recent reading in the past                     Prashant Bagad 

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January 2010

An Introduction to the Philosophy of Art by Richard Eldridge (CUP, 2003): Not introductory. Wide-ranging. Suffers from the over-cautious prose. 

Cambridge Companion to Plato edited by Richard Kraut (CUP, 1992): In 'Plato on poetic creativity', Elizabeth Asmis says, 'To grasp the role of poetry in ancient Greece, one might think of Hindu religious drama - in which gods confront the audience directly in terrifying struggles between good and evil ...' (p. 339, italics mine). This is odd. 

October-November 2009

"Creativity Naturalized" by Maria Kronfledner (in The Philosophical Quarterly, Oct 2009): Argues that 'psychological creativity' is compatible with determinism. Provides some  useful distinctions. Offers no creative idea about creativity. Well, that's not the aim of the paper.

Sanskrit Criticism by V K Chari (Motilal Banarasidass, 1993):  Handy introduction to major Indian aesthetic theories.  

Eunuch Park by Palash Krishna Meharotra (Penguin India, 2009): Apparently juvenile short stories. 

August-Septemeber 2009

''Religion from an African Perspective'' by Kwasi Wiredu (in Experience of Philosophy, 6 edn, ed. Daniel Kolak & Raymond Martin, OUP, 2006): Wiredu argues that the African Akan community does not have a religion, contrary to the prevailing perception. The Akans believe in a supreme being, but do not have rituals of worship. Fluid, lucid essay.

Hegel by Frederick Beiser: Accessible introduction. Ultimate reward: you feel a void.  

Cartesian Meditations by Husserl: Historically important work. Re-visiting it (from a mature perspective ?! ).

Kamasutra by Vatsyayana Mallanaga, tr. Wendy Doniger & Sudhir Kakar: Conceptual complexity found when it comes to defining things.

Clearing a Space by Amit Chaudhury: Excellent exploratory essays. Chaudhury knows theory, doesn't imitate it. There is thought-sickness in his prose.

पीली छतरी वाली लडकी  -  उदय प्रकाश: Had heard a lot about the author. But this is a disappointingly mediocre novel.                     

Weight by Jeanette Winterson: Bought a Penguin copy for its cover, layout and the first sentence. 

White Nights by F. Dostoevsky: Poetically dull. I mean it. 

Indigo by Satyajit Ray, tr. Ray & Gopa Majumdar: Lovely stories. Psycho-like charm. Sometimes Ray seems a Westerner re-entering Bengali life. 

Middleman by Mani Sankar Mukherji (aka Sankar), tr. Arunava Sinha: Realistic, novelty-less novel, but well-written. Satyajit Ray adapted it and made 'Jan-Aranya'.

द्रोण - अरूण कोलटकर: Surprisingly, a  longish Marathi poem with a humanistic message by the composer of Jejuri and  अरूण कोलटकरच्या कविता. Verses about Sita's involvement in the making of dronas are sublimely fresh.