Something Barely Remembered

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Something Barely Remembered
In a remarkable new form, Susan Visvanathan's inter-linked stories pick up voices, names, ideas and lives at various points in the narrative to knot them elsewhere, in another story, time and place. The result is the evocation of a community, born of Puthenkavu, scattered as far as Belfast, Zurich, London, Rome and Casablanca, with the memories of one character touching the life of another: Centuries ago, Puthenkavu had been a coastal village; now only the sand remained to prove it. It was almost thirty miles inland but when the storms came, one was at once reminded of the sea. Here, in the darkened church - with reed mats stained by grimed feet - stands Lukose Achen, his uplifted face translucent and pale in the light of a fluttering lamp, eager to see God. In another time, Elizabeth sits on a chair in Leicester Square, the small man sketching her in charcoal to look like Iris Murdoch. Eli adored Murdoch, read every line, but she didn't want to look like her. This prompts an intellectual pilgrimage to Cambridge. Having seen Murdoch, wheel-chair bound, Eli can return to the gentle obscurity of her life, waiting for rain to fall in a far away small town in Kerala. Once, Ivan had come back home to the village in the summer, come home to die, to be with his sister. In the large rooms of the taravat, he recalls the long Biblical genealogies that his father had read to him by candlelight. How tedious it seemed, this preoccupation with ancestry, sonhood, and naming. Visvanathan's overlapping stories, crafted over 10 years, combine nostalgia, fantasy, intellect and desire, to create a sense of being at the heart of a remembered world. Her style is at once dreamlike and lucid - much like water colours on paper. A haunting new voice.
About the Author
Susan Visvanathan teaches sociology at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She is the author of Something Barely Remembered.
TitleSomething Barely Remembered
Author NameSusan Visvanathan
PublisherRoli Books Pvt. Ltd.
Publication Year2000
Total No. of Pages171
Weight0.38 KGS
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  • Language: English
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