Wallander – the troubled detective

Kurt Wallander is a grim man. Whether you meet him in books, or in the TV series, you will seldom see him (or read about him) smile. Both Branagh & Henriksson, who have played him in the English & the Swedish series, know this well. In fact, Branagh has even admitted to visiting flower shows…

This way for the gas, Ladies and Gentlemen

I am sometimes embarassed of my interest in holocaust literature. There is something morbid about wanting to read the tales of death chambers, of cattle cars, of people being pulled out of their homes in middle of the night. And yet, it is such a bizarre side of reality – something so humongous and beyond…

Jagten (The Hunt)

Does a misunderstanding or misconception ever correct itself? In stories, misconceptions often place themselves at the center, sometimes spinning the entire tale around. Mostly, in the end, people speak up, and miraculously the fog lifts. Not so in the crisp and stony reality from Thomas Vinterberg. In his movie, he marks out how it is…

And so they are ever returning to us, the dead

Sebald’s characters live in memories and the past – this is perhaps the least kept secret about his books. Their dead keep returning to them, the possibilities of their own deaths continue to haunt them – until they can bear it no more and often embrace that death which has been following them.

Herland

Incidentally, all of my last few posts have been based on the readings from SF and Fantasy course on Coursera. Things are a little hectic in work and in life otherwise, that I am reading little outside of the course syllabus. The course is coming to a close, and as insightful as it has been,…

Wells and Freud

I have very little exposure to psychology and even lesser understanding of the various theories/advancements in the field. However, even in this limited knowledge it is difficult to not come across Freud and his structural model. There is a certain fascination in the idea of the psyche having three distinct identities fighting for control. While…

The old monsters

As part of the SF and fantasy course I mentioned in my last post, ┬áthe last few weeks I have been reading Dracula, Frankenstein and some stories from Nathaniel Hawthorne and Poe. It is difficult to say if I am enjoying these reads. Dracula was interesting, but having read that story a few times, the…

A new look at the old

A few days ago, in one of the Ted talks, I came to know about an initiative which provides Online education through a collaboration of elite institutes: Coursera. I was quite impressed with the idea, and decided to look through some of the courses offered. These courses are offered for free (at least for now,…

Open City – Teju Cole

That I embarked on this book was hardly serendipitous – ever since it came out, critics have been hailing it as a Sebaldian work, and it has found its way on all magazines, blogs which even remotely address Sebald and his fans. I picked it up, hoping it was not an attempt to follow Sebald’s…

Emergence of Memory: conversations with WG Sebald

Sebald’s voice is unmistakable in all his works. All his narrators, the reliable and unreliable ones, speak in his voice. The characters narrated by those narrators speak in his voice. To me, these works are as intimate as you could get with him. And yet, somehow these conversations have been able to achieve a slightly…