A Ved Mehta Reader The Craft of the Essay PDF/EPUB


2 thoughts on “A Ved Mehta Reader The Craft of the Essay

  1. says:

    Ved Mehta Indian born originally a Punjabi speaker Pomona College and Oxford University grad for many years a New Yorker writer gives physical descriptions of nearly everyone he meets or interviews in these eight essays One autumn day in 1959 as I was taking my intellectual promenade I met Bertrand Russell under a signboard reading Review RefusedHe looked slightly younger than Hare and was round faced and slightly tweedy; his appearance went with round rimmed glasses though he didn't have any glasses onNarayan who was fifty five had a sharp face with full lips a slightly hooked nose and a very impressive forehead capped with thinning gray haira lady in a red and blue plaid skirt and a blue sweater entered with a sprightly step carrying a tea tray on which were not only a teapot and its accessories but a bowl of soupAll over the floor are haphazard piles of papers and junk and in the middle of the room are two wooden tables At one table two men are bent over stacks of coins which they are counting aloudAt the second table sits a dark stocky man of medium height in a striped American T shirtSo it comes as a shock when on page 303 Mehta reveals meningitis had left me blind at the age of four A few pages later I had run out of the little Braille material I had brought to read Does he mean sort of blind? Otherwise a reader departs the book bewilderedThe book begins promisingly with an anecdote in which Mehta reads aloud to his Oxford tutor one of his essays about Anglo Saxons He uses the word motivation and the tutor immediately stops him Jargon is imprecise and encourages weak thought says the tutor A careful writer would use a word like 'impulse' I agree Even better would be a word of Anglo Saxon origin Impulse like motivation comes from LatinBut the first essay about Oxford philosophers immediately becomes bogged down in a tedious and labyrinthine discussion of a non review That is a new work of philosophy is not being reviewed by a particular journal and this agitates some philosophers and comforts others The discussion of the refusal to review goes on for 85 pages the whole essay is 65 ppThe most interesting essay was Pastor Bonhoeffer It too begins from an obliue angle as Mehta compares the theological ideas of Rudolf Bultmann and Karl Barth and goes to interview both men who are octogenarian and ailing so the interviews are brief It would have been nice if the interviews were longer Now we move on to Dietrich B Mehta uotes Paul Tillich who says Bonhoeffer's martyrdom has given him authority martyrdom always gives psychological authority but in fact he didn't live long enough for us to know what he thought Most of this 73 page essay is spent interviewing the two living people who knew Bonhoeffer best his best friend pastor Eberhard Bethge who married Bonhoeffer's niece and another pastor Wolf Dieter Zimmermann I don't remember him as a terribly good theologian in the sense that he was good at theory says Zimmermann Yet as theologians go he was normal than most He was a bit arrogant a bit intellectual a bit isolated and lonely a bit narcissistic He was the narcissistic type He looked in his own mirror There are some extended passages uoted from Bonhoeffer's worksTwo other essays are of moderate interest one on Gandhi's practice of brahmacharya or celibacy Gandhi married at 13 and became celibate twenty four years into his marriage at age 36 He had a huge sex drive and came to despise this in himself Gandhi would sleep next to women young women sometimes naked young women in order to prove to himself that he could resist all sexual impulses At times he would awake shivering and ask his sleeping attendant to hold him for five or ten minutes On occasion this raised an eyebrow or threeThe last essay details the lives of several golden boys at Oxford which did not end well These were good looking brilliant popular young men who committed suicide or patricide Somehow this theme delivers less than it promisesThe remaining essays are an interview of the writer RK Narayan a travelogue featuring Calcutta the tale of how Mehta became a naturalized American citizen and a dull as dishwater recounting of a wealthy American woman who became a benefactress to Mehta and his fatherFour stars because when the essays let you down it's because of the subject matter not the writing


  2. says:

    Ultimately discussing writing as Passion was the voice of reason


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A Ved Mehta Reader The Craft of the Essay Unsurpassed as a prose stylist Ved Mehta is an acknowledged master of the essay form In this book the first special collection of Mehta's outstanding writings the distinguished author demonstrates a wide range of possibilities available to the narrative and descriptive writer today Addressing subjects that range from religion to politics and on to education and writing with elouence and high style Mehta here offers a sampling of his works

  • Hardcover
  • 387 pages
  • A Ved Mehta Reader The Craft of the Essay
  • Ved Mehta
  • English
  • 03 June 2015
  • 9780300071894