Social Scientist. v 4, no. 42 (Jan 1976) p. 62.


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BOOK REVIEWS

Room in the Sky

SURESH KOHLI (ED.), ASPECTS OF INDIAN LITERATURE : THE CHANGING PATTERN, Vikas Publishing House, Delhi 1975.

SURESH KOHLI tossed a bunch of typescripts to the printer; the latter made plates out of them and ran them between the cylinders. A book was ready. The preliminary editorial labours and the intermediate proofreading have been dispensed with. Social Scientist has neither the space nor the patience to list the irksome results of this editorial labour-saving. All the same, readers of this book will be amused to find that Mulk Raj Anand is capable of howlers like ^Brahma's cohabitation with his consort Lakshmi." Readers may correct 'sardism' into sadism. But what are they expected to do with the following sentence from the same author's article? ^This sardism is not even the sardism of Marx which is at least based on the idea of pleasure.'^ In his contribution to the section entitled ^Obscenity and Sex" Anand talks more about the hypocrisies in the realm of sexual morality than about obscenity in literature. The examples he cites are both British: Joyce's Ulysses and Lawrence's Lady Chatterleys Lover. The only Indian book he refers to is Kamakala, his own that is. And how turgid this art critic's prose can be!

In all the creative arts, and in creative living or loving, there is the compulsion of conscience, through which the subtlest vibrations of the body-soul outweigh the depths in which feelings, emotions and paasions have been surging against the conflicts of inner mood and outer situation until, from the lamentations of discontent- and ardent desire, the violins of the two bodies, with taught strings, may seek the sound of each other's music in the mirror of the four eyes.2

Balwant Gargi deplores the double standards adopted by the English-speaking Panjabis who frown upon obscene expressions in their mother tongue.-Peasants, truck drivers, masons, working women—all freely use words which are obscene. Writers cannot help reflecting such



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