Реферат: Review Real Time By Amit Chaudhuri Essay

Review: Real Time By Amit Chaudhuri Essay, Research Paper

God is in the detailsReal Timeby Amit Chaudhuri184pp, PicadorOn page 33, I came across what I reckon to be the first (only?) misplaced word in Amit Chaudhuri’s brilliant collection of short stories. “He shoved the trunk carefully beneath the bed…” Can one shove carefully, and even assuming it is not an oxymoron, is the adverb required? Probably not.That – I mean the shock – is, I suppose, as good a measure as any of the precision of Chaudhuri’s writing: his ability to conjure up a world out of accumulated, seemingly insignificant but in fact artfully chosen detail. Description is not “done”, it is woven into the fabric of the story. Just as in actual experience, there is a sporadic registering of surroundings, rather than a deliberate authorial effort to pin them down. When the boys are practising disco-dancing on the playing field, in “Four Days Before the Saturday Night Social”, a short, sharp evocation of the sunlight in the background “bouncing and glancing off one hospital window to the next” is as much as we need to know about the visual setting, and is exactly the selective way a boy might take in his surroundings, as he whiled away a hot afternoon outdoors with friends.Similarly, when Jagan is shown to his room in “The Man From Khurda District”, a simple, Hemingwayesque sentence – “It was a small bare room with sunlight coming through the window and it had a narrow bed” – does enough to put us right in the room for the short time the author needs us to be there.It seems a banal point – the quotes themselves may likewise seem rather ordinary – but then that is the nub of it. I dare say Chekhov would not have minded being called a master of the banal. And here, as with Chekhov or Hemingway, the reader not only accepts but relishes the economy, because he or she has already been won over by other deft and graceful aspects of the author’s style – not least a sure touch with simile, and an unerring instinct for how many words a sentence or clause will bear: “…on her way she would stop at the gate of the strange, new, huge Marwari House, which looked something between a castle and an aeroplane, and talk to the watchman, whom she seemed to know.”This sentence, to my ear, has a lovely rhythm – it goes just as far out on a syntactical limb as it is possible to go without the limb snapping, and the repeated identification of such stylistic feats is itself a source of pleasure to the reader. A virtuous circle is thus established which is an essential aspect of short-story writing, particularly when not much, if anything, may be said to be “happening”.Against these vivid visual backgrounds are placed an astonishingly varied galaxy of characters, many of them caught in a more or less difficult, if not sad, existence. The stories are composed consciously in the minor key, without the constant slight undercurrent of gloom ever seeming obsessive, or perverse. It is a life, a world, of repeated disappointment. Thus mastermoshai, the faintly ridiculous would-be literato who rather loftily takes the young poet narrator under his wing in “Portrait of an Artist”, ends up selling cooking oil; Gautam is obviously heading for disaster at the school hop in “Four Days”; and Bishu loses his job at the end of “The Man from Khurda District”.It is this quiet acceptance of the inevitability of disappointment, and a corresponding quiet refusal on the part of the characters quite to give in to it, that makes Real Time such a civilised collection, not to mention an immensely enjoyable read.· Ranjit Bolt is a translator and the author of the verse novel Losing It (John Murray)

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