↑ Grab this Headline Animator

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Halwa Chronicles, America's great poetic visionary, The decade in books - reviewed

The Drone Attacker laid low by halwa (Source: Dawn / Online)

The Halwa Chronicles - There's something utterly surreal about a country where a whole class of people stereotypically derided as "halwa lovers" (idiomatically meaning 'partial to the good life') is spectacularly laid low by, of all things, halwa. I refer of course to the now infamous episode two days ago where a bunch of maulvis - including the 'Real Drone Attacker' Mufti Muneebur Rehman (he of the Ruet) and the Jamaat's 'Face-of-the-Youth' Secretary General, 57-year-old Liaquat Baloch - were rushed to the hospital with severe food poisoning after consuming the aforsesaid dish at the Islamabad residence of the deputy head of the Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Islam.

1431: Off To A Rocky Start

Thomas Friedman: Because once we get America racing China, China racing Europe, Europe racing Japan, Japan racing Brazil, we can quickly move down the innovation-manufacturing curve and shrink the cost of electric cars, batteries, solar and wind so these are no longer luxury products for the wealthy nations but commodity items the third world can use and even produce.

He is the ultimate pessimist, a reclusive soothsayer who makes even Hemingway look touchy-feely. Now, his apocalyptic novel, The Road, is coming to the big screen, bringing his bleak vision to a wider audience America's great poetic visionary - There are men who look down at their peacefully sleeping children in the middle of the night and feel safe in the knowledge that all is right with the world. Cormac McCarthy, America's hermitic prophet, now 76, is not one of those men. When his novel The Road was published in 2006, he described how it had come about thus : "Four or five years ago, my son (John, then aged three or four) and I went to El Paso, (in Texas) and we checked into the old hotel there. And one night, John was asleep, it was probably about two in the morning, and I went over and just stood and looked out the window at this town. There was nothing moving but I could hear the trains going through, a very lonesome sound. I just had this image of what this town might look like in 50 or 100 years… fires up on the hill and everything being laid to waste, and I thought a lot about my little boy. So I wrote two pages. And then about four years later I realised that it wasn't two pages of a book, it was a book, and it was about that man, and that boy.'

Essay collections by Zadie Smith and Frank Kermode Book reviews

The decade in books - reviewed

Books of the decade: Your best books of 2009

The virtues of reworking, taking apart, breaking down, questioning, exploring, forgetting and losing and finding and remembering and generally testing your prose until it shows you what it needs to be

Second thoughts on rewriting AL Kennedy I'm just back from meeting and workshopping (let's not mention masterclasses, you know how they make me twitch) with the new year's flock of creative writing students at Warwick University. They are, as usual, interesting and thoughtful folk who really don't deserve what the publishing industry will do to them, should it even allow them publication in these apocalyptic times. But, like the inevitability of death, disease and loss, this is a bleak truth we might as well ignore, having little or no ability to amend it. We carry on regardless and find pleasures where we can.

Net around Israeli war crimes suspects tightens


Post a Comment

<< Home