A marvelous interweaving of poetry, scholarship, literary criticism and memoir: it is wise, welcoming, and a delight to read. There are poems here that are memorable in any context: Qasida of 700,000 Years of Love one among those for me.
Author: SHADAB ZEEST HASHMI
ISBN: 97896978344400 ISBN: 97896978344400 Publisher: FOLIO BOOKS Subtitle: GHAZALS AND ESSAYS ON THE CULTURE AND CRAFT OF THE GHAZAL Author: SHADAB ZEEST HASHMI
The play is set in the late eighteenth century during the decline of the Moghul Empire when Shah Alam was emperor and India swarmed with a variety of European mercenary soldiers and adventurers who came to make their fortunes by taking part in the power-struggles that were going on. The play focuses first, on a military brigade led by a Swiss German soldier of fortune named Col. Walter Reinhardt Sombre. It was one of the best-trained brigades and had a component of 273 Europeans, many of them were deserters from the British and other European armies, along with 2,700 Indian soldiers.
They were a tough lot who demanded loyalty and wages — by the roughest means. Col. Sombre came to be known in India as Sumroo’s through a mispronunciation of his last name.
The play shows how an extremely capable Indian woman, with humble beginnings as an impoverished dancing-girl, took over the brigade from its smitten European commander, led it, made it the most efficient in India, never lost a battle, rescued an Emperor, was wooed by the English and French, had lovers of many nationalities and, among her fans, she could eventually count men of the cloth including the Pope.
She also built a couple of palaces and churches that may be seen to this day. She was like an Indian equivalent of Joan of Arc but succeeded so admirably in all she did that she avoided being martyred and is therefore not remembered except by a few historians. In short, the play is about a European-officered brigade and an amazing Indian woman who was ahead of her time and ours. ISBN: 8129105179 Publisher: RUPA & CO Subtitle: Author: PARTAP SHARMA
The Merchant of Venice is perhaps most associated not with its titular hero, Antonio, but with the complex figure of the money lender, Shylock. The play was described as a comedy in the First Folio but its modern audiences find it more problematic to categorise. The vilification of Shylock ‘the Jew’ can be very uncomfortable for a post-holocaust audience and debates continue as to whether Shakespeare’s portrayal of this complex man is sympathetic or anti-semitic.
John Drakakis comprehensive introduction traces the stage history of the figure of the Jew and looks boldly at twenty-first century issues surrounding it. He also explores other themes of the play such as father/daughter relations, the power of money and the forceful character of Portia, to offer readers an energetic, original and revelatory reading of this challenging play.
AUTHOR: JOHN DRAKAKIS ISBN: 9781903436813 Publisher: ARCHITECTURAL PRESS Subtitle: Author: JOHN DRAKAKIS