By Guy Davenport
From Library Journal:
"Connoisseurs of paintings, historical past, faith, and literature will enjoy this superb selection of ten tales by means of one in every of America's such a lot erudite writers. even though the tone is frequently playful, Davenport layers every one tale with various allusions and quite vague meanings that maybe merely the main scholarly readers will totally savour. a superb instance is "Meleager,'' within which the sexual play of 2 boys is juxtaposed with descriptions of geometry. one other is "And,'' a snippet (nine paragraphs) of a parable within which Jesus scatters seeds on a river. extra gratifying are the longer stories, particularly "O Gadjo Niglo,'' a touching love tale informed via Eros, and "Gunner and Nikolai,'' with its shock finishing. Male sexuality is the principal subject matter, one the writer provides with mild yet truly severe cause. The title--a tale in itself--is taken from Falstaff's loss of life imaginative and prescient, encouraged via the twenty third Psalm. It makes a so much becoming image for this most original and inventive assortment. hugely recommended."
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Extra resources for A Table of Green Fields: Ten Stories
If modernism is understood to reference cultural production that is experimental and reflexive, that inhabits new patronage arrangements, that seeks new audiences and venues and is generally concerned with exploring the predicament of South Asian Muslims in modernity by drawing on a ruined tradition that nevertheless persists as an imaginative force, then the works discussed in this book certainly undertake that project. In order to secure a better understanding of the reflexive quality of modernism, South Asian Muslim artistic practice needs to be contextualized by the insights afforded by formalist analysis.
It also encompasses the reformist movements allied with the rise of print culture that flourished in the wake of the Indian Mutiny of 1857. These movements sought to shape Muslim life in India by initiating religious and educational reform and by modernizing Urdu language and literature. The treatment of “tradition” in this study includes the rise of progressive cultural politics in South Asia during the 1930s and the growth of literary journals and criticism. Urdu poetry—in particular, the poetry of Ghalib and Iqbal—provided many of the artists considered here with imaginative tropes.
Orientalism fostered single explanations for an art without the full credentials of Western art. Calligraphy, the arabesque, geometry, nomadic memories of textiles, unity in form and purpose, these are only some of the slogans around which an immense variety of experiences found simple explanations and . . ”93 3. ”95 Not coincidentally, this is precisely the period that sees the rise of the orientalist study of Islamic art, when Western society was undergoing the process of industrial modernization.