Amitav Ghosh interview (old one)


For me, the value of the novel, as a form, is that it is able to incorporate elements of every aspect of life – history, natural history, rhetoric, politics, beliefs, religion, family, love, sexuality. As I see it the novel is a meta-form that transcends the boundaries that circumscribe other kinds of writing, rendering meaningless the usual workaday distinctions between historian, journalist, anthropologist etc.

Excerpts from a short but interesting Amitav Ghosh interview. Check out the last question and the pithy answer.

I’m currently reading An Antique Land, Ghosh’s work on Egypt, and my admiration for the guy has taken a new high. Will probably review it later, if I get time, but suffice to say that it’s an extremely interesting read.


2 thoughts on “Amitav Ghosh interview (old one)

  1. Patrick D. Hazard says:

    I have mixed feelings about my first Ghosh,Sea of Poppies. When the narrative flourishes and we savour the discrete details of their intricate class differences and the effects of opium cultivation on Sino-British relations, it is a smash hit. But when it bogs down in the infinite details of Bhojpuri language and traditions,it is simply unassimilable. My last committment as an English professor (1952-82) was to globalize Am Lit into International English, Commonwealth Lit plus US.And I didn`t need a blogspot to make such an ambition accesible.Sorry!Patrick D.Hazard,Weimar, Germany.

  2. asuph says:

    Hi Patrick,

    Thanks for your comment. Yes, it’s a common criticism of Ghosh.

    On literary terms, I love his Shadow Lines the best. It has just enough of backdrop, of the three places where it happens, without it being a history/geography/cultural course.

    But then, personally, I do not mind the diversions, and the details. In fact, I find them quite interesting to read. I guess, to each his own. Do check out Shadow Lines though, or The Hungry Tide.


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