What is Suprose?

Welcome to Suprose.

Why Su-prose? "Su" in Sanskrit is a prefix for "good". This is a place where we will discuss and analyze prose (with a South Asian Connection) - that which is good, awesome, excellent, and maybe rant about prose that could be better.

Whether you love prose, are a prose expert, or want to learn more about prose, or to put it simply want to have anything to do with prose, this blog is for you.

Read, interact, enjoy and share...

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Authors@Google: Salman Rushdie

The Enchantress of Florence is the story of a woman attempting to command her own destiny in a man's world. It is the story of two cities, unknown to each other, at the height of their powers--the hedonistic Mughal capital, in which the brilliant Akbar the Great wrestles daily with questions of belief, desire, and the treachery of his sons, and the equally sensual city of Florence during the High Renaissance, where Niccolò Machiavelli takes a starring role as he learns, the hard way, about the true brutality of power.

Salman Rushdie is the author of nine previous novels, including Midnight's Children (which was awarded the Booker Prize in 1981 and, in 1993, was judged to be the "Booker of Bookers," the best novel to have won that prize in its first twenty-five years) and The Satanic Verses (winner of the Whitbread Prize for Best Novel). He is also the author of a book of stories, East, West, and three works of nonfiction---Imaginary Homelands, The Jaguar Smile, and The Wizard of Oz. He is co-editor of Mirrorwork, an anthology of contemporary Indian writing.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Kama Sutra - Re-interpreted

The Kama Sutra does not fail to create interest, each time it is
interpreted. The newest interpretation by James McConnachie titled
"The Story of Kama Sutra" is receiving rave reviews for it's precision
and prose.

"McConnachie has written an altogether first-rate work of intellectual
history for ordinary readers. Throughout he reminds us that The
Kamasutra is a repository of both ancient Indian culture and of modern
sexual daydreams (most of the postures being either uncomfortable or
impossible). In the end, though, The Kamasutra itself recognizes that
the ultimate transports lie beyond the teachings of art: "When the
wheel of sexual ecstasy is in full motion,/there is no textbook at
all, and no order," says the Washington Post review.

"Years ago, a bunch of us were sitting around drinking when I heard a
friend murmur two sentences I have never forgotten. "You know, guys,
sex is the greatest thing in the world." He paused and we were all
about to nod in agreement. He was, after all, a noted and
knowledgeable ladies' man. Unexpectedly, though, he then added, with
infinite wistfulness: "But it's just not that great."

There, in that gulf between the reality and the dream, lies the domain
of pornography, the sex industry and the masturbatory fantasy -- of
Viagra and the midlife crisis. Our Western myths of love are seldom
about fulfillment; they are all about yearning. In Plato's Symposium
we are told that the gods divided the original ball-like human beings
in two, and that we consequently spend our lives searching for the
other half who will complete us. So-called romantic love, which first
blossomed in 12th-century France, revels in passion delayed, forbidden
or otherwise thwarted. Its real theme is desire.

But for the Western imagination, the East has long represented an
escape from this pervasive sexual unhappiness. Baudelaire spoke of
tropic realms of "luxe, calme et volupté"; Hawaii and Tahiti once
beckoned as Edens of innocent voluptuousness. From the 18th century
on, the Orient, in general, seemed a perfumed garden, offering the
tender attentions of geishas, bare-breasted island girls and pretty
boys. Here, amid erotic graciousness, the darkness of sin was unknown.
And yet, even this scented, sensual wonderland turned out to have its
guide, its bible: The Kamasutra, sometimes subtitled "The Hindu Art of
Love," says the Post adding that, "McConnachie reminds us that the
original text of The Kamasutra wasn't enhanced by illustrations, and
only in modern times have editions used Indian temple sculpture or
Persian-style miniatures to depict innumerable and unlikely
interlacements. Similarly, the original Kamasutra has nothing to do
with the practices of Tantrism -- the latter's religious adepts
performed their sex-magic without feeling desire. The book does,
however, briefly allude to male homosexual practices and closes by
offering unlikely recipes for restoring sexual vigor, ensuring
fidelity or ending an affair."

Read the full review at --

The Story Of My Life

From the Tri State Observer --

"The oldest living person, Mrs. Ghaini is a member of the nomadic
tribe the Raj Gond, displaced a century ago from their positions as
personal traditional healers and doctors to the local Indian king and
queen. She counts approximately 100 grandchildren, over 150
great-grandchildren and dozens of great-great-grandchildren. No
official record exists of her birth, but she recalls events that
impacted her family that can be traced to the late 1800's and best
estimates places her birth around 1873, which makes her older than the
oldest official living person, who is 115 in the USA. Whatever her
exact age is, there is no dispute that she ranks among the
super-centenarians of the world, a feat still achieved by very few.

Ghaini Lal Signh Jamkar has been recognized by the Government of India
with an award to her very long service and knowledge of Ayurvedic
Medicine, and she easily rattles off the curative properties of over
1,000 native plants. She has guided over a thousand births, and helped
cure hundreds including local royalty of various ailments using her
secret herbal remedies.

Although illiterate, she is excited about having her Life being
featured o n a computer for the world wide web to read, and says
"You'll have to read it to me, but I have seen both good days and bad
days, and I don't have further expectations from life. I just want to
see my children and future generations flourish well and I want to see
my children do well in life and see them happy and comfortable. I hope
telling my Stories of our people to the world will help bring them
prosperity and a long life too."

Story of My Life's professional writers, or "Storytellers" are
interviewing and writing about fascinating life stories of people,
whether they be inspirational, humorous, unbelievable, heartbreaking
or even simply ridiculous. "In the hands of a good writer, every
person has a great story to tell," says Kristen Kuhns, co-founder of
the Story of My Life site and spear-heading the new Storyteller
writers section."

Read Storyteller featurd life stories at --

Read the full article at --

Monday, June 2, 2008

Naipaul vs Walcott

V.S.Naipaul, winner of the Nobel Prize for his fabulous novel "A House
for Mr. Biswas" is also very famous for making controversial
statements and finding himself embroiled in controversies. This time
it is a little different. His later novels, Half a Life and Magic
Seeds are garnering criticism from Derek Walcott.

The UK based publication, "The Telegraph" says in an article, "The St
Lucian writer composed a poem, which he read it at a literary festival
in Jamaica, that mocked his contemporary as a mongoose. According to
the New Statesman, Walcott told an audience at the Calabash Literary
Festival: "I'm going to be nasty," before reading The Mongoose, which
opens with the lines: "I have been bitten. I must avoid infection. Or
else I'll be as dead as Naipaul's fiction." The poem attacks Naipaul's
later novels Half a Life and Magic Seeds, with the words: "The plots
are forced, the prose sedate and silly. The anti-hero is a prick named

The rest of the article is makes for interesting reading and goes like this --
"Walcott expresses disbelief that this Naipaul can be the same author
who wrote A House for Mr Biswas, which won the Nobel prize.

The septuagenarians have been at odds for years, with Walcott once
calling Naipaul, who lives in Wiltshire, "VS Nightfall" in verse.

In the poem there is a coded reference to Naipaul's essay on Walcott,
published in 2007, which praised Walcott.

Many took it to be a back-handed compliment, as he enthused about the
poet's writing in the 1940s, implying that he had not written anything
as good since.

Walcott, whose latest book White Egrets will be released soon, has
expressed his anger at what he sees as Naipaul's rejection of his
Caribbean heritage in order to gain acceptance from the British
literary establishment.

In particular, he is outraged that Naipaul, whose ancestors were
Indian labourers who moved to Trinidad in the 19th century, thanked
Britain and India in his Nobel acceptance speech, but not the country
of his birth.

The poem's title refers to an animal that was imported from India
under the British empire. As Walcott puts it: "The mongoose takes its
orders from the Raj."

Both writers have refused to comment on the poem. However, Patrick
French, Naipaul's biographer, said: "Knowing Naipaul, he'll say
nothing and then at some point he will lash out. He said to me once,
'I settle all my accounts.'"

This article can be accessed at--

The Power of Speech/Words or Lack Thereof

When writers have to go into hiding because they speak their minds, it
is worrisome that the readers don't express their's and instead target
the writers that they disagree with. Salman Rushdie went into hiding,
and now it is Tasleema Nasrin who is ill and in hiding from radical
Indian muslims who have been issuing death threats to her.

The latest on her from a local Swedish paper, "Under fire Bangladeshi
writer Taslima Nasreen has been offered a safe haven in the Swedish
town of Uppsala. Nasreen fled to Sweden in March following death
threats from radical Indian Muslims and has now moved to the
university town amid high security, newspaper Upsala Nya Tidning
reports. Officials in Uppsala have pledged to cover the 45-year-old
author's accommodation and living expenses for the next two years.
Nasreen is living alone and is in poor health having been hospitalized
in March for emergency treatment."

The newspaper also reports that, "Liberal Party member of parliament
and Uppsala resident Cecilia Wikström has long had contact with
Nasreen. "I know Taslima Nasreen as a very unique individual. Maybe
that's what happens if you have a price on your head," Wikström told
Upsala Nya Tidning. Wikström has successfully lobbied for her party
to help make Uppsala a safe haven for writers. The town's governing
council has now put the idea into action and has agreed to pay for a
one bedroom apartment for the next two years. The writer will also
receive a monthly allowance of 5,000 kronor ($800).

Nasreen fled Bangladesh in 1994 to live in exile, in Sweden among
other countries, after radical Muslims accused her of blasphemy over
her novel "Lajja" -- or "Shame" -- which depicts the life of a Hindu
family persecuted by Muslims in Bangladesh. She has lived in exile
since then, in the United States and Europe, where she holds a Swedish

Read the full article at --

Sunday, June 1, 2008

The Write Tool

"When Hymen L. Lipman patented the world's first pencil with an
attached eraser 150 years ago, he certainly didn't anticipate its
having to compete one day with BlackBerrys and online crossword
puzzles," says an article in the Chicago Tribune titled "Lowly pencil
still the write tool", "But the eraser pencil has exhibited remarkable
staying power amid the rise of the typewriter, the ballpoint pen, the
personal computer and all manner of modern hand-held messaging devices
over its century-and-a-half existence. In fact, the U.S. is the single
largest market for wood-encased pencils today, most of which now come
from China. Even the more expensive mechanical pencil has not replaced
what is for many writers and note-takers a tried and true basic. It
has seen a steady increase in production over the last decade,
according to figures from the Writing Instrument Manufacturers
Association. "There's a historic preference for the pencil in the
U.S.," said Charles Berolzheimer, 47-year-old heir to the Berol pencil
brand. "Maybe partly because there's a tactile sensation to making a
mark on paper with it." His family has manufactured pencils or their
raw materials for six generations, and today he is the president of
California Cedar Products Co., which exports the state's high quality
incense cedar to manufacturers abroad."

One of it's strengths its ease of use, according to this article,
"Pencils have also remained popular because of their reliability and
ease of use. "It becomes a part of you, an extension of your hand,"
said Henry Petroski, professor of civil engineering and history at
Duke University. His book, "The Pencil: A History of Design and
Circumstance," is widely seen as the definitive work on the subject.
"People also twirl the pencil as something to do with their hands
while thinking or listening," he said."

Read the full article at--