Saturday, February 22, 2014

An Equal Music by Vikram Seth – Feb 20, 2014

An Equal Music - First Edition cover

May all our fiction selections this year be as satisfying as An Equal Music! Eight of us enjoyed reading and discussing it, avidly offering our responses to Vikram Seth’s long excursus into the arcane world of chamber music and its dedicated practitioners.

Sunil, Mathew, Esther, Priya, KumKum reading Julia's letter

We learnt about book-cricket and wondered which Eden we would now be inhabiting had Adam been born with a snake-eating habit. Aphorisms and allusions fill this novel with verbal riches.

Priya reads about Billy the cellist making expansive gestures on the open string

There is the mandatory Onegin stanza at the head of every novel by Vikram Seth, this one dedicated to his (former) lover Philippe Honoré. A discussion with him on a walk, standing on a bridge over the Serpentine, started VS off on his novel. He writes:
Our story lit with borrowed powers
Rather, by what our spirits burned,
Embered in words, to us returned.

Thommo signing the Association of Parties articles making KRG a legal entity

The epigraph by Donne, reminds us of what qualities Paradise will have – among them
no noise nor silence, but one equal music  

KumKum, Gopa, Thommo, Sunil, Mathew

How wonderful to experience that here and now on this earth!

Esther, Gopa, KumKum, Thommo, Mathew, Sunil, Joe (Priya left early)

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Monday, February 3, 2014

Poetry Session ‒ Jan 31, 2014

A new reader, Ankush Banerjee, who has a strong interest in poetry joined us. Many were away at this session, but we heard from poets across the world: India (4), England (1), Ireland (2), USA (2).

 Kavita, KumKum, Esther, Ankush, Preeti (back)

The sadness that pervades the poems of Mamang Dai from the North-East of India may reflect the undercurrent of violence and loss of control of common people over their lives. The compensations are reflections of the permanence of nature and its stoical ability to embrace everything.

 Preeti, Sunil, Kavita

This was the second time Yeats was chosen for reading in our group, and his wonderful meditation on old age and love left us all with something to look forward to. He underscored another eternal truth: ‘Wine comes in at the mouth /and love comes in at the eye.’

 Kavita, KumKum & Esther

Kavita had to leave early and is missing from the picture below:

 Joe, Preeti, Esther, KumKum, Ankush, Sunil

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