Submarines and the state of untruth

When I first read an article about the death of Kim Wall and the Danish inventor, aptly called Peter Madsen, I thought it was a satirical piece. I thought that it was fiction. Doh! Recent world events and changes in world media should’ve told me, by now, that we live in a time of surreal…

Book of the week: Shusaku Endo, Stained Glass Elegies

Torture, simplicity and constipation This is the first time delving into any Japanese literature beyond Murakami, and Endo has impressed me. Mainly an autobiographical sort of writing – not unlike the Russian literature I was reading a few weeks back – Endo tackles the issue of growing up as Christian Japanese and explores how this…

Regulating cyberspace is not going to stop terrorism

Theresa May said this morning, in an uncharacteristically strong and stable manner, that she was going to crack down on terrorism. That ‘Enough is enough.’ In a blanket statement, she told the world that she is going to ‘regulate cyberspace.’ She is going to monitor ‘the Internet’, a land of safe spaces for extremism. I do not deny…

Vote for a society that aims towards utopia

This isn’t some wishy-washy bullshit I’m going to put you through here. Utopia is unreachable. Duh. But hear me out. I’m a centrist. I tried really hard not to put too much weight on one side. Really. I did. But here’s how I see it. Disagree with me, please. To “survive” Brexit we need a strong…

On ‘In Patagonia’: get me out of this office

Bruce Chatwin’s formative In Patagonia is inspiring, not only because of the alluring wilderness the book focuses on, but because the book itself defies all the tropes of its genre. You’d be hard-pressed to call this just ‘travel writing.’ Think more…fictionalised non-fiction, with a significant focus on space, place and the distinction between the two.…

On Tendryakov and Solzhenitsyn

  I finished “One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich” in a rapid two days, caught up in the Kazakhstan snowstorm that is this novel. A scarcity of language that matched the bare exposure of the gulag system, Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s controversial work gave me a new light on how much can be said with very little.…

ON FIRST SENTENCES

When I was younger and grew up reading mostly fantasy (Magician by Raymond E. Feist is one of my all-time favourites) I didn’t pay attention to a lot. I just loved the magic, the dragons, the story. Looking back, when reading Magician for a fifth time, I noticed that the first line is objectively dull. The…