantastic, fun and touching.  But where Rowling scores big time is in characterisation.  Her characters – every single one of them – are so beautifully developed that even half way through the series, you feel like you know them well in person.  The growth and evolution of each character through the seven years is also natural – children growing into adolescents and being thrust into adulthood earlier than necessary has been handled very elegantly.

This is where I feel that The Cursed Child failed.  The characters are too sketchy and almost cardboard.  The carry-over characters – Harry, Hermione, Ron, Ginny are very shallow, and one must superimpose the H,H,R and G from the earlier novels into this to get a grip on their actions.  Minerva is probably the only carry-over character who has come out strong (even if brief) in this novel.  Harry’s remorse about all the people who died for him in the great war is very superficial.  In fact, his heartbreak at Cedric’s death was better brought out in the Order of the Phoenix.

Hermione is much less “warm” in this one than she is as a youngster – middle age does not seem to agree with her.  Ron has been portrayed as a clown and a side-kick to Harry and Hermione – much like the movies of the HP series, but unlike the seven books where Ron was much better characterised as a solid and serious friend. The part where history is altered, and Ron is married to Padma but has vague midlife back-burner feelings for the single Hermione is cute.  Portrait Dumbledore is irritating – he says nothing of any consequence but interrupts the already disjoint flow of story.  Snape is, as usual, the melting candle – he sacrifices himself to save the Potter family.  Not as touching as his original death. The writers have taken extreme pains to portray Draco Malfoy as a nice guy, but it seemed that the younger Draco was more real than this transformed cardboard Draco.  Talking of Draco, that part about him insulating his sickly wife and baby is fuzzy – why withdraw them from public?  Not convincing there.  Where is Hagrid (except in the flashback)?  Where is Neville? Where is Luna?  Tsk tsk.

Of the “new” characters, Scorpius Malfoy takes the cake – very endearing (sickly so, sometimes) and is the real hero of the book.  Albus Potter is the quintessential middle child – not the confident first-born nor the baby, trying to break free from the shadows of famous parents.   It seems a little weird that a “great” school like Hogwarts would allow house-hatred to such proportions as described.  Considering that Harry himself assured Albus that one of the bravest men he knew was in Slytherin, I am not sure why there would be so much whiplash against Albus being in Slytherin.  It also seemed that JKR and her co-authors were not in agreement over whether or not to make Albus and Scorpius an “item”, because they do behave like they have a crush on each other, but end the story rather lamely with Scorpius asking Rose out – although Scorpius seems to have a crush on Rose since the beginning as well.    Umm…I see some sex identity problems there.

In The Big Bang Theory, there is one episode where Amy would point out obvious plot holes that bring the entire Indiana Jones franchise crumbling.  The plot hole on which Cursed Child is built is this – [[spoiler alert]] if Delphi being what she is,  had access to the time turner through a highly immature Albus,  who was tied around her little finger anyway, all she had to do was confound/curse him, steal the time turner,  go by herself to whichever time period she wanted, and reverse history.  No need for the elaborate charade of letting Albus and Scorpius go through with their Triwizard Tournament trips and muck ups.  Of course, we wouldn’t have a play or a script that probably fetched the authors a hell lot of money then.  So, let us gloss over the plot hole and move on.

If you are a HP fan, and have (repeatedly) read and watched the HP franchise, this will complete your collection.  I am not sure if The Cursed Child would do anything more to the HP story.  Pottermore and fanfiction are probably better than The Cursed Child to quench your HP thirst.






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Jane Eyre

The most important thing to remember when one reads old classics is that it was written in a different era and setting and that there is no point getting worked up because the hero is a brusque man in the throngs of midlife crisis, who eventually turns sickly soppy as week-old gulab jamun, and the heroine is a strong willed young girl with principles and maturity far beyond her age, who finally finds happiness in keeping house for the man who ill-treated her at the start of the novel.  Beauty and the beast, anyone? The codes of literary romance are baffling – I hope no young girl in the late nineteenth century read Jane Eyre and found being asked to be a man’s mistress, romantic.

Jane Eyre is a romantic comedy (comedy not as in “humour” but of the all’s-well-that-ends-well type) that portrays the tension between  passion and reason.  Jane herself, is an unusual depiction for women of her times (or perhaps all times?) – bold, passionate and sure footed in life, despite her childhood misfortunes.  As a young orphan girl who socks her bullying cousin, she is a stark contrast to Dicken’s Oliver Twist, who pees his pants just asking for more gruel.   She is strong enough to face the consequences of her rebellion and braves the next decade of her life in the boarding school for the poor and its hardships.  A life full of promise of independence and achievement.

She finds work as governess to the ward of a rich man on whom, she naturally develops a crush.  She is a teenager and has, for the first time in her life, been put under the same roof as a testosterone-pumped middle aged man ( of “middle height, and considerable breadth of chest. He had a dark face, with stern features, and a heavy brow; his eyes and gathered eyebrows looked ireful and thwarted just now; he was past youth “) – its fairly obvious that she would fall for him.  But of course, in literature, nothing is a “crush”, but always “true love”- except in Anna Karenina (God, I love that novel), where Kitty has a crush on Vronsky.

The novel has been written as first person account of Jane, and hence, we get a peek into her  romantic emotions (“fan-girling” in modern teenage parlance) concerning Edward Rochester, and they play the game of cat and mouse for sometime, trying to outwit each other, while keeping their amour hidden.  Rochester then employs underhand measures to worm her love out, and proposes to her.  Pretty annoying, I say – I’d rather have my man propose upfront and face the risk of being rejected than elicit my jealousy and then propose to me, thus ensuring rejection.  Jane, however, accepts and discovers at the alter that the b*****d has a mad wife in chains in the attic of the house, and is pulling a bigamy on her.  He seems to have no regrets, and proposes that Jane be his mistress (not in so many words, of course) in the continent, far from the prying eyes of the prim English society that chose to offload a mad woman on him. Thankfully the rightly mortified Jane refuses and runs away from her “true love”.

St. John Rivers, Jane’s rescuer and as we discover later, her cousin, has been better characterized than Rochester. A young, restless pastor, he hides his youthful energy behind the severity he imposes upon himself on account of a profession that he  has unwillingly adopted.   He believes himself to be a “cold hard man”, and proves it to himself by asking Jane to be his wife in order to help him with his pastoral duties in India rather than for love.St. John was probably a reflection of the author’s disdain of the patriarchal, prudish society that considered marriage a matter of duty rather than love*.

Despite his apparent lack of emotions, St. John does not seem (to me at least) half as repulsive as the fiery Rochester.  Of course, Jane doesn’t quite share my sentiments, and marries the blinded Rochester, whose wife  has conveniently died in a fire she caused. In literature, there is nothing as attractive to an apparently sensible woman, as a man who can deliver a lengthy impassioned monologue of platitudes and mush, even if he hasn’t got much scruples left in him.  Not that I would have wanted Jane to marry St. John either.  For a woman who started off being strong, principled and clear headed, it would have been logical if she shunned both of them and moved on.  But then, Jane and I have a couple of centuries between us, so who am I to judge.

Of the briefly appearing supporting characters, Ms. Temple, the superintendent of the boarding school, stands out because of her balance of compassion and independence.  She is more real and warm than Jane herself, who, despite her intelligence and independent mind, lacks the kindness that makes one human. For all her indignation to Rochester that she is “not an automaton”, Jane Eyre appears to be one, when compared to the kind and gentle Ms. Temple, who goes on to marry and settles happily, and the reader is both happy at her fortune and unhappy for the poor school that has lost her.

As with all good classics, the narrative style is beautiful.  Descriptions of the landscape, the house, the weather and emotions are vivid.  There are a few sentences in French during conversations involving Jane and her pupil, which put me off because I would rather not be google translating sentences when I am reading the book.  Perhaps English readers of the 19th century were well versed in French as well, so the fault is not the author’s, but mine.

Some romantic quotes are beautiful, if a little too sentimental.  E.g. “He made me love him without looking at me” brought tears to my eyes with the familiarity of the sentiment, as syrupy as that sounds.  Others are plainly cringe-worthy at this time and age – “Every atom of your flesh is as dear to me as my own: in pain and sickness it would still be dear.” I hope no one says things like that to their loved ones anymore.

Any bibliophile’s must-read book.

* As George Mikes would say: “If a continental youth wants to declare his love to a girl, he kneels down, tells her that she is the sweetest, the most charming and ravishing person in the world, that she has something in her, something peculiar and individual which only a few hundred thousand other women have and that he would be unable to live one more minute without her. Often, to give a little more emphasis to the statement, he shoots himself on the spot. This is a normal, week-day declaration of love in the more temperamental continental countries. In England the boy pats his adored one on the back and says softly: ‘I don’t object to you, you know.’ If he is quite mad with passion, he may add: ‘I rather fancy you, in fact.”



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The Transit of Venus

I have a another blog in which I collect interesting quotes from various sources.  If I were to post quotes from The Transit of Venus by Shirley Hazard, I would have to include the entire novel.  Never have I read a book before where every sentence has been crafted to perfection – even simple ones like “By nightfall the headlines would be reporting devastation”, which beyond its own elegance of construction, paints a vivid picture of the storm with which the novel starts.  “Caro’s crossed bare legs were slipping off one another in a confluence of sweat and skin lotion and the dankness created by the storm” – you can almost feel the sweat and skin lotion between your legs.

The novel’s narrative style is overwhelming at first, you have to slow down considerably to understand and savour the full potential of each sentence.  The tempestuous beginning sets the stage for a full-flown romantic drama, which ebbs and wanes throughout, following the life of the protagonist – Caroline Bell, called Caro.  Caro is perhaps an Australian abbreviation, for as far as I know, Caroline would be shortened to Carol.  The urban dictionary defines Caro as “someone who behaves and dresses in a way intended to attract a lot of sexual interest from a man but who refuses to have sex with him” and in a way, Caro’s interactions with Ted Tice could be construed as being indicative of the word, although there is not as much sexual tension as romantic love – but are the two different ?

Once you get used to the narrative style, the story takes precedence over narration.  The novel traces the life and evolution of the two sisters – Caroline and Grace – more of Caroline than Grace.  The characters evolve and morph such that the picture of each of them changes into something completely different.  The intellectual and cold Caro becomes an emotional cling-on in the end, while the domesticated, drab Grace, burns with the hidden passion of unrequited extramarital love.  Such inconsistencies are not restricted to the main characters.  Ted Tice, a conscientious gentleman, who does not disclose the damaging secret of his rival Paul Ivory, even when he knows that it would bring Caro to him – ends don’t justify the means –  has no qualms about discarding his loving wife and perfect children of 20 years, to get back with the woman who had consistently rejected him  in favour of a cad. Paul Ivory himself, Caro’s apparently heartless lover, who has, as we learn later,  no regrets of having killed his gay paramour in the past, confesses his “sins”to Caro, in an unexpected show of humanness brought about by his son’s leukaemia.  Such is life, as in the author’s words, “At first, there is something you expect of life.  Later there is what life expects of you.  By the time you realise these are the same, it can be too late for expectations”.

The more forceful characters are the side-kicks.   Dora, the half-sister caretaker of the orphaned Caro and Grace, with her victim attitude and emotional blackmail of the sisters, is more realistic than either Caro or Grace. “Dora sat on a corner of the spread rug, longing to be assigned a task so she could resent it” – one brilliant sentence describes Dora in total. In all her complaints, Dora has no illusions of superiority, like Caro does, nor does she bask in the introverted melodrama of forbidden amor, like Grace.   Tertia, Paul Ivory’s regal wife, is perhaps the least developed, but most powerful character of the lot.  In her own understated way, she is everything that Paul is not – headstrong, honest and arrogant, with reason to be, unlike Caro and Paul, who revel in their intellectual superiority to others, but being intellectual is clearly different from being intelligent.

Caro’s appearance of being a rebel/feminist is misleading.  Having a steamy affair with an unscrupulous married man is not being a rebel, although she (or perhaps the author?) seems to believe so, in what the reader perceives as smug attitude.  Valda Fenchurch, Caro’s colleague, who refuses to make tea for her male counterparts, is the archetypical feminist, and Caro merely hides behind Valda’s rebellion to show herself as being modern.  Infact, it is pitiful that Caro uses Valda’s rebellion as an excuse to quit, but she quits only with the security of having an American millionaire to marry.  Pathetic.

Christian Thrale, the narcissistic, vaguely bombastic ministry employee husband of Grace, is also more relatable than Grace herself, even in his short-lived affair with his secretary. There are a few brilliant strokes in the interactions between husband and wife, such as the time that Grace burns with love for her son’s doctor, her husband jubilantly declares that he “has been given Africa” – the absurdity is almost comic. Even Adam Vail, the American millionaire husband of Caro, is sensible and heart-warming than the two female leads.

At first read, there are some confusing plot points – earlier in the novel, the author claims that Ted was to eventually kill himself many years later, but the novel seems to end with he and Caro getting together – so was this a detail that the author missed?  Perhaps not.  Through rather convoluted logic, it is understood that Caro dies when the plane bearing her to Rome to unite with Ted crashes, and Ted consequently kills himself in grief.  Mind you, none of this is described as such anywhere, and the reader merely infers from random sentences here and there.

It seems obvious that Venus being associated with love, the book’s title refers to the path taken by love and loved ones over a lifetime.  However, it seems to me that the title refers to the astronomer who traveled to India to see the transit of the planet across the sun, but missed it because of bad weather – an anecdote by Ted Tice somewhere early on in the novel.  Perhaps the title refers to our quest for love, which is often thwarted by reasons beyond human control.

A wonderful  and thought-provoking book.







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Read Rant

Here’s a prospective story for you.

A middle aged couple, lives in California with their adopted daughter.  The wife has psychiatric issues – depression, anxiety perhaps, with low self esteem and proclivity to suicide. The husband is debonair and successful and the couple is fairly rich.  They have a friend, a single mom,  whose children are friends of the protagonist couple’s child.  The couple goes out for an anniversary dinner while the friend babysits the children. During dinner, the husband suggests to the wife that they should loan money to the babysitting single friend to move out of the drug-busted neighbourhood to prevent her ex-husband from getting custody of her children.  They have a nice anniversary dinner despite the wife’s initial misgivings and end the night making love (or at least thinking of making love…not quite clear there).

The next day, the wife announces to the friend that they want to loan her the money.  The husband is pissed off with the wife because they hadn’t really discussed the arrangement in detail.  He still loans the money because the wife committed to it and the wife is happy because, being the child of a priest, she puts a lot of stock into helping people.

If you were an editor of a magazine, would you publish a story like that?   Perhaps if the narration were in the league of Shirley Hazard’s, you would consider, but read the story with standard, American narration, which is neither spectacular nor bland in particular -would this story hold water?  I don’t think so.

Yet, the story gets published in an online magazine to which I subscribe, just because the couple is gay and the “wife” is a man.

Have we reached a stage in literature, where anything goes as long as the protagonist is/are gay?  No, I am not a homophobe, in fact, I resent the use of homosexuality as an excuse to promote substandard work.  Normal is boring, I agree, no one writes literature about a safe, standard marriage, it’s only forbidden love that gets literary attention – why else would Tolstoy have named his minor Magnum Opus after the wayward, strayed Anna rather than the philosophical and righteous Levin, who plays as important a part in the novel?  But Anna Karenina had an interesting story line and brilliant narration to it.   Where this short story kills is that there is absolutely nothing to it – no particular story line, no narrative strength, nothing…except the “unusual” (and probably “forbidden” in the author’s mind) setting of a homosexual marriage.  Replace “Clay” by “Clara”, and you have a boring domestic setting, not even worth a tweet, let alone a short story.

Perhaps we have reached a stage of ultimate insensitivity where heterosexual relationships have become ho-hum and any bland literary dish becomes palatable merely with a sprinkling of homosexuality to mask the absence of inherent taste.

I am getting tired of homosexuality being used as a shock value tool to carry a substandard presentation forward.    As much as the author may believe he is being “forward”in writing such a story, he is actually doing homosexuality a great disservice by commodifying it.





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