Category Archives: Musings and Reminiscences

Umberto Eco (Naturally, a Manuscript)

“… he must, must write a sequel,” wrote Pradeep Sebastian about Umberto Eco and The Name of the Rose. Now, alas, he never will. My own enthusiasm for Eco’s work has cooled over the years, yet I couldn’t have been more excited … Continue reading

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Of Notes, Notebooks, and Beautiful Friendships

I’ve always had a notebook into which I would scribble occasional thoughts and musings, copy out favourite passages from books, and even outline arguments for longer pieces of writing. Such a motley bunch of scribblings between the covers of a … Continue reading

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Notes on Literature: Chance, Fundamental Laws, and Narratives

Despite being a talk by no less an intellectual personage than Murray Gell-Mann himself, Beauty, truth and … physics? is a warm, charming, clear, no-nonsense, and non-technical exposition of the aesthetic framework underlying the laws of fundamental physics. Yet, that’s not … Continue reading

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Musings: Art, Insight, Perspective

Brief thoughts about art and its social function that took shape on reading Banksy and the Problem With Sarcastic Art, an article in The New York Times Magazine by Dan Brooks. Questions of what constitutes good or bad art, whether art … Continue reading

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Notes on Literature: On John Crowley’s ‘Little, Big’

This set of thoughts was prompted by Professor (of Mathematics at the University of Wisconsin) Jordan Ellenberg’s post (over at his wonderful blog, the whimsically named QUOMODOCUMQUE) on John Crowley, Little, Big, and Engine Summer. He has this to say: … Continue reading

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Musings: Cold and Placid (or Wringing Out Ringing Words)

I’ve denied this a lot; but the truth is that I’m a contemplative—shy even—introvert masquerading as an extrovert to the best of my abilities. (In my professional life I build systems, I manage a team, I make presentations, I participate … Continue reading

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Notes from the Bookshop 4: The Ape and the Monolith

Setting: A used books shop (Blossom(s)) in Bangalore, some time ago. Scene: A couple of girls in conversation at the Sci-Fi / Fantasy section. One of the girls to the other: (something to the effect) “…strangely, it was only after … Continue reading

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Musings: The Reader’s Face

… he discovers that the patient labyrinth of lines traces the lineaments of his own face. – Jorge Louis Borges The details that linger, the details that we choose to remember or, more tellingly, that we have no choice but … Continue reading

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Musings and Reminiscences: I Remember

This post is inspired by Joe Brainard’s “enchanting” (in Michael Dirda’s words) memoir “I Remember.” Shamelessly derivative as this exercise seemed, I could nevertheless not resist the temptation to try it out. I might do it again. I remember my … Continue reading

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Links and Quotes: Reading and Rereading

My tastes as a reader have largely been shaped by The Hindu Literary Review, a monthly literary supplement of The Hindu. Of its many perceptive voices over the years, Pradeep Sebastian’s has been the one that has consistently conveyed, with … Continue reading

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