Au Revoir, 2020!

Dear Readers, To call this year strange would be an understatement. It has been a year headlined by distance, disease and dismay. But while we would all like to forget 2020 as a bad dream, and wake up to a world where the pandemic never took place, like every dark cloud, this one too has…

‘Digging’ time, and facing the music: Kerouac’s On the Road as a microcosm of life

Sal Paradise was a simple man, who lived with his aunt, and loved to write. He had his troubles as well, the most immediate of which is finalizing his divorce. But in his mundane and workaday life, he always had the crazy memories from the innumerable journeys with his friend, Dean Moriarty. Sal’s fascination with…

On the Road, Kerouac, and the Beat Generation

America, in the wake of the Second World War, suffered from the threat of a looming, yet unnoticed, crisis. A crisis which was not defined by the effect of the war on economic growth, or of the enormous casualties suffered during the war by its population, but one defined by its effect on individual identity.…

Unrequited Love in The Invention of Morel

There comes a moment while reading The Invention of Morel when you finally begin to understand what's happening. That final resolution of the impending mystery, somewhere two-thirds into the work, is rightly posited as an exemplar of Adolfo Bioy Casares’ craft and depth of imagination. Prior to that resolution, there are perplexing appearances, (arguably) drab…

A Bibliophile’s Wanderlust

Travel and literature have a very interesting relationship. Every avid reader’s first item to pack for a long trip is unmistakably a long and enjoyable read to make the journey seem just right. On the other hand, authors often find their inspiration, their most radical ideas and the cure to their writer’s block during their…

Gliding down the Essay

For a long time now, I have been unsettled by categories. There is an increasing disquiet about gradation, labelling, classification, and the elaborate procedures they present themselves with. Classifications and categories portray order, a solid neatness that accompanies an encasing. As a person with a fondness for order but for whom order only remains an…

Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent II: An Allegory of all that is unspoken

The Secret Agent explores the underground world of anarchists and anti-establishment extremists through the eyes of Adolf Verloc, and his rather disjointed congregation of like-minded revolutionaries (who, as the story unfolded, turn out to be anything but like-minded), all revolving around the infamous attempt to destroy the Greenwich Observatory. What The Secret Agent did, however,…