Celebrating Restrained Irrationality

The protagonist in one of Max Shulman’s short stories is extremely proud of his precise thinking. The girl he desires is dumb and prior to proposing, he decides to woo her into an education of logical fallacies. The coaching continues for the next five evenings. On the sixth eve, she returns his advances by demonstrating […]

Transporting the Ineffable and Transmuting the Observable

Even the closest reading of a translation is indirectly effected by a tendency to pronounce invisibility of the translator. Any critical evaluation of a translation cannot possibly speak about its merits and shortcomings without repeatedly referring to the original narrative. Lens of a critic always focuses on an overlapping semantic space where authorial voice merges […]

Divinity of the Capsule Critic

Second to speculative philosophy, literary criticism is perhaps one of the most conflict ridden discipline of all theory. The conflicting claims are often paradoxical but the role of critic itself being a contentious thread of controversy is perhaps the most interesting paradox. After lot of circuitous rounds, the debate always boils down to a more […]

Random Encounters in the City (3): The Butcher

Slicing meat into small cubes, he was speaking to himself in undertones. We were facing him on the other side of the raised platform. Every other minute or so, he used to raise his chin, eyeball something in the air a little above our heads, twitch his lips, roll his simpering eyes and utter something […]

The Letters of Khizr

If it is possible to reduce him to a single tendency, Muhammad Khalid Akhtar comes out as a humanist in these Ghalibesque letters which are cheeky literary devices to say what wouldn’t have been possible otherwise on this scale. His scathing literary criticism, the atoxic irony, friendly affection, ethical humanism and amazing linguistic creativity make […]

Ten Random Pointers for Amateur Translators

Translation is a unique creative skills. Drawing analogy with painting, translation is not drawing from memory but sketching something already placed in front of you. It is reproduction finally taking its own independent ‘original’ form, yet not too distant from The Original. There is very little one-to-one correspondence in source and target languages. Do not […]