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Saturday, March 3, 2012

A Suitable Boy

Normally I wouldn't just post an entire post about a book, especially one that does not strictly speaking move my project forward, but I am super excited about this book. It is my most recent accusation, one that I acquired thinking I might get to it at some point when I had time in the indeterminate future, perhaps even after my field study, to continue my study of Indian literature. However when I got it, it was so physically massive I had to check it out. Basically it is the story of a Mother and a daughter in the pursuit of a suitable boy (go figure) for her to marry. It is set in India in the 1950s in the northernish part of India. So far it reads kind of like an Pride and Prejudice except in India and in the 1950s, not a long time ago England. I think it is supposed to be an epic story of the interactions between four families.

A Suitable Boy takes an intimate look at Indian culture, religion, and politics. Sometimes it is serious, sometimes it is satirical. Again drawing the comparison to Pride and Prejudice, part of the reason I am so excited to read this novel is the close perspective of something like a novel of manners. Not that A Suitable Boy is necessarily a novel of manners. I believe that it incorporates many aspects of Indian storytelling. It is divided into sections and chapters, but they do not always follow the same people. Often a new character or subplot is introduced and then abandoned only to be incorporated much later in the story.

In the future, I hope to come back to this novel to examine it with regards to Indian epics such as The Adventures of Amir Hamza, The Ramayan, and the Mahabharat to look for similar literary elements and methods. I will know better when I finish it, but I have a theory that A Suitable Boy may in many ways be a kind of Indian Epic.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Okay so this isn't going so well lately. I am getting back on the horse, I promise. Tomorrow afternoon I am going to draw up a to do list of absolutely everything to the smallest detail that must happen before the semester is over and then I am going to draw up a list of topics to blog about. Come hell or high water I will write a blog post every day, two or three times a day ideally. This isn't just to make this blog functional. This is entirely to just get me writing and producing again. I think have about worked myself through the road block I hit with my project and I am ready to jump back into action again. I don't have quite the sources I would like, but I have enough for what I need to do. So maybe I will be blogging about random India things like religion or food or something or maybe it will be aspects of my project I am exploring, ideas on methodology, etc. It will be a grab bag. It will probably be hard and there will be times when I absolutely do not want to write, but I will do it. It will work out in the end.

In other news I have no idea what the heck I should do for my other class during the summer. If I don't take another English class I will probably have to graduate in April instead of December because I don't really think I am capable of taking four English classes in one semester. Having three is hell, four would be awful. Maybe it will work out. I will have to check what will double count. If two of the classes I think  will double count will double count then everything will be okay, but if not, I will have a possible small problem. Although if I don't have to take two English classes that could cause another problem in that I will need to really brainstorm what subject even to do the other one in. Is it wrong that I want it to be something awesome? Like I mean, go out and explore ruins awesome or something. My one class will be reading/writing, so maybe I can rig something up like that.