Saturday, October 16, 2010

Puja literature: Debesh Roy's Lingalekh

The only Bengli novel that I read during this Puja – my time for experiencing Bengali prose – is “Lingalekh” by Debesh Roy who I stopped reading altogether following his pro-government stand on the Singur movement.

What's Lingalekh? I looked up in the only Bengali dictionary that I have, but did not get it. I think it is kind of treatise on male sex organ.

It’s an allegorical novel about today’s changed environs in Bengal when the 33-year-old Marxist regime is on the way out, and Mamata Banerjee’s party Trinamul Congress (satirically described “Mulo party” by Roy) is all set to be at the helms. Since my last reading,Roy has not changed a bit: his allegiance to the Left Front seems as intact, notwithstanding its visible degeneration, depradations and disconnect with the masses over the years. In the novel he lambasts, in a subtle way though, the intellectuals and writers supporting Ms Banerjee in her march to power.

But what I must admit is that Debesh Roy is still compelling, and has world-class craftsmanship to dwell on any subject. He’s more than a story-teller,a well-informed post-modernist actually, and has a brandwidth few writers of world literature have.

I wonder why translators are still not taking him on.

Are you listening, Mr Ramaswamy?

1 comment:

Nila-kantha-chandra said...

Thanks for remembering me Dr Bose! You tell me, I try to follow!

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