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Book review: India's Chekhov about a ruthless family

In almost no time at all, hundreds of millions of indians traveled from a socially stable situation with few opportunities for change to a world full of aspirat

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Book review: India's Chekhov about a ruthless family

In almost no time at all, hundreds of millions of indians traveled from a socially stable situation with few opportunities for change to a world full of aspiration and materialism. But often, the development has not been quite so linear. Instead, the old world with its roll - and klasslojaliteter followed into the new konsumistiska.

Just so tilltrasslat it is for the extended family in Vivek Shanbhags novella ”Ghachar ghochar”. Sudden wealth has enabled them to move from their overcrowded hovel to a fugitive floor and go on the shopping spree as a pleasurable leisure activity, rather than as a necessary routine, in order to obtain the necessities of life.

the members of the family as if they were a single body. ”So what is there to say about me, only about me and not about all the other”, observes the involuntary and the unnamed narrator. And in the next breath: ”is It true, as it is said – it is not we who control the money, it is money that controls us”.

Ancient familjehierarkier and the newly emerged capitalist ideals. It is impossible to sort out where one ends and the other begins, it is that of the narrator, truth-telling wife puts it: ”ghachar ghochar”. A hittepå-words that also describe the frustration she feels when the thin wires that hold up underkjolen during the sarin twined together so that they are impossible to separate.

Ever since I started visiting India for 35 years ago, I have been looking for literature that depicts the slow changes, swells during the isolated events on the kinky surface. The first finding was Salman Earlier genombrottsroman ”Midnattsbarnen”, spanning over several generations, consisted of a variety of voices and the magic with realism. Earlier at the same time playful and teaching style set the trend for the great indian novel, which wanted to say something about the state of the young nation. Then came Vikram seth's Romeo and Juliet-drama ”A suitable young man,” Arundhati Roy's ”The god of small things” if släktbråk, caste system and politics in Kerala and so my absolute favorite, Rohinton Mistrys ”A delicate balance” about two men who flee the poverty in the village of luck in Bombay.

was always polyphonic, wordy, grandiose – and written in English. With Vivek Shanbhag is the vice versa. He writes on the basis of a vote, if a family, for a limited time, terse and in a pithy style. And in addition, in kannada, a language spoken by 40 million people in the state of Karnataka with the city of Bangalore as a financial hub.

With this novella the world has even become a bit larger, in that it is the other literary story ever translated from this dravidian language (after ”Samskara – a rite for a dead man” by U R Anantha Muthy, in Swedish, 2001). Bangalorejournalisten Srinath Perur worked together with the author in a year and a half to get to an English version, as Peter Samuelsson then elegantly transformed to the Swedish.

It is also in Bangalore that the novel's extended family lives and take part of a financial boost that will lead to its moral decay. The better it goes, the more closes they are, until their claustrophobic cohesion and patriarchal power structure, which ivrigast defended by the family's women, will be totally ruthless against any who question it.

the novella, which is only 119 pages, has been many. Several british and american reviewers have compared with the Russian 1800 literature, especially Chekhov and Tolstoy. I'm probably just as mesmerized. Vivek Shanbhags effective buljongtärningsteknik get seemingly simple formulations to unfold to a whole range of thorny concerns and conflicting emotions.

It is the poison that is created when the crippling släktlojaliteter meets the consumer society is portrayed by the main character takes refuge to the Indian Coffee House, a cooperative institution that represents the dream the good old India. But also the coffee shop has changed to the new time. ”What's happening”, declares the narrator desperately. ”What have I been dragged into? There must be a way out?”.

the Question is if the way leads back to the time when money and gadgets are not created the request, or forward to a world where kasttänkandet ceased and the extended family is scattered.

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