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Wednesday, Dec 01, 2021
Outlook.com
London Diary

A Pair Of Keen Eyes

A Pair Of Keen Eyes
A Pair Of Keen Eyes
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Since My God was reissued a couple of years ago, Sasthi has attracted a new generation of fans. The title was taken from Nabokov’s Pale Fire, and duly acknowledged—but that didn’t prevent the great Nabokov from suing Sasthi for using those four words. "I didn’t think he was serious, but Nabokov was notoriously litigious, and I was forced to pay," recalled Sasthi. "Years later, I reviewed a book of his interviews where he had altered the text of the original. It was a literary rather than a financial revenge, but it felt good." Sasthi has been working on a book for nearly three decades now. "I will probably die before I finish it," he says, without expecting anyone to demur.

Sasthi Brata was writing about alienation long before it was popular, about sex before it became commonplace, and about the connection between the two long before it became fashionable to do so. "All my books are autobiographical," he says. "I don’t have the imagination to write a novel." Perhaps. But he was a good reporter, flying in and out of India undetected during the Emergency and writing about it for The Guardian—one of the most reprinted of his articles.

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