Bookless In BaghdadTharoor, ShashiLivres Not;Retrouvez Bookless In Baghdad Et Des Millions De Livres En Stock SurAchetez Neuf Ou D'occasion Bookless."/> Bookless In BaghdadTharoor, ShashiLivres Not;Retrouvez Bookless In Baghdad Et Des Millions De Livres En Stock SurAchetez Neuf Ou D'occasion Bookless." /> [PDF / Epub] ☁ Bookless in Baghdad: Reflections on Writing and Writers By Shashi Tharoor –

Bookless in Baghdad: Reflections on Writing and Writers

Bookless in Baghdad: Reflections on Writing and Writers Bookless In BaghdadTharoor, ShashiLivres Not;Retrouvez Bookless In Baghdad Et Des Millions De Livres En Stock SurAchetez Neuf Ou D'occasion Bookless In Baghdad: Reflections On WritingNot;Retrouvez Bookless In Baghdad: Reflections On Writing And Writers Et Des Millions De Livres En Stock SurAchetez Neuf Ou D'occasion Bookless In Baghdad: Reflections On Writing And nbsp;;;Bookless In Baghdad Is A Collection Of Tharoor's Previously Published Articles About His Own Books And The Books That Made Him What 'Bookless In Baghdad' Does Beyond Being A Collection Of Articles Is, It Provides A Better View Of Tharoor's Literary Canvas In A Few Articles In Part One And Part Three Tharoor Reviews The Reviews About His Books Bookless In BaghdadPenguin Random House India Bookless In Baghdad Brings Together Pieces Written Over The Past Decade By This Compulsive Reader And Prolific Writer On The Subject Closest To His Heart: Reading In These Essays On Books, Authors, Reviews, Critics, Literary Festivals, Literary Aspirants, Empire, And India, Tharoor Takes Us On A Delightful Journey Of Discovery He Wanders The Book Souk’ In A Baghdad Under Sanctions Where The Middleclass Are ‎Bookless In Baghdad On Apple Books This Collection Of Short Essays By The AngloIndian Novelist And Senior UN Official Would Seem To Hold Out The Promise Of An Ethnographic Consideration Of The Life Of Letters Alas, The Title Essay, About The Quot;book Soukquot; In Besieged Baghdad, Is Something Of A Red Herring These Essays, Newspaper Columns And Speeches Do Not, By And Large, Try To Assess The Situation Of Literature In Wartorn Regions, Or Any Other Bookless In Baghdad EBook Online Read Bookless In Baghdad Is A Collection Of Forty Of My Essays On Literary Topics, Which Have Appeared In A Variety Of Publications Over The Past Decade They Span A Broad Range Of Concerns Emerging From My Own Experience As An Indian Writer And Reader!, But They Share A Literary Provenance: None Of My Writings On Nonliterary Subjects Have Been Included All The Essays Have Been Written For The Layperson : Bookless In Baghdad: Reflections On nbsp;;;The Title Piece ‘Bookless In Baghdad’ Is Poignant As It Shows The Postsanctions Iraq Inwhere People Sell Their Precious Book Collections For Cents In Order To Get By The Tribute To Orwell Is Deeply Touching As Tharoor And His Wife Search Out A Coffee Shop In The Town Of Huesca In Spain To Pay Their Homage To Catalonia, About Which George Orwell Wrote ‘Tomorrow , We Will Have Coffee In Bookless In BaghdadWikipedia Bookless In Baghdad Is Abook By Author Shashi Tharoor That Consists Of A Collection Of Previously Published Articles, Book Reviews And Columns On Writers, Books And Literary Musings In The Title Story, Quot;Bookless In Baghdadquot;, Tharoor Writes About His Experience When He Visits Baghdad On A UN Initiative Soon After The Gulf War Bookless In Baghdad: Reflections On Writing And The Title Piece ‘Bookless In Baghdad’ Is Poignant As It Shows The Postsanctions Iraq Inwhere People Sell Their Precious Book Collections For Cents In Order To Get By The Tribute To Orwell Is Deeply Touching As Tharoor And His Wife Search Out A Coffee Shop In The Town Of Huesca In Spain To Pay Their Homage To Catalonia, About Which George Orwell Wrote ‘Tomorrow , We Will Have Coffee In Huesca’! It BOOKLESS IN BAGHDAD PDF Bookless In Baghdad: On Writing And Writers This Book Is For People Who Are Not Quick To Form Judgement And Baghxad The Various Facts And Puns That Spring Forth From The Pages Of A Book

Shashi Tharoor is a member of the Indian Parliament from the Thiruvananthapuram constituency in Kerala. He previously served as the United Nations Under-Secretary General for Communications and Public Information and as the Indian Minister of State for External Affairs.

He is also a prolific author, columnist, journalist and a human rights advocate.

He has served on the Board of Overseers of the Fle

[PDF / Epub] ☁ Bookless in Baghdad: Reflections on Writing and Writers By Shashi Tharoor –

10 thoughts on “Bookless in Baghdad: Reflections on Writing and Writers

  1. says:

    To Dr. Shashi Tharoor,
    97 Lodhi Estate,
    New Delhi-03
    Tel: 24644035
    Fax: 24654158

    Subject:- A letter asking for apology

    Respected Sir,
    Like a scale firmly settled on a pipe, refusing to budge, the image that I have conjured up of your alleged persona from the various newspaper co-eds and news channels, preceded your merit. To tell you the truth, regardless of your impressive stint at the U.N., I had had never held you in a high opinion. The controversy surrounding I.P.L. (one mustn't bring out the skeleton from the closet, but alas..) was, unfortunately the only thing that I could relate to you. It of course was my own failing, not being able to hear the other side of the story, but then you weren't as vociferous in your arguments as your critics were. Politicians have time and again taken a dig at you, and have attempted to tar your image with snide remarks.
    And I have been gullible. That's why I ask for your apology. I have for long fancied myself as an independent spirit, to me, my opinions seemed impregnable from the seepage of all possible color, but I discovered yet again that there exist a possibility of correction. I recently, on impulse picked up a copy of 'Bookless in Baghdad' from the library. Just a single little statement was the clincher. One year I kept a list of the volumes I'd finished (comics didn't count), hoping to reach 365 before the calendar did. I made it before Christmas.
    To tell you the truth, I haven't imagined you to be much of a writer. What I actually believed was that you might have written some longish, scholarly prose on GDP or quality of life (as you were from U.N.!) and that's why following Vismay's rule of thumb, more boring a book is, more rave reviews it receives. But I was delighted to discover that I wasn't entirely true in my judgement. This present book, was indeed an eclectic collection or what I would call 'a quanta of creatively and cogently argued confabulations with a mute reader'. Though, I do not agree with your opinion on R.K. Narayan, I have indeed received the same joy, as you most certainly have, on reading P.G. Wodehouse. Your spirited defense of Salman Rushdie, your description of the various literary fests which I have vicariously visited through this book and all the other motley bunch of writers mentioned here - I indeed have had a good time along with your book. And why shouldn't I have fun? After all, it concerned all things literary.
    So as a parting note I would like to tell you, sir, that though I wouldn't most certainly drool over your every adjective, but if I do catch phrases like, 'That consensus is around the simple principle that in a democracy you don't really need to agree - except on the ground rules of how will you disagree.', '...if America is a melting pot, then to me India is a thali...' or '...and imagined them hallowed by repetition rather than hollowed by regurgitation...', you would be able to read my admiration in the smile that I would give. I once again apologize.
    Yours Sincerely,
    Vismay Harani

  2. says:

    A four-point guide to enjoying Bookless in Baghdad:

    1. Skip the essays In Defence of the Bollywood Novel, A Novel of Collisions and Art for Heart’s Sake. These are essentially endorsements for his own books. Worse, they are pompous, self-indulgent, and annoyingly serious in tone. Tharoor’s trademark wit dries up when he starts talking himself and his books up.

    Exhibit A:I have always believed that, as the very word ‘novel’ suggests, there must be something new or innovative about every novel one sets out to write; otherwise what would be the point? (This from a self-professed devotee of Wodehouse, that delightful writer who published roughly the same novel every year*)

    Exhibit B:As a writer, I had always believed that the way I tell a story is as important to me as the story itself. The manner in which the narrative unfolds is as…OH GOD! PLEASE STOP, SHASHI! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, LET’S MOVE ON!!!

    2. Any paragraph in which one comes upon the name of any of his books (The Great Indian Novel, Riot, Show Business, India: From Midnight to the Millennium and Beyond) should be immediately skipped for the next. It is likely to contain more self-indulgent tripe.

    3. Tharoor’s reflections on other writers are a delight. His ode to Wodehouse is replete with many of the Master’s celebrated turns of phrase ("She had more curves than a scenic railway"; "her face was shining like the seat of a bus driver's trousers"; "I turned him down like a bedspread"; and the much-quoted "if not actually disgruntled, he was far from being gruntled."), but it also contains the slightly self-conscious grief of the adolescent worshipper:

    …his death still came as a shock. Three decades earlier, Wodehouse had reacted to the passing of his stepdaughter, Leonora, with the numbed words: "I thought she was immortal." I had thought Wodehouse was immortal too, and I felt the bereavement keenly.

    He offers a measured, if trenchant, critique of R. K. Narayan:

    Like Austen, his fiction was restricted to the concerns of a small society portrayed with precision and empathy; unlike Austen, his prose could not elevate those concerns beyond the ordinariness of its subjects… At its worst, Narayan's prose was like the bullock- cart: a vehicle that can move only in one gear, is unable to turn, accelerate or reverse, and remains yoked to traditional creatures who have long since been overtaken but know no better.

    Other writers featured include Pushkin, Neruda, Naipaul, Le Carré, Churchill, and Rushdie, among others. This section of the book, titled Reconsiderations, makes the book.

    4. The rest of the book blows hot and cold. Tharoor tackles the Islamophobic, right-wing faction among Rushdie’s supporters in the wake of the fatwa, pays a fitting homage to Orwell by visiting a Spanish Civil War outpost for a cup of coffee, and wonders whether Westerners sometimes willingly indulge in “the pornography of povery”. His felicity of language ensures that even the unremarkable among his essays make for breezy reading.

    I realize now that my review has unintentionally transformed halfway from a guide to a commentary. For some reason, it makes me more sympathetic towards Tharoor. He’s a good ‘un.

    *As Wodehouse immortally remarked in the introduction to Summer Lightning:
    A certain critic -- for such men, I regret to say, do exist -- made the nasty remark about my last novel that it contained 'all the old Wodehouse characters under different names.' He has probably by now been eaten by bears, like the children who made mock of the prophet Elisha: but if he still survives he will not be able to make a similar charge against Summer Lightning. With my superior intelligence, I have out-generalled the man this time by putting in all the old Wodehouse characters under the same names. Pretty silly it will make him feel, I rather fancy.

  3. says:

    I was moved to the edge of kicking myself for not reading it before! Though only a collection of essays on reading and writing, this book is such an eye-opener!

    Let me go to the background of how I picked up this book. I was with my mother for this huge prize-selection trip for her college students which required us to stay in a bookshop all day long. To pass my time, I picked up random books from various sheves without really noticing what titles I picked. Well, was I glad I picked this up!

    I was sure Tharoor was a great writer but had absolutely no idea that he was an Indian's retort to British hot-shots like Dickens, Austen and for that matter, even Rowling!
    If you call Rowling hypnotic, this man is Buddha himself (considering Buddha was a master of hypnosis)! He kept me engrossed for hours together and by the end of the day, I was craddling it in my arms as I slept.

    Honestly, I hadn't been a reader before I read this. This book is not 'just another I-love-literature-because-I'm-a-writer' sort of book---it's more than that! It is something which everyone who reads and has a wee-bit of talent to write would cherish! Tharoor's tongue-in-cheek humour, rich expression and extensive knowledge about the authors he has read, of places he has been to and the experiences he has had while romancing with his partly political, partly literary career clearly make him the best author to be born on the Indian soil and make us Indians proud to be living under the same skies as him!

  4. says:

    The title of the book could make one assume that the book is about Shashi Tharoor’s time in Iraq, possibly as the Minister of State for External Affairs in India after 2009. But I am almost certain that he never visited Iraq in that capacity. I just bought the book simply because it is a Shashi Tharoor book and so it has got to be good, witty and insightful. I wasn’t disappointed. The subtitle ‘Other Writings about Reading’ gives away as to what the book is all about. It is a delightful collection of essays on subjects ranging from literature, criticism, writers, socio-political commentary, his own books and much else. As I expected, they are analytical, at times provocative, at times deeply personal and certainly with a liberal sprinkling of humour and sarcasm. It is an enjoyable read for the prose as well as the content.

    The book is organized in five sections. Even though all the sections contain interesting pieces, I loved the section ‘Reconsiderations’ for his views on other writers, ‘Literary Life’ for his views on criticism and social commentary on illiteracy in the US and finally the section ‘Appropriations’ for the delightful piece on how his book ‘Show Business’ got mangled into a movie and his tribute to George Orwell by making the effort to have a cup of coffee in Huesca (Spain).

    The section ‘Reconsiderations’ pays tribute to a number of writers and also has a go at some others like Winston Churchill and Nirad C. Choudhuri. In his piece ‘Right-ho sahib’, he speculates adoringly on why Wodehouse is so popular in India long after the English-speaking world forgot him. He suggests that perhaps it is due to the setting of an idyllic and charming world that we all want but doesn’t really exist in reality. I found in him a kindred soul here as it brought me happy memories of my high school days when I and my friends used to feverishly devour PGW books one after another.

    The essays on Pushkin and Pablo Neruda are touching and heartfelt. He remarks ruefully that India has translations of Goethe, Garcia-Marquez and Kundera but no publisher has bothered to bring Pushkin to us in English or another Indian language. On Neruda, Tharoor quotes a few lines from his poem ‘To My Party’ as an example where Neruda soars in his vision high above the jargon laden propaganda of the Communist Party:
    ‘You have given me brotherhood towards the man I do not know,
    You have given me added strength of all those who I do not know’,
    You showed me how one person’s pain could die in the victory of all,
    You have made me indestructible, for I no longer end in myself’

    Tharoor is quite underwhelmed by R.K.Narayan’s work, which he says points to the banality of his concerns, narrowness of vision, predictability of prose and shallowness of the pool of experience and vocabulary from which he drew. That is not all. He says further that Narayan used words as if unconscious of their nuances: every other sentence included a word inappropriately or wrongly used.

    The highest praise the author reserves is for Salman Rushdie, whom he honors with the accolade ‘the head of my profession’. In the essay ‘The Ground beneath his feet’, he says that Rushdie is the most gifted re-inventor of Indianness since Nehru. He quotes Rushdie himself as to why it is so - ‘the only people who see the whole picture are the ones who step out of the frame’.

    Ever since V.S.Naipaul’s contention that Indians lack historical consciousness, I had often wondered why it is so. The essay ‘Bharatiya Sanskriti in the Big Apple’ has a thought-provoking and striking counterpoint from the Kannada language writer, Kambar, on this subject. Kambar postulates that the Indian cultural sensibility is marked by its non-linear notion of time. Time is not a controlled sequence of events in our minds, but an amalgamations of all events, past to present. Against the Western notion of ‘history’, Kambar posits a view of ‘many ages and many worlds’, including the mythic, constituting the Indian sense of present reality. Krishna’s lesson to Arjuna on the battlefield is not remote for us. That is why the frenzied mob in Ayodhya cannot be persuaded by people like him (Kambar) to leave the past alone because ‘the past is here’. As a writer, Kambar says that ‘instead of swallowing the Western notion of the integrity of a text and its sole author, we ought to celebrate the way in which Indians continually told and retold the Mahabharata. It is a matter of pride, says Kambar, that an entire country has collectively created an epic over a period of thousands of years. I found this a new and revolutionary perspective to ponder about.

    The title piece ‘Bookless in Baghdad’ is poignant as it shows the post-sanctions Iraq in 1998 where people sell their precious book collections for cents in order to get by. The tribute to Orwell is deeply touching as Tharoor and his wife search out a coffee shop in the town of Huesca in Spain to pay their homage to Catalonia, about which George Orwell wrote ‘Tomorrow , we will have coffee in Huesca’! It reminded me of my own effort to find the village of Huettenberg in Austria, just so that I can see where Heinrich Harrer was from - as a result of reading ‘Seven Years in Tibet’!

    It is one of Shashi Tharoor’s best books.

  5. says:

    This book is a selection of the newspaper columns Shashi Tharoor has written over the years. Mr. Tharoor is a very well read man and at times one wonders if the point of this book is just to ensure that everyone is very well aware of that fact. He shares with us his eclectic taste in literature: his love for Wodehouse, why he thinks Rushdie is a hero, his sympathy towards Pushkin for his few Indian readers, why he finds R K Narayan's English bland, how he identifies with Neruda as a writer involved in politics, and so on. Some of all this is enjoyable but quite a lot is a tad boring, especially when he starts sprinkling anecdotes from his St. Stephen schooling and UN duty.

    Overall, the book left me, in the authors words, 'both amused and bemused'

    For colonialism gave us a literature that did not spring from our own environment, and whose characters, concerns, and situations bore no relation to our own lives. This didn't bother us in the slightest: A Bombay child read Blyton the same way a Calcutta kindergartner sang "Jingle Bells" without having seen snow or sleigh. If the stories were alien, we weren't alienated; they were to be read and enjoyed, not mined for relevance.

  6. says:

    There are books, and books about books. Bookless in Baghdad is a collection of Tharoor's previously published articles about his own books and the books that made him. What 'Bookless in Baghdad' does beyond being a collection of articles is, it provides a better view of Tharoor's literary canvas. In a few articles in Part one and Part three Tharoor reviews the reviews about his books.

    I can imagine Tharoor knocking the pinhead-reviewer in exasperation and clarifying: "Mahabharata's (Its) relevance to today's India is the relevance that today's Indians want to see in it. After all, the epic has, throughout the ages, been the object of adaptation, interpolation, reinterpretation and expurgation by a number of retellers, each seeking to reflect what he saw as relevant to his time (P.22)."It is not hard to miss the seeds for his latest book 'An Era of Darkness' in his various articles, where he makes a case against colonialism for appropriating the cultural definition of its subject peoples (P.25).

    There is a thin line between being self adulatory and clarifying one's work for the audience and Tharoor succeeds in pitching his books to the readers. Tharoor's personal favourites Wodehouse and Rushdie receive a graceful tribute in the pages. I feel both authors have influenced Tharoor's work: Tharoor is a past master of the Wodehousian wit. His book The great Indian novel is reminiscent of Rushdie's Satanic Verses for using tropes about religion/mythology as a literary device.

    Tharoor affirms that one can be patriotic and secular at the same time. In these times when patriotism is equated with jingoistic nationalism and majoritarian politics, Tharoor's book is an antidote for these tendencies and should be prescribed as a compulsory read in schools and colleges.

    In his words:
    "India has survived the Aryans, the Mughals, the British; it has taken from each - language, art, food, learning - and grown with all of them. To be an Indian is to be part of an elusive dream all Indians share, a dream that fills our minds with sounds, words and flavours from many sources that we cannot easily identify (P.106)."

    And again:

    "The suggestion that only a Hindu, and only a certain kind of Hindu, can be an authentic Indian, is an affront to the very premise of Indian nationalism...The only possible idea of India is that of a nation greater than the sum of its parts (P.106)."

    The cynic in me feels this book is more like a requiem to the literary genius sacrificed at the altar of sycophantic politics of the Congress party. Why ever would such a well read, sane person want to tread the murky water of politics? Well, for that Tharoor has to definitely write another book, and I certainly look forward to reading it.

  7. says:

    I loved this book . In fact I love books on books . The last one I read was the one by orhan pamuk . The English in this book is top notch . Also it's very inspiring to read that shashi tharoor has read so many books and more so 365 books in one year . I have read only his novel 'riot ' apat from this book . But I'm a big fan of the guy and may end up reading more of his books . This is a good book to get some inspiration to read even more books . The only downside : the title is totally misleading . It gives an impression of being a book on the middle east

  8. says:

    This was the first time I read any of Shashi Tharoor's work. Something about his writing was intriguing. I loved his knowledge about various books and poems. His words on various poets and their works just proved how inspiring their words were. Such a fun read. Perfect for a travel time. Highly recommend it.

  9. says:

    Writing, Reading, criticism, book-reviews, musings - this book is a joyride if u like Tharoor's elegance, wit and irreverence. The essays on his college St Stephen and the last essay were boring but enjoyed almost all of the rest.

  10. says:

    Each article was not just to read, but to reflect upon and google on the facts that I was not aware of.
    Thanks for the fab language used by Mr. Tharoor.

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