SO, BOB DYLAN IS NOT THAT REBEL OF 1960S..AND IT IS GOOD

So Bob Dylan is not rebel of 1960s and it is good for everyone – for Dylan, for Nobel, naturally for his fans and for people who think that Nobel should go beyond its ‘sometimes absurd, sometimes puritan, sometimes illogical and sometimes political’ nuances to actually serve creativity, especially in case of the Literature Nobel.

He respects the Nobel Committee’s decision. He, in fact, felt speechless when the award was announced for him.

Following is the press-release on the website of the Nobel Prize regarding this conversation:

Bob Dylan: “If I accept the prize? Of course.”

On 13 October, 2016, the Swedish Academy announced that this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature is awarded to Bob Dylan “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”.

This week Bob Dylan called the Swedish Academy. “The news about the Nobel Prize left me speechless”, he told Sara Danius, Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy. “I appreciate the honor so much.”

It has not yet been decided if Bob Dylan will attend any events during the Nobel Week in Stockholm in December. The Nobel Foundation will share information as soon as it is available.

Since the Newsroom Home section of the Nobel Prize website doesn’t mention any date for the release or for the conversation, except ‘this week’, we can assume it as a recent development.

Probably Dylan was left so speechless that it took three weeks for him to react on the news that makes for global headlines as soon as it broke. And it was that Dylan was in some isolation. He was getting regular inflow of greetings and admiration for his Literature Nobel. His website even acknowledged it (though the Nobel mention was later removed). Even the Nobel Committee had felt so frustrated on a restrained (or a controlled or a speechless Bob Dylan) that it had to formally announce through its website that it was abandoning its efforts to contact Bob Dylan for his Literature Nobel.

But all’s well that ends well. Now that Dylan has acknowledged his Nobel (in his trademark style) – the controversy should end there. Yes, the hangover of certain things remain in our lives – throughout. And with Bob Dylan, it may be his 1960-70s Counterculture years when he was one of the main rebel voices who shaped the Counterculture movement in some way.

So, again in his trademark style (of being rarely available), according to a ‘The Telegraph’ world exclusive, Dylan again puts it as ‘if he can’ – “Yes, he is planning to turn up to the awards ceremony in Stockholm. “Absolutely,” he says. “If it’s at all possible.””

©SantoshChaubey

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AS IF DYLAN NEVER CARED FOR A NOBEL.

I broke the Literature Nobel to Bob Dylan news at my place and soon it got the traction that was expected.

The Nobel Prize ‏@NobelPrize Oct 13 – Stockholm, Sweden
BREAKING 2016 #NobelPrize in Literature to Bob Dylan “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”
bobdylan

Santosh Chaubey ‏@SantoshChaubeyy Oct 13
RESPITE!!
Santosh Chaubey added,
The Nobel Prize @NobelPrize
BREAKING 2016 #NobelPrize in Literature to Bob Dylan “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”

And it was a decision that sounded perfect – and it, indeed, was perfect – because Bob Dylan is a cultural doyen, a counterculture icon and a living legend not just in the US – but across the world. (We will happily forget those criticisms based on grudges and nudges of some who thought what Bob Dylan was creating could not be seen as literature). So the first reaction that came was:

As is natural to me, I wrote some pieces on Dylan, focusing on his India connect and the Literature Nobel for what he is. Being an Indian, I have had interest in knowing ‘why and how’ of the India connect of everyone who visits India more or less for similar reason – its spiritual treasure and the solace of nature it provides to such souls (like Sorensen, Leary, Jobs, Dylan or even Zuckerberg).

BOB DYLAN ABOUT INDIA
ROW OVER A JUSTIFIED LITERATURENOBEL TO BOB DYLAN: AND WHAT ABOUT CHINUA ACHEBE?

A Nobel to him again pushed me to know more about his India visit and connect, but despite best of my efforts, I could not get much – as would happen every time. What was different this time was the approach that I took. In an age of social media, I thought to get in touch with Dylan directly to see if I could some first-hand help from the person who was centre of my efforts. So I tweeted:

Santosh Chaubey ‏@SantoshChaubeyy Oct 15
@bobdylan Nobel 2u is a big respite.Ws tryng2find ur Kasar Devi visit India views.A 78 RollingStone i/v gives sm insight. Cn thr b mor luck?

But the luck didn’t smile. Anyway I had expected it. Maybe he or his team didn’t see it. Maybe he or his team was not interested in talking about it. Maybe he or his team just ignored it.

And then there is another angle to it. Though I know it is not even remotely related, I would like to feel so, because gives you a direction (even if it may be non-existent) :).

Bob Dylan has not acknowledged his Literature Nobel yet. The Nobel Prize committee after five days of consistent efforts abandoned its exercise but Dylan remained incommunicado (for them). While he held concerts and events where others lauded for him for his Nobel (but he looked like he didn’t notice it). He also unveiled his ‘permanent work of art for a public space’ according to a Daily Mail report.

As if he never cared for a Nobel. (Now may be different reasons for it that a reticent Dylan would never speak about.)

©SantoshChaubey

ROW OVER A JUSTIFIED LITERATURE NOBEL TO BOB DYLAN: AND WHAT ABOUT CHINUA ACHEBE?

Bob Dylan is only the second American to get the Literature Nobel in over 20 years. Before him, the world’s beloved American novelist Toni Morrison won the Literature Nobel in 1993.

But she was clearly a novelist who conformed to the notions of the Nobel committee on what was ‘literature’ as per its standards, something where even the great and rare African writer Chinua Achebe could not fit in.

So, obviously there would be controversies on Bob Dylan’s Literature Nobel.

Bob Dylan is a poet-songwriter first. Though he is a singing legend, there is more or less a unanimity that he is not as acclaimed a singer as the lyrics of his songs are that he himself writes (some find it even boring). But yes, he is a mass singer who has been one of the most important voices of the counterculture revolution of 1960s and 70s. Though he doesn’t like, he was the protest singer of those years when people used his words and tunes to mobilize and inspire sentiments and other people.

In a way, he is like Chinua Achebe, the great literary figure, who matters most in his sphere of influence – obviously here it is about bringing social change through creativity.

Achebe’s ‘Things Fall Apart’ remains the ultimate magnum opus of literature of a continent where human life began, but a continent which has been forced to lag behind on every development parameter – so much so that it now ranks last.

Though Dylan was never a solitary figure, nevertheless, he was an important contributor. Dylan’s songs motivated a generation that brought about the most vital changes in the modern US society through the counterculture movement of 60s and 70s that was aimed at fighting for civil rights and uprooting racial seggregation, US participation in the Vietnam war and even had a dislike for the Cold War.

And this generation achieved it with able support of people like Martin Luther King, Jr., Bob Dylan, Harper Lee and many others. A multitude was there to provide the leadership. And millions were there to follow, inspired, with songs, books and speeches.

And it was so black and white, even by the norms laid down by Alfred Nobel on ‘how a Nobel Prize recipient’ should be judged. He wrote in his will:

“..shall constitute a fund, the interest on which shall be annually distributed in the form of prizes to those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit to mankind..(he specified for the Literature Nobel).. one part to the person who shall have produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction..”

“..the most outstanding work in an ideal direction..”..yes, that is what Bob Dylan has done..conferring the greatest benefit to mankind..and that is what Chinua Achebe did..again..conferring the greatest benefit to mankind..(through their literary works).

The problem is..the Stockholm Academy that decides on who will be the next Nobel Laureate..saw the norms laid down by Alfred Nobel as mere wishes..and did all sort of manipulations over the years..to declare many controversial names the Literature Nobel Laureate (something like with the Peace Nobel, though on a lesser scale)..all in the name of ethnic/geographic superiority (like only European writers can produce Nobel sort of work)..or in the name of superiority of language and not the content and it’s influence in writing (something that kept Chinua Achebe out)..or silly geopolitical considerations (like to award some anti-establishment author only because the global community is opposed to that establishment)..and so on.

Now that good sense has prevailed and Bob Dylan has been given his due, will there be some room for Chinua Achebe even if the Nobel Prize cannot be given posthumously. After all, it was not so before 1974 and Dag Hammarskjöld and Erik Axel Karlfeldt got their Nobel Prizes posthumously only.

©SantoshChaubey

MUNSHI PREMCHAND: OUR LITERARY GANDHI

Munshi Premchand is considered the Indian literature’s Mahatma Gandhi – and that is not without reasons.

Leaving a frugal life, he gave India (and the world) literary works (novels, short stories and essays) that were for everyone – speaking for the people on the margins – and speaking of the people forming the exploitative hub of societies.

If he portrayed social sensitivities in a language that the people spoke, he also tickled their funny bones with situational comedies much before their formal inauguration by the entertainment industry.

Without any doubt we can say that he was the biggest among his contemporaries that the modern Indian literature (Hindustani literature) produced. His grip was in the fact that he was the people’s writer who didn’t need decorative metaphors to prove his mettle.

And he remains the greatest of his field – with his unique skills and works. Yes, we are fortunate that we have had many luminaries of the Hindi literature since the 18th Century but Munshi Premchand stands tallest among them.

India realized that a long ago. And Premchand ji was a craze even outside India – in countries with socialist bent of mind like Russia. His anti-feudal writing was like an eye-opener. You can easily identify where his works belong if you are not among the few super-elite of India and the pseudo modernists.

And the thing is – his writing remains relevant even today – because the basics of Indian social weaving have not changed much. The social malaise that he focused on in his writings – feudalism, poverty, corruption, humiliating condition of women and girls, class divides and social layers – still form the distorted spinal cord of our society.

Like our Father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi, connected the dots and transformed us into a strong cohesive unit to fight the British colonialism – inspired by the Mahatma’s Non-cooperation Movement, Premchand ji went on to reflect on social issues of the time in his writings, connecting to the readers of his works – provoking them to think. He established himself as the parallel of Mahatma Gandhi in the Indian literary landscape of the time.

And he still he provokes us, stirs our souls.

While Premchand ji has been translated in almost every Indian language and many foreign languages, it is the Hindi speaking belt of north, east, central and west India that must feel indebted to him. And he has a special place in hearts of the people from Varanasi, the city he belonged to. His birthplace in Lamhi is a must visit for any proud Banarasi and I know I am a proud Banarasi.

MunshiPremchandGD

When I woke up this morning and saw the Google doodle paying tribute to our literary Gandhi on his birth anniversary on July 31, it was like summing up my all those feelings. We all know Google does some sincere things and it was one of them. I loved the image and the idea that went behind it – a doodle focusing on the central settings (the rural India) in most of the literary works written by Munshi Premchand – in this case his last novel Godaan published in 1936.

Google says about Munshi Premchand – “Today’s homepage celebrates a man who filled many pages (of a different kind) with words that would forever change India’s literary landscape.”

Thanks Google – from a proud Indian (and Banarasi).

©SantoshChaubey

Feature Image Courtesy: Google Doodle on Munshi Premchand 

SHOLAY: THE PERFECT MASALA FILM

Because its ‘implausibility quotient’ is almost nil owing to a brilliant storytelling..

Obviously, 15th August is known to us as a special day because it is our Independence Day.

But this year, it is also the 40th anniversary of one of the most iconic products of Hindi Cinema/Indian Film Industry/Masala film genre.

Today, Sholay is completing 40 years of its release.

And Sholay is a perfect example of making Masala films, if we see ‘Masala filmmaking’ as an art. A Masala film is a mix of different genres and is generally not considered an artistic achievement. But Sholay transcends here.

Its plot so artistically absorbs any flaw, any loose end in the narration that we usually don’t feel any implausible development while watching the movie.

Now that is a big statement because every Masala film, no matter how big a blockbuster it becomes, has many revealing ‘implausible’ elements in its plotline.

But Sholay’s plot brilliantly (and effectively) suppresses all those elements.

And that plot, that narration, that storytelling is completing its 40 years today – being told and retold all this while – becoming a part of day-to-day lingo with its characters becoming eponymous with societal traits – something that rarely happens with a particular feature film.

And what compounds the – interest is most of the actors and crew members of the film are alive to relive their experiences. Yes, it would be better, at a different level, if Amjad Khan, the actor playing the most iconic character of the movie, Gabbar Singh, would have been here to share his thoughts on this occasion. Amjad Khan is not between us but he made Gabbar Singh immortal – the most talked about character of the movie.

Sholay is ‘perfect’ Masala film based on a plot revolving around one character’s pledge to seek revenge from the main antagonist of the movie. The storyline is strengthened by brilliant acting by every actor – lead and side. The main revenge plot and the different sub-plots are so intrinsically woven that we don’t feel any gap or jump.

If Gabbar Singh, Thakur Sahab, Veeru and Jai are our evergreen stars, so are Soorma Bhopali, Angarezo Ke Jamane Ke Jailor (Jailor), Mausi, Rahim Chacha, Sambha, Kalia and so on.

What happened with Sholay, its wide reach in the masses that has touched times and generations, has happened rarely with a Hindi film.

The movie not only became a classic property for its actors, but also for its director, music director and story/script writers. Every aspect of the film was so tightly packed – right frames in a right sequence – packed neatly one after the other – that we don’t come across boring moments and frustrating questions – something that dilutes interest in any plotline.

The film has borrowed heavily from classic Westerns and even from some Hindi movies but its high point is that it has been successful (and efficiently so) in showing them as its own – in showing them as the inherent plot elements.

It was a perfect blend of different condiments – a spice that has always remained hot and colourful – irrespective of what the experts (and analysts) say – both, for the movie and against it. The filmmakers might not have thought on those lines that some experts say. After all, how could they, if they had to release their movie during the days of Emergency in India?

Filmmakers here wanted to deliver a Masala entertainment package and they excelled in that with Sholay.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

GO SET A WATCHMAN: WHAT DOES IT SAY?

Atticus Finch, the greatest American hero as voted by the American Film Institute. And Atticus has been chosen so for his character traits – anti-racial, humanely and straight family man.

‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ gave us Atticus Finch in 1960. Since then, 55 years have passed. All these years have added to the aura of the character making him the cultural icon of generations – the aura that also added to the anticipation run towards ‘Go Set A Watchman’, Harper Lee’s second book after 55 years of publication of ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’.

‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ is a timeless classic and its popularity was amplified globally by the movie of the same name based on it. The movie came within two years of the book – in 1962 – and the quick film adaptation took the appeal of the book even far and wide.

In fact the global appeal of Atticus Finch, outside America, owes largely to the film version of the movie and has become a cultural phenomenon with changing times – in times when racism in legally illegal.

So, it was natural that ‘Go Set A Watchman’ became the most awaited book in recent times when Harper Lee announced that she was breaking her vow – never to get a book published again. A pro-racism Atticus Finch, the 180 degree departure from the character that we inherited from ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’, added intense rounds to everything that was being said and discussed about the book.

The book, when out on stands, met with mixed reactions.

‘Go Set A Watchman’ raises more questions as we move ahead with the plot leaving the reader grope in dark with many unanswered questions. The published book is essentially a sequel to ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’. There will be many who know about the work but haven’t read the book or seen the movie. They, too, will be tempted to have the book based on intense reviews and word of mouth publicity around it. And they will find such questions nagging them.

But let’s see the scoring points first:

The book is not sequel to ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’. In fact, as reported, it was written prior to the publication of Harper Lee’s classic. Coming after 55 years of ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’, it needed some rework, but as Harper Lee had said she would never publish a book again, the lapses are tangible. But the rework on Jean Louise Finch as making her narrator and main protagonist is logically done here. It was logical to read the next story after ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ from her POV.

‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ was idealistic. ‘Go Set A Watchman’ is realistic. ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ came at a time when legal racial segregation was fighting last phase of its battle in America. The book added to the sentiments in stirring a nation’s conscience and Atticus Finch became a cultural symbol of anti-racial struggle in the US society. ‘Go Set A Watchman’ has come at a time when the US is seen largely anti-racist. Now is the time when people can look back in the past, as done from time to time, in movies, in books, to see how the people of South saw racial discrimination then.

The silent answer by Calpurnia (page 160) – when Jean Louise Finch asks her – is pensively and profoundly expressed by ‘bearing the burden of her years’. More than anything else, this sentence captures the essence of the theme the book is based on.

Character development of Henry Clinton is realistic, is according to the times prevalent in ‘then south’. He may sound submissive at times, but this he does for his love – and that is understood. And so is understood his logic when he justifies his and Atticus Finch joining Citizens’ Council meeting and their views on racial segregation – and his views of staying back and conforming to social norms of ‘then Maycomb’.

Transition of Jean Louise Finch characters, though, deserves more words, her meeting with reality of the day (and of the society) is logically explained in the book – ‘prejudice, a dirty word, and faith, a clean one, have something in common: they both begin where reason ends – ‘uncle Jack Finch’ tells Jean Louise (page 270-271). Irrespective of the word flow between Jean Louise and her uncle in chapter 18, the sentence essentially corresponds to the realization Jean Louise has – from Scout/Jean Louise’s faith in Atticus Finch that prejudices her thoughts to the extent that she starts looking at everything from her POV and Atticus becomes a repulsive figure in her life – to a POV that retains her faith in Atticus Finch, his father and a social man of Maycomb.

Now, let’s see where the book leaves room for questions with unexplained developments and loose plot elements.

Well, for me, the book really begins with its 100th page when the element, being debated day in and day out, around the world, is introduced – that gives us first indication that Atticus Finch has ‘turned’ racial.

The book is basically about Scout’s struggle on this revelations – that her father, the man for all seasons in her life, and his best man whom she contemplates to get marry are ‘segregationists’ – with ‘segregation’ being an act on racial lines against the black people.

But the book, till its 100th page, doesn’t indicate that this one is going to be the central plot. In my opinion, the book fills first 100 pages in telling us the plot elements that are so routine – especially when you read ‘Go Set A Watchman’ after reading and watching ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’.

There are pages in the book that readers can scan and pass. Yes, a book requires pages to set its theme, to introduce the plot elements, but 100 pages for it are too long for a 278 page book the version that I have – or for any book. (William Heinemann: London)

Even for many fans of ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’, this is like ‘questionable’ jump, from one plot theme to the unexpected next. Because, till 100 pages, the author doesn’t give us even a hint about racial preferences and thoughts of a grown-up Jean Louise Finch. And then there she is – in words that begin to weave something from 100th page.

The book also doesn’t delves into characterizing and developing who Jean Louise Finch is. Her preferences about life, her views about social issues including racial discrimination (including segregation and segregation itself) desire words and pages that Harper Lee has not given her.

‘Go Set A Watchman’ doesn’t explain her internal struggle on racism before we are suddenly thrust into the sudden transition of character’s thought process on the issue. The book needed to create a background here with personal memoirs and experiences – especially in terms of Scout’s life in New York – but Harper Lee probably left that to the readers.

The book explains well about Scout’s coming of age about her father but leaves much to be done on developing a character that is sensitive and make opinions but doesn’t fight.

To continue..

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

ELEMENTAL ELEMENTS OF ‘GO SET A WATCHMAN’

MY FIRST THOUGHTS ON ‘GO SET A WATCHMAN’

‘GO SET A WATCHMAN’ – GO, PLACE YOUR ORDER!

The book is not sequel to ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’. In fact, as reported, it was written prior to the publication of Harper Lee’s classic. Coming after 55 years of ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’, it needed some rework, but as Harper Lee had said she would never publish a book again, the lapses are tangible. But the rework on Jean Louise Finch as making her narrator and main protagonist is logically done here. It was logical to read the next story after ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ from her POV.

‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ was idealistic. ‘Go Set A Watchman’ is realistic. ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ came at a time when legal racial segregation was fighting last phase of its battle in America. The book added to the sentiments in stirring a nation’s conscience and Atticus Finch became a cultural symbol of anti-racial struggle in the US society. ‘Go Set A Watchman’ has come at a time when the US is seen largely anti-racist. Now is the time when people can look back in the past, as done from time to time, in movies, in books, to see how the people of South saw racial discrimination then.

The silent answer by Calpurnia (page 160) – when Jean Louise Finch asks her – is pensively and profoundly expressed by ‘bearing the burden of her years’. More than anything else, this sentence captures the essence of the theme the book is based on.

Character development of Henry Clinton is realistic, is according to the times prevalent in ‘then south’. He may sound submissive at times, but this he does for his love – and that is understood. And so is understood his logic when he justifies his and Atticus Finch joining Citizens’ Council meeting and their views on racial segregation – and his views of staying back and conforming to social norms of ‘then Maycomb’.

Transition of Jean Louise Finch characters, though, deserves more words, her meeting with reality of the day (and of the society) is logically explained in the book – ‘prejudice, a dirty word, and faith, a clean one, have something in common: they both begin where reason ends – ‘uncle Jack Finch’ tells Jean Louise (page 270-271). Irrespective of the word flow between Jean Louise and her uncle in chapter 18, the sentence essentially corresponds to the realization Jean Louise has – from Scout/Jean Louise’s faith in Atticus Finch that prejudices her thoughts to the extent that she starts looking at everything from her POV and Atticus becomes a repulsive figure in her life – to a POV that retains her faith in Atticus Finch, his father and a social man of Maycomb.

3

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

MY FIRST THOUGHTS ON ‘GO SET A WATCHMAN’

Till first 142 pages of the book, that I have finished so far..part III..chapter 8..100th page..

Well, for me, the book really begins with its 100th page when the element, being debated day in and day out, around the world, is introduced – that gives us first indication that Atticus Finch has ‘turned’ racial.

The book’s central protagonist is Jean Louise Finch or Scout Finch, daughter of Atticus Finch – and the book is basically about her struggle on these revelations – that her father, the man for all seasons in her life, and his best man whom she contemplates to get marry are ‘segregationists’ – with ‘segregation’ being an act on racial lines against the black people. The first 142 pages tell us so.

That is the crux of all expert analyses and reviews on the most awaited book of this century. But the book, till its 100th page, doesn’t indicate that this one is going to be the central plot. In my opinion, the book fills first 100 pages in telling us the plot elements that are so routine – especially when you read ‘Go Set A Watchman’ after reading and watching ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’.

There are pages in the book that I have read so far, 142 pages of it, that readers can scan and pass. Yes, a book requires pages to set its theme, to introduce the plot elements, but 100 pages for it are too long for a 278 page book the version that I have – or for any book. (William Heinemann: London)

Even for many fans of ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’, this is like ‘questionable’ jump, from one plot theme to the unexpected next. Because, till 100 pages, the author doesn’t give us even a hint about racial preferences and thoughts of a grown-up Jean Louise Finch.

And then there she is – in words that begin to weave something from 100th page.

For me the book begins there – at 100 page.

Let’s see what is in store with next 136 pages.

I have read and watched ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ – certainly a work of its own kind – a book and a movie on it that have become timeless classics – a work that is a historical event in awareness against racial profiling.

There will be many who have just watched the movie. There will be many more who know about the work but haven’t read the book or seen the movie. They, too, will be tempted to have the book based on intense reviews and word of mouth publicity around it.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

‘GO SET A WATCHMAN’ – GO, PLACE YOUR ORDER!

‘Go Set A Watchman’ is to hit stores today and since it is coming from a celebrated author of a masterpiece that is appreciated and loved globally, stories on its content and its release are flooding the spaces – readers’ thoughts and media analyses.

And what is adding to the aura of anticipation (and the controversy) is the long gap – some 55 years.
Harper Lee’s ‘Go Set A Watchman’ is reaching to its readers today. It is her second novel in her whole career and it comes after 55 years when ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ was published in 1960 – on July 11.

Reviews say the book is based on Jean Louise Finch/ Scout Finch, daughter of Atticus Finch. Reviews say fans of ‘Atticus Finch’ will find hard to accept a ‘racial Atticus Finch’ here. Reviews say many readers who love ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ will ignore this book. Reviews say the book is from a draft written in 1950s but discovered recently. Some reviews says even the third book is going come out. Some reviews also write about the literary cohesiveness of the work.

So, there is an intensive debate all around. And maximum words go for the character of Atticus Finch, the greatest American hero as voted by the American Film Institute. And Atticus has been chosen so for his character traits – anti-racial, humanely and straight family man.

Let’s see what some of the headlines say:

‘More complex than Harper Lee’s original classic, but less compelling’ – is what Mark Lawson writes in The Guardian. Gaby Wood in The Telegraph finds in ‘an anxious work in progress’. The Wall Street Journal’s Jeffrey A Trachtenberg says after reading many reviews that ‘this Atticus in Go Set A Watchman is no saint’. ABC News analysis comes to the conclusion that the upcoming books shows dark side of Atticus Finch. According to a piece on BBC’s website, the book reveals ‘Finch as a bigot’. Jay Parini on CNN categorizes the book ‘as a bombshell’.

Daniel D’Addario in Time finds the book and Finch’s character in it a ‘growing up’ experience. The Washington Post’s Natasha Trethewey writes about a ‘less noble Atticus Finch’. Daniel Arkin, while writing for NBC News, sees a possibility that the book ‘could irk kids named after Atticus Finch’. Matilda Battersby in The Independent suggests the changes ‘can be explained with the nature of Harper Lee’s father on whom the character of Atticus Finch is based’. Alexandra Alter in The New York Times takes a booking approach when she writes – ‘while some are shocked by ‘Go Set a Watchman,’ others find nuance in a bigoted Atticus Finch’.

And there are many more.

‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ is a timeless classic and its popularity was amplified globally by the movie of the same name based on it. The movie came within two years of the book – in 1962 – and the quick film adaptation took the appeal of the book even far and wide.

A raging debate on ‘racial’ Atticus Finch tells why ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ is a masterpiece. In fact the global appeal of Atticus Finch, outside America, owes largely to the film version of the movie and has become a cultural phenomenon with changing times – in times when racism in legally illegal.

I would be looking at ‘Go Set A Watchman’ as yet another work and would like to know the author more with character treatments here. For me, Atticus Finch of ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ is going to remain the same. And I believe it would be so for the majority. I didn’t read most of the reviews. Their headlines did the work for me – for what I was looking at.

‘Go Set A Watchman’ will be in stores today – and readers would like to have their own review.

After all – “best way to clear the air is to have it all out in the open”- as Atticus Finch says.

Reports say it could be the ‘fastest selling book on record’. A report in The Independent says pre-sale orders of the book have surpassed the final Harry Potter book.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

GUY FAWKES MASK: GUY FAWKES – FROM A TERRORIST TO AN ANTI-HERO

From a declared terrorist to a spontaneous anti-hero!

From a declared religious militant to a symbol of anti-establishment protests!

The imagery that lasted for centuries, some 370 years –long enough for system and people to go routine and indifferent to the reason with which it had started – after all, time wears off reasons, interpretations and relevance of any incident to customize it in the context of ‘now’ – has been made irrelevant in three decades.

The imagery that started taking birth in early 1980s with a character of a fictional world, has become the most adopted placard of anti-government and anti-system protests the world over in just three decades.

That tells us the power of communication and the media it rides.

Before the movie ‘V for Vendetta’ which had a wide release in 2006, Guy Fawkes was not known worldwide. Same thing can be said about his mask, or the mask designed in his name.

Even in Britain, the country of the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 and the country of Guy Fawkes, he was being forgotten, even if the plot had become synonymous with his name. People preferred Halloween over it and people preferred calling November 5 as Bonfire Night and not ‘Guy Fawkes Night’.

He was resurrected as an anarchist and an anti-hero in a comic book series, ‘V for Vendetta’ on a fictional dystopian Britain. The main protagonist of the fictional world, ‘V’, was dressed like Guy Fawkes wearing a Guy Fawkes mask. The series continued for several years. ‘V for Vendetta’ was also released as a graphical novel.

The 2006 movie epitomized the written work behind it. Though it had many changes from the source material, it can be said it took out Guy Fawkes and his mask out of Britain.

With the launch of the movie, the Guy Fawkes’ journey, from a terrorist to an anti-hero, was prepared for a global outreach. And it came in 2008 when the ‘hacktivist collective Anonymous’ adopted Guy Fawkes mask in its protests against the Church of Scientology. Since then, it is all over. Since then, the mask has been adopted as the protest symbol the world over. Its outreach is clear from the fact that it is banned in Middle East countries like Bahrain, UAE and Saudi Arabia. And it is also banned in Canada in ‘extreme circumstances’.

Films are a powerful medium to take an image to the global audience to change and build perceptions. The US has been doing it for years. And Guy Fawkes’ metamorphosis though the Guy Fawkes Mask once again reiterates it.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

Guy_Fawkes_Mask-Wikimedia CommonsImage courtesy: Guy Fawkes Mask – Wikimedia Commons