About

Hello. My name is Himadri, and I’m an argumentative old git.

Well, no, I’m not really – but it’s best to be self-deprecating before someone else deprecates you.

I started this blog in February 2010, a few days after I turned 50, not really knowing what direction it would take. I had a vague idea of writing about books, and sharing my views and opinions on literary matters. And maybe a few other matters as well. And have occasional intemperate rants about things I feel strongly about. What I think I was hoping for was a sort of literary cyber-café, where like-minded people can drop in and discuss literature.

I can, I realise, be opinionated at times, but I do think it a mark of civilised discourse that one may disagree without being disagreeble. Even on the internet!

As for other matters, I am Indian by birth, English by residence, and Scottish by upbringing; I am, by profession, an operational research analyst; I live near London with my wife, one boy who is a college student, and one girl who hopes shortly to be one also; and what little spare time I have is taken up with reading, listening to classical music, boozing, conversing in convivial company, and, lately, indulging my logorrhoea on this blog.

Please feel free to join in. I look forward to hearing from you.

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34 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Lisa on May 4, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    Himadri,

    I love your blog! Keep writing!

    Reply

  2. Posted by Kat on November 10, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    I loved your comparative critique of Great Expectations and L’Education Sentimentale. You are a very gifted and insightful writer yourself.

    Reply

    • Thank you very much, Kat, that is very kind of you: that’s certainly the best notice I’ve had yet!

      I love both Great Expectations and L’Education Sentimentale immensely, and just being able to think and to write about them is a privilege. That anyone actually enjoys reading what I write is a bonus!

      Cheers, Himadri

      Reply

  3. Hello Himadri – I just want to say I love your blog. You have a great style and I really like your reading choices. I have been reading though some of your older posts. I particularly like your commentary on the Shakespeare plays.

    Reply

    • Hello Brian, thank you for your kind words, & welcome to this board.

      This blog really started because, to commemorate my 50th year some time back, I decided to read through all the Shakespeare plays, in the order – as far as we may ascertain – in which they may have been written. And as I was oing so, I was making my own notes. Once I had finished my project, I thought it might be a good idea to polish those notes up a bit and put them up somewhere on the net. And since then, it has grown.

      I am not sure which direction this blog will take. I’ve recently been finding it difficult to find the time to write the kind of post I want to write, so I may well slow down a bit. But it’s good, I think, to be able to communicate with like-minded literary enthusiasts!

      All the best,
      Himadri

      Reply

  4. I wanted to let you know that I nominated you for The Reader Appreciation Award!

    There’s no obligation to accept (I just wanted to tell my readers about your great blog) but if you want to pass it on just follow the what I did on my post or google the award.

    http://readinginterrupted.com/2012/08/19/reader-appreciation/

    Reply

  5. Hello Himadri,
    Thanks for visiting my blog and for joining us for the “Dickens in December” event.

    Reply

  6. I am greatly enjoying your blog! And your writingI can’t recall how I got here, I guess the ghost stories post, but I’m glad I did. I also believe that it’s the irrational fear that gets you to enjoy a ghost story, in the appropriate ambiance as well. The New Yorker had an article about MR James: http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/books/2012/02/13/120213crbo_books_lane

    Best of luck,

    Reply

    • Hello Nino, and thank you very much for your kind words. Like most bloggers, I guess, I write pretty much for myself, and the very thought that it is read & enjoyed by others I find quite thrilling.

      I’ll certainly have a look through your blog, and also at the link on M. R. James.

      Best wishes, Himadri

      Reply

  7. Posted by Roberta Rood on March 11, 2013 at 1:50 am

    Hi, Himadri. I greatly admire the breadth and depth of your intellect – and your sense of humor as well! I think you’ll be interested in the post I just completed:
    http://robertarood.wordpress.com/2013/03/11/what-do-parsifal-and-the-turn-of-the-screw-have-in-common/
    Thanks for your wonderful blog, and best wishes.

    Reply

    • Hello Roberta, and thank you for your kind words, although I’m afraid my intellect – what little is left of it after so many years – isn’t much to boast about!

      I have been a bit tied up yesterday (hence the lateness of this response) but I did manage to have a quick read of your post on Parsifal and The Turn of the Screw – two works which, I must admit I had never considered together. I do wonder, though, whether Edmund Wilson was entirely justified in thinking sex as a “blind spot” of James’: could it not, I wonder, be argued that it was a subject that James felt had to be addressed obliquely, as a direct approach robs the subject of its many nuances? But whatever the case, underneath James’ gentility, which may often strike the reader as merely precious, there lurk quite shocking levels of sordidness!

      I’ll look through your blog at greater leisure over the next few days.
      Best wishes, Himadri

      Reply

  8. Hi Himadri,
    I nominated your blog for an award (at The Word Weaver, aweaverofwords.wordpress.com), as a thank you and a token of my appreciation for your work. It’s all in good fun and I hope you decide to accept it. Best wishes, Nina.

    Reply

    • Hello Nina, thank you very much for your kind words. I do love writing on this blog, although there are certain times (like now) when other more pressing demands on my time means I have little to spare or this. But hopefully, I should be back on track after Easter!

      It is, of course, lovely to be nominated for awards, and I’m vain enough to feel flattered by it! So of course I’d be happy to accept. But that there are people out there happy to read my ramblings continues both to delight and to surprise me in equal measure!

      All the best,
      Himadri

      Reply

  9. Posted by Roberta Rood on March 29, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    Congratulations, Himadri! A well deserved accolade.

    Roberta

    Reply

  10. Posted by Erika W. on May 12, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    I was browsing around your site, having read the latest with much interest. But…with regards to your photograph, am I perverse? It looks as if you are examining a very small mouse found in your dinner–I can even see its tail…

    Sorry… Erika W.

    Reply

    • :)

      Now that you mention it, it does look like a mouse’s tail falling into my wine glass, doesn’t it? Was I turning into Lennie from “Of Mice and Men”? I am a bit zoophobic in this respect, and really don’t like the idea even of touching small furry creatures…

      I chose this picture because I thought it showed me in a suitably argumentative pose. I think what looks like the mouse’s tail is really the left cuff of my jacket refracted through the glass. But every time I see the picture now, I’ll be seeing it as a mouse’s tail! :)

      Reply

      • Posted by Erika W. on May 13, 2013 at 8:37 am

        How very nice of you to reply to my piece of silliness. You do look as if you are in the middle of an interesting conversation, or argument of course.

        My very best wishes and please keep your entries coming.

  11. Hi Himadri,

    I wanted to let you know that I’ve nominated you for a Liebster Award – a token of my appreciation and enjoyment of your wonderful blog. There is absolutely no obligation to participate, so please accept it as an honorary Liebster Award if you’d prefer…

    However, should you wish to throw yourself completely into the Liebster pond – the details are here:

    http://bookishnature.wordpress.com/2013/07/11/another-day-liebster-award-part-2/

    All the very best,

    Melanie

    Reply

    • Hello Melanie,

      Thank you very much for this! I have had a look at the eleven questions you’ve set – as well as your answers to the eleven questions you were asked – and it would be great fun answering these!

      Cheers for now, Himadri

      Reply

  12. I have just found out about your blog through A Celebration of Reading. I’ve read only two posts so far but (as you know) it was more than enough to click the ‘follow’ button. I am very much looking forward to reading the entire archive. Hearty greetings..

    Reply

  13. Posted by Dhanya on November 13, 2013 at 4:36 am

    Hello Himadri,
    A nice blog, quite informative and intellectual. I really loved your blog. I’m writing with full appreciation and happiness in finding your blog and reading through it.

    Reply

  14. 12 February again, H.

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY! :)

    Reply

    • Ah – thank you Eric! I am feeling suitably old and decrepit! However, celebrations are muted. We live quite close to the River Thames, and the river has burst its banks, causing floods.

      Now, I know that the net is an international thing: this blog regularly gets readers from the Philippines, for instance, and, by the standards of the Philippines, what has been happening here can barely be called floods at all. Indeed, given the horrific devastation caused by the floods in the Philippines quite recently, it is almost insulting to use the same term for what has been happening here. Nonetheless, there is flood water all around us just now, and twenty yards down out street it is looking like Venice. Except it’s not as beautiful as Venice, obviously: the architecture is definitely of the British Suburban School rather than Renaissance.

      So I have been trying to safeguard our house as best I can against the encroaching waters. And yesterday evening, I kept off the booze: it’s best not to drink when there are waters around.

      But anyway – I’ve done all that can be done, and it’s in the hands of the gods now, as they say. If all ends well, I’ll have a few drinks to make up for my very sober birthday last night!

      All the best, Himadri

      Reply

  15. Stay dry, H.

    As you know I have many friends in the U.K. from my Internet wanderings. I’ve been watching the situation there unfold over the last few weeks. Mother Nature can be a bitch sometimes; as many of us in Florida, the Philippines, the U.K., and the Northeastern U.S. occasionally find.

    Stay healthy, dry, warm, and safe. You must continue to age in order to live up to you “old git” moniker. ;)

    Cheers!

    ~Eric

    Reply

  16. Posted by Roberta Rood on February 20, 2014 at 2:46 am

    Himadri, I am so glad that you and your family escaped the ravages of the floods. I feel bad for Britain, my spiritual home. I know others there are suffering from this terrible weather. As for us here in Maryland, USA, we’re merely buried in snow and freezing!!
    Best, Roberta

    Reply

    • Thank you very much fr that: we feel very lucky to have escaped, but, of course, compared to what happened, say, in the Philippines recently, what happened here barely count as floods at all. But the good news is … My books are all safe! :-)

      I ave, of course, been seeing the reports about the big freeze in North America, and have been getting some detailed reports from a Canadian friend. Meanwhile, in Australia, the heat s burning everyone up. I honestly don’t know if these are consequences of global warming, but weather conditions around the world seem extreme right now. It’s all very worrying.

      All the best for now,
      Himadri

      Reply

  17. Hello Himandri,

    I suppose you are not interested in blog awards but, nevertheless, I wish to let you know I’ve nominated you for the Liebster (http://inkstainsonareadersblog.wordpress.com/2014/05/31/liebster-award/).
    Actually, this is an opportunity to say yours is my favorite blog. I particularly admire the reader you are, but the writing is just as impressive and inspiring.

    Looking forward to your next post..

    All the best,
    Anna

    Reply

  18. Posted by Starlett on July 3, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    I stumbled upon your blog quite by accident (looking up reviews of Ibsen’s Master Builder — a new Jonathan Demme, Wallace Shawn, Andre Gregory version coming out this month). I am not a big internet fan; I don’t spend hours trolling the web for blogs. BUT … I am totally enthralled both by your insight and by your effortless style. What a pleasure! I’ll be back for more … despite my Luddite ways!

    Best
    Starlett

    Reply

    • Hello Startlett, and thank you very much for your kind words, both here and in teh Comments section of my post on Ibsen. I try to post fairly regularly, and it would be fair to say that the quality of the posts is variable, to say the least. Many, when I look back on them, make me squirm – especially the earlier ones.

      The internet is a strange thing. There is no shortage of utter rubbish, but there is also much that is both thoughtful and articulate. Since starting this blog, I have come into contact with several other book bloggers whose writing I find myself admiring, so it is possibly worth hunting around a bit.

      But I do hope you enjoy looking around here, and I hope to be hearing from you soon in the comments section!

      All the best, Himadri

      Reply

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