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Showing posts from August, 2011

Unfaithful Reader| The Hindu, 7 August 2011

During a recent conversation I had with a Frenchwoman she posed the “what is your favourite book” question in relation to French writers. The only name I could come up with, racking my brains and trying to distract her by asking if she wanted tea, was Michel Houellebecq's Atomised , of which I can't remember a thing except that it had a lot of sex and the sex was minus love because the whole point of the book was that we are all unlinked atoms, incapable of connection, rattling about in the sterile tin that is the cosmos. The Frenchwoman gave me a helpful nudge. “Proust, perhaps?” she suggested, “Would you say you like Remembrance of Things Past ?” After that, having no access to madeleines, we ordered pineapple pastries and changed the subject. One afternoon, creaking up a Ranikhet hillside, I came to a stop when I realised I have no favourite authors or even a favourite book. Worse, there is no author, even among the ones I love, whose every work I have read; not unless for