AG gives us a work that is not only technically amazing,following the form of an Indian raga,but also outstanding in the finely nuanced depth of his characters in his frank but compassionate presentation. In the end,although we may be dazzled by the writing and the staggering subtle connections that may never be fully revealed,we know little more about the hero than we did at the beginning. But what a survivor! And along the way,a random duration of time really,we become well acquainted with all the lives that overshadow or influence the way the events unfold for him as his journey takes him full circle. With only a hazy idea of the future,there is still abundant faith and hope.

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Friday, October 4, Review of The Circle of Reason by Amitav Ghosh In spite of its global spread, English is a language that has been predominantly used to discuss issues of Anglo-centric concern. Most often the native tongue of nations of ethnic and cultural variety, books in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and to some extent South Africa remain rooted in British ideology and the innate historical context.

Producing an ever greater number of quality writers in the English language, India, however, is an exception. Among the first to gain critical success across the seas, Amitav Ghosh is one such author, and The Circle of Reason, published in , is his debut novel.

The phlegmatic Shombhu Debnath and more vivacious Toru Debi are integral parts of his everyday life as much as the bicycle repairmen, policeman, and schoolmaster of the village.

The episodes picaresque enough, that Ghosh imbues the narrative with a sense of the believable-unbelievable only heightens the feel of life in the village. In the vein of South American writers who have used the magic realist mode of fantasy to discuss European imperialism, colonialism, and the remnants thereof, so too does Ghosh use the mode to outlay Indian concerns in the post-colonial era, gravity eventually pulling the novel into the waters of tragedy.

Like Nabokov, Conrad, Ishiguro, and other successful writers for whom English is a secondary language, Ghosh shows himself in full command. Better than many successful writers in the US and UK, he controls and colors the narrative, telling a multi-layered story in a rich, competent hand. In fact, as his later novels would prove, Ghosh has something of a knack for language, presenting idiosyncrasies of character and dialogue in native form.

The Circle of Reason can thus be wholly enjoyed on the surface alone. But what gives the novel its value is the themes beneath. Ethnic history the subject, Alu takes India with him to the countries and places he eventually calls home, intertwining his past with his present. But as can be inferred from the title, logic is the main theme of The Circle of Reason. A mix of enthusiastic, brooding, rebellious, proud, and vibrant characters, his development is informed by all manner of humanity.

That the setting evolves underfoot, from India to places beyond, only adds color to a parrot of a story. Posted by Jesse at.


Looking Back at Amitav Ghosh’s ‘The Circle of Reason’

He grew up in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. He then won the Inlaks Foundation scholarship to complete a D. They have two children, Lila and Nayan. He has also been a visiting professor at the English department of Harvard University since Ghosh subsequently returned to India began working on the Ibis trilogy which includes Sea of Poppies , River of Smoke , and Flood of Fire


Amitav Ghosh



The Circle of Reason


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