Saturday, 10 August 2019

Amitav Ghosh’s language

His words are like a journey in an elevator: they don’t take your breath away, and if they do, it is because of the storeys.

Sunday, 9 June 2019

BBC's Desert Island Discs

বাইবেল ও শেক্সপিয়ারের সমগ্র রচনা তো থাকবেই।

তা ছাড়া, যে আটটি গান, একটি বই ও একটি বিলাস সামগ্রী সঙ্গে নেবো তা হলো এ রকম।

গান

১) রবীন্দ্রনাথ ঠাকুর, 'আমার নিশীথ রাতের বাদল ধারা', সাহানা বাজপেয়ী-র গাওয়া -- কলেজে পড়ার সময় এই গানটা খুব শুনতাম।

২) Louis Armstrong, 'What a Wonderful World' -- হয়তো আমার সব চেয়ে প্রিয় গান।

৩) Frank Sinatra, 'Moon River' -- Sinatra-র গলাটা শুনতেই হবে।

৪) आरिफ लोहार, 'भाग मिलखा भाग' -- গানটা খুব অনুপ্রেরণা জাগায়।

৫) मधुश्री, 'कान्हा सो जा ज़रा', বাহূবালি ২ চলচ্চিত্রের হিন্দি সংস্করণ থেকে-- গানটা শুনে ঘুমোতে ভালো লাগে। 

৬) मोहित चौहान, 'सबसे पीछे हम खड़े' -- কলেজে পড়ার সময় এই গানটা খুব শুনতাম।

৭) मोहम्मद रफी एवं गीता दत, 'हम आप की आँखों में', পিয়াসা চলচ্চিত্র থেকে -- খুব ভালো লাগে এই গানটা।

৮) Leonard Cohen, 'Closing Time,' -- অন্তিম গান।

বই
The Norton Anthology of Poetry, 4th edition

বিলাস সামগ্রী
পুরনো কিছু ফটোগ্রাফ

Friday, 25 January 2019

Doubt, protest and empathy

The three Christian theological virtues were faith, hope and charity. In addition to the four classical virtues of wisdom, courage, temperance and justice, these three came together to form the seven virtues of the Christian world.

In the twenty-first century, I think faith is less of a virtue than it earlier was when religion had greater significance for a larger section of the population. On the contrary, what improves the world is technological innovation, which in itself is fuelled by doubt.

One of the other factors which improves humankind is acquiring rights, which is rarely gifted but has to be demanded and seized from the powers that be. The protests manifesting the demand are carried out in hope, hope that the demands will be met. Thus, hope in the form of protest remains one of the forms of human progress.

Charity (Latin caritas = love) was the greatest of the Christian theological virtues. I think it remains the greatest virtue even now. In order to love or even be charitable (in the modern sense of donating), one needs to empathise, imagine oneself in the place of another.

Thus, I think the three modern virtues which propel the human race forward are doubt, protest and empathy.

Tuesday, 25 December 2018

Rhetorical devices/ figures of speech most amenable to computer detection

Devices which use repetition of a specific word or a sequence of words are most amenable to automatic computer detection algorithms.

Thus, these figures of speech are easier to detect than other rhetorical devices

Anadiplosis
Anaphora
Epanalepsis
Epiphora or epistrophe
Conduplicatio
Epizeuxis or palilogia
Mesodiplosis
Polysyndeton
Symploce


Other figures of speech which are also similarly amenable are

Alliteration — one or more letters at the beginning of a word, rather than an entire word, being repeated
Anti-metabole — the word order is reversed, so slightly tougher for the computer to detect
Homeoteleuton — reverse of alliteration. One or more letters at the end of a word, rather than an entire word, being repeated

Thursday, 22 November 2018

New English fiction recommendation lists

Commonwealth and US
————————————————
Man Booker Prize

International
————————
Man Booker International Prize

India
————
DSC Prize for South Asian Literature
JCB Prize for Literature
The Hindu Literary Prize

USA
———
US National Book Award for Fiction
Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
Edgar Allan Poe Award

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

My favourite classical Greek tragedies

Aeschylus
Agamemnon

Sophocles
Ajax
Antigone
Philoctetes
Oedipus the King

Euripides
Trojan Women
Medea
Iphigenia at Aulis
Iphigenia in Tauris