They say, fiction triumphs where history and historiography meet failure. True enough. Through imagination and innovation, fiction tries to. Looking through glass. By Mukul Kesavan Ravi Dayal Pages: Price: Rs Of course history is an attempt to make the past stable and of. At The Close Of The Twentieth Century, A Young Photographer On A Train To Lucknow Suddenly Finds Himself In The Deep End Of Adrift In The Final.

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In Kesavan’s novel, among those who disappeared, one left a permanent shadow in the courtyard, the other remained only an image in the mirror, yet another turned into a character in a Forster novel, on every page Aziz having become Salman. He improvises a life and assembles a world – one bound by affection, not ideology.

An interesting if disappointing debut: Given his uncertain position in time, this blurred presence is figuratively quite appropriate in a novel where the literal and the metaphorical meanings are often merged. He has both, the retrospective and the prospective tools kesvan analysis in his hands, because he picks up a nameless protagonist who has fallen into the lanes of history from a very contemporary reality. Aug 28, Radhika rated it did not like it Recommends it for: Read, highlight, and take notes, across web, tablet, and phone.

His credentials f Mukul Kesavan is an Lokking writer and essayist. His involuntary odyssey through a crumbling Raj takes him from Muslim neighborhoods and coffee lpoking to Hindu wrestling academies to colonial enclaves of viceregal splendor. At the core of this comic and extravagant novel that takes in its sweep many locations – Lucknow, Azamgarh, Benaras, Delhi, Shimla – there is a questioning of the kind of identity politics that puts religion at the centre.


The playful erasure of the boundaries of Hindu-Muslim lineage – that Rushdie had achieved through the complex birth story of Saleem and Shiva – becomes a more pervasive undertaking for Kesavan. The novel begins in with an aspiring freelance photographer going on his first assignment to Lucknow.

Looking Through Glass – Mukul Kesavan – Google Books

We are intermittently reminded of its presence through references to films, frames and windows, as well as through metaphors of black-and-white vision, sepia prints and fading images. However, fiction is different.

Kesavan looks through glass, but not darkly. Santhosh rated it liked it Nov 19, Excited by his new zoom lens that eliminates distance, he looks into the camera while standing precariously on a railway bridge and, as he slips, finds that he has accidentally eliminated time. Doesn’t hurt that his politics are sound.

I read the book cover to cover in order to be sure that I was giving it a fair shake though about a quarter through, the author was already beginning to bore me. But history makes him her own tlass in a literal way – when he finds himself suddenly transported into the deep end of Even better is the experience when you see the confluence of a historian and fiction writer of great merit, as I happened to notice in Looking Through Glass by Mukul Kesavan.


Corinna Byer rated it it was amazing May 06, Be the first to ask a question about Looking Through Glass. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments. Founder of a political party that insists on altering nothing no removing of statues, no frontiers drawn, etcshe even wins an election.

The story begins with promise and one feels that perhaps a coherent thread will emerge with a particular Dadi at the center of the struggle for the independence of India and the preceding and succeeding HIndu-Muslim tensions. Vimala Ramachandran rated it liked it May 03, Ravi Dayal- Social Science – pages. They say, fiction triumphs where history and historiography meet failure.


For throwing light on all this, the narrator has made use of flashback as well as flashforward. Please provide an email address. Its is not a very simple narrative, for it is a fusion of genres of fantasy and historical fiction.

Book review: Mukul Kesavan Ravi Dayal’s ‘Looking through glass’

Trivia About Looking Through G Its narrator is our contemporary, an ambitious young photographer properly unconcerned with history. Yasser Ansari rated it it was amazing May 20, Kesavan is a professor in glaxs Department of History in my university itself, though I never have had the good fortune of meeting him.

Ayushi rated it liked it Jan 16, Guy Buckles rated it it was amazing Oct 30, The rest of the novel is an account of the next five years lived through the bifocal lens of time, as only he knows what shape events are going to take, while his new-found friends do not have an inkling that the revolution of is going to be abortive and a major holocaust awaits them in Lists with This Book.

Open Preview See a Problem? Besides telling you plainly that independence as partition were affairs larger than the exchange between Congress and the Muslim League, it also encompasses other interesting sub-plots, one of which is crude kind of sexual comedy.