For all of you who are particpating in Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-thon this Saturday (28th July):
There has been a dry spell for book related posts, so I'll just throw in a list of my recent acquisitions:
- Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman by Alice Steinbach
I guess in a way, this is the direction I am heading for: a journey, done independently. To find out for myself, by myself, who am I. We are often defined in relation to others - daughter, mother, friend, co-worker. If we take those relationship away, who are we?
- The Diary of a Country Priest by Georges Bernanos [Translated by Rémy Rougeau]
- Mouchette by Georges Bernanos [Translated by J.C. Whitehouse]
Two novels by Georges Bernanos, yes. In one of the more disreputable introductions to a book, I first became aware of Georges Bernanos through Robert Bresson's film adaptation of The Diary of a Country Priest.His country priest seems like a self-doubting loser - thwarted at every corner, unhappy, unloved, lonely. His only consolation seems to be writing in his cahier. Bresson put great care into the scenes of writing, as nib meets paper and ink runs over the pages. It was a captivating film, one I could watch over and over again.
Georges Bernanos seems to be an inspiration to Bresson, as the filmmaker also adapted Mouchette, which NYRB has wonderfully published. You can't go wrong with NYRB.
- The Invention of Morel by Adolfo Bioy Casares [Translated by Ruth L.C. Simms]
I first read about Casares from Alberto Manguel's A Reader's Diary (a book that might have influenced the creation of this blog!) Manguel was full of praise for Casares's imaginative prose. The recent write-up on Boldtype reminded me to pick it up. Who knows, I might just bring it over to Dubai.
I'm still on the prowl for a digital camera, so this should be on my list of "Things To Do" this weekend.
But this Saturday evening has been reserved for the Anoushka Shankar concert.
Beatles fans would probably be familiar with Ravi Shankar, the great sitar master who taught George Harrison how to play the instrument. Ravi became known to the West during the '60s, when he played at Woodstock and the Monterey festival and collaborated with the Beatles.
Anoushka Shankar is Ravi Shankar's daughter - a musical pedigree, of a sort. She started learning how to play the sitar when she was 9, and by 13, she was performing by her father's side.
Anoushka Shankar's repertoire is rooted in India's rich tradition, but also influenced by the music of the West. This is all thanks to an upbringing in London, New Delhi and California spent listening to artists such as Sting and Tori Amos.
"People tend to find a big difference between me and other Indian musicians," she says. "I have fun on stage. I like to groove."
Do we call it fusion? Or perhaps Anoushka is just the current generation of musicians and artistes who knows boundaries are nothing but a state of mind.
Here are some Youtube videos if you are interested in checking out her music.
Anoushka Shankar performing at the San Francisco Stern Grove:
Anoushka Shankar performed live sitar solo as the opening number at the "Concert For George " (2003):
Ravi and Anoushka Shankar performing together: