Wednesday, January 24, 2007

notes on an unexamined life.

Reading Zadie Smith the other day made me – well, happy, because I like Zadie Smith and very much enjoy and envy her beautiful/clever/successful/bohemian thing, and it made me think about how, in fact, the perfect novel has never been written, and how it never will be unless the perfect human being comes along. It’s because of what Zadie quotes and gently dismisses as the idea behind moral criticism, which is that good books are only written by good people. I read that to myself and realised that this is pretty much at the core of my appreciation of books. And about people. The complexity is in the idea of goodness, of course, and what constitutes it. I’ve mentioned it earlier, but I think it bears repeating: for me, compassion and humour are what make a good book, and I think both these qualities are what go into making a good person too. Good and interesting. Literature is a function of humanity, after all. Maybe. (thanks for the link, Uma.)


Reading ‘Fever Pitch’ makes me a little sad because Nick Hornby always scares me into believing that being pithy is all it takes to get along in this world, and I can’t deal with that. Perhaps I will promise to write a book about my love for Arsenal FC, so that Cambridge will let me in, too? I have the right profile for it, even: un-English, un-white, un-male. Except for the last, I’d probably fit into Arsenal’s own club profile. Speaking of which, being too bereft of intellectual vim to blog about it in detail let me just STAND HERE AND CAPSLOCK ABOUT IT FOR A WHILE BECAUSE ARSENAL 2-1 MANCHESTER UNITED AND HOW OMG HOW O GUNNERS YOU ARE IN FASHION AND FORM AND I’M GOING AWAY TO JUMP UP AND DOWN SOMEWHERE. Dear Robin van Persie, your marital status breaks my virgin heart. * turns coy gaze to Gael Clichy, anyway *


I’m a sucker for professional advancement.


If you people haven’t been using Google Maps India, I suggest you go check it out right now. Just don’t use my comments page for judicious criticism or vitriolic abuse. Or anything at all, really.


I watched ‘Guru’ last week. It looks like I am the only person in the world who didn’t think Abhishek Bachchan was All That. Perhaps the time has come to let the boy down gently. It doesn’t matter that he can’t act, not many people in Bollywood can and we are yet to let the fact bother us, but the gratuitous praise heaped upon him for a performance where he couldn’t even be bothered to remember when to be paralysed and when not to be is taking it a bit far. Enough, I say, but I can’t care. I have received the love of Daniel Craig into my heart, and naught shall touch me hence.

I wonder if the real Mrs Gurumurthy had multiple sclerosis, though.

Also world, plz to get over the engagement thing. You aren’t going to be invited, suck it up and move on.


SRK’s KBC: yea/nay?


'Gimme Shelter' is the greatest fracking rock song ever written: yea/nay?


That’s all, unless you want to know what I think about Alberto Gilardino’s ankle injury in this weekend’s Lazio match, and you naturally don’t, because it is not broken and Milan is sucking and Gila’s kind of mediocre, anyway. (If I promise to write a book about Milan, will they let me in to the University of Milan? Or will my body be found in a ditch off the Milan-Turin autostrada with my cold stiff fingers clutching a photograph of an innocently smiling Silvio Berlusconi?)


  1. anonymouse11:31 am


    Perhaps congratulations are in order?

    Oh, and first post.

  2. congratulations are in order

    That's what the Mumbai Mirror seems to believe all the live-long day!


  3. Great post, roswitha, I really enjoyed reading it.

    I'm completely onboard with your compassion and humour criteria (for lack of a better word, and also because without caffeine my vocab = limited). Most authors I love, most books I love are both compassionate and witty.

    So, Arsenal won. But Man Utd will, like, win the league and all that, and Arsenal will not qualify for the UEFA Champions League next year, just you watch. Ha. (No, I'm not bitter). Plus, if you write a book on Milan, you will be killed, and nobody will find your body anywhere, coz you will have been eviscerated. For sure. 100%. And they're sucking so badly right now, its painful to watch.

    Mmmm, Nick Hornby though. He's one of my favorite authors, because, well he's funny and warm and real without being cruel.

  4. But you know what the good thing about being a Gunners fan is, Yamini? You don't care! Because there are a lot of teams that win with class, but Arsenal even loses with class. I love it. (On the field, I mean. Let not the fact that Wenger and Henry are whiners as big if not as spectacular as my favourite Special One, Jose Mourinho, detract from that). I love their committment to underachievement. It's absolutely fabregas. *g* As for Milan, now there's a team that isn't making it to the CL next year. Then Kaka will leave, and Milan will bomb, until Berlusconi buys his next general election. And I will love the doom and gloom and pathetic struggling.

    re: Nick H. I know I liked 'About A Boy,' and laughed my head off in spots, but 'How To Be Good' kind of put me off.

  5. Kausha6:25 pm

    I'm waiting to read his collection of essays titled 'Songbook'. just finished high fidelity and it was great stuff.

    Now. 'Gimme Shelter' is a great song. but the Grand Funk Railroad version is better than the Stones' version.

  6. Sigh. This is really too much. I read Nick Hornby in your post and was going to comment on how much I adored About A Boy. And then I read your comment I know I liked 'About A Boy,' and laughed my head off in spots.
    What does one say to that?

  7. I was just thinking how the Grand Funk Railroad version was so much noise and nonsense, while the Stones' version does so much more. For me.

  8. anonymouse9:25 pm

    Oh, I misparsed the engagement reference. I thought you got engaged.

    Note that the only thing I noticed about *that* one was that some of the international media noticed the way headline space was being misused.

    Oh, and Sri Lanka is a nice place to visit.

    szerelem, you can say 'AOL'.

  9. 'Gimme Shelter' is the greatest fracking rock song ever written: yea/nay?


  10. Search and Destroy is frackin' greater.

    Iggy has more swagger, more snarl, more sneer, the guitars are raw and dirty and LOUD, the drums threaten to burst. It has punk glory.
    Plus, Charlie Watts is a dumbass and I'm a Stones denier.

  11. Liverpool till I die, so of course I like the Arsenal 2 - 1 ManUre very much. Talking about losing with class though, dunno. Although, on the pitch, Arsenal come closest to playing the kind of football which I wish Liverpool plays more often. No yank comments now.

    Greatest fragging rock song ever - isnt that either The Who's "My Generation" or Led Zep's "Stairway to heaven" ? Dont let the overkill and over-exposure to the Stairway anthem take anything away from the fact that its one of the best orchestrated songs ever. The gradual increase of tempo, the change of mood, its pure class. Something which will never be repeated.