Essay

The Hour of Ribeyro

The Hour of Ribeyro

From time to time, over the many pages and years of his journals, Julio Ramón Ribeyro reflects with a certain melancholy on his inability to write those massive all-encompassing...

Ribeyro – a short story

Ribeyro – a short story

I had just sat down in a train going to London when I heard a muffled ding and knew an email had come in. It was from Pankaj Mishra: he had sent me a link...

Beyond Eurocentrism and Anti-Eurocentrism

Beyond Eurocentrism and Anti-Eurocentrism

My two-volume book, Europe: A Philosophical History (Routledge, 2021), explores the vicissitudes of the modern European idea of Europe’s exemplary modernity...

Reshma Aquil of Daryabad

Reshma Aquil of Daryabad

There are, in India, two kinds of criticism. The first kind is criticism as unconsidered praise, in which the writer, having done little more than give documentary confirmation...

A Perpetual Problem

A Perpetual Problem

I was at the Museum of Modern Art, looking at their Surrealism collection. I'm not sure how long it took me to notice there were no women in it...

Academic Dreaming

Academic Dreaming

I have lived my life half in this world, half out of it. Hours, weeks, by now it must be years, have been spent in imagined elsewheres. Sometimes these other worlds have been invented by me—although 'invented' seems too deliberate a word. I daydream.

The Treacherous Modern

The Treacherous Modern

Must the earliest experience of artistic representation be such a menagerie of the senses? “When you wet the bed first it is warm then it gets cold.”

Possible, not Alternative, Histories

Possible, not Alternative, Histories

I’m looking back at the title to remind myself of what it is. ‘Possible, not Alternative, Histories’. I want to do something here that’s reckless because it’s very ambitious.

‘Calcutta is a Great Gallery’: chaloman shilpa andolan, or The Dynamic Art Movement

‘Calcutta is a Great Gallery’: chaloman shilpa andolan, or The Dynamic Art Movement

The year was 1970 – the Naxalite movement was ebbing in Calcutta. I left my home in College Street for Tripura: a kind of exile.

The Bengali Baudelaire

The Bengali Baudelaire

I was formally introduced to Baudelaire in the last year of the last century. I was a university student, and, the nature of such an introduction being what it is, chose to look away.

Mission Statement, 2nd Symposium (8<sup>th</sup> and 9<sup>th</sup> January 2016): ‘Deprofessionalisation’

Mission Statement, 2nd Symposium (8th and 9th January 2016): ‘Deprofessionalisation’

The subject of the symposium is ‘de-professionalisation’ – the urge, as a creative practitioner, or, indeed, a practitioner of any kind, not to be identified with one genre or activity, and to be, in general, a critic of specialisation and a champion of dabbling...

The Little Magazine, Between Journalism and Academia

The Little Magazine, Between Journalism and Academia

Though my intention is to talk about the function of the little magazine at the present time, I should begin by discussing a bit the little magazine where I am an editor, and what I perceive its particular role to be...

The Writer as Tramp

The Writer as Tramp

Staring at you from innumerable photographs, their glossy hair combed back, writers can seldom be mistaken for hobos or tramps. If anything, they look more like men of action than men of contemplation, more men of the mechanized army than of the manual typewriter...

The mission statement is in italics

The mission statement is in italics

The subject of the symposium is ‘de-professionalisation’ – the urge, as a creative practitioner, or, indeed, a practitioner of any kind, not to be identified with one genre or activity, and to be, in general, a critic of specialisation and a champion of dabbling...

Toward an Infrathin Reading/Writing Practice

Toward an Infrathin Reading/Writing Practice

The impetus for writing this book was an invitation I received in 2017 from Ronald Schuchard, the Director of the London T. S. Eliot Summer School, to give the annual address at Little Gidding, on the fourth of the Four Quartets, which bears that title.

Grasshopper versus Horse for the Sun

Grasshopper versus Horse for the Sun

I shall never forget that evening in my life. We had to walk nearly 5 km in the dusk to reach that little, sleepy tribal village at the foot of a hill. I, in the capacity of a facilitator, was with a group of activists working with a forest tribe, the Forest Shepherds.

Poems, Pictures, and a Reflection

Poems, Pictures, and a Reflection

"The thurn was harried from his home / by a bailiff beetle with an acid aura / in a waistcoat grand and red as Rome..."

Coming Out of Lockdown

Coming Out of Lockdown

A year or so ago, I invited the Scottish writer Duncan McLean to come down from the Isle of Orkney where he lives to Dundee where I was hosting a series of literary events we called 'Writers Read.' This was a monthly get-together of students, teachers and anyone who was interested in reading and publishing, held in a convivial cafe where the espresso machine blasted every few minutes...

The Tugboat and the Quail

The Tugboat and the Quail

Zoom is where poetry goes to die. Or where we, dying, go for poetry. Or is it the best available platform for poetry in the age of covidity?