Essential Writings: Review


This is the fourth book in OUP's "Essential Writings" series that I happen to be revieweing. The first three were on Mahatma Gandhi, Subhash Chandra Bose, and Sri Auorbindo, respectively. It certainly looks as if the series is shaping up well, despite the inevitable unevenness in editorial inputs and quality.
In the present book, for instance, the Introduction doesn't flow very well. Not only is the style choppy, but some of the paragraphs lack any sense of development or coherence. Here's an example:
Yet for many the threat to the Hindu way was greater under
the new "de facto sarkar" (ruler) than under the "ancien"
"regime". Muslims settled in India; the English only
...

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transition that will link the two? Also, the paragraph itself, obviously, is somewhat compressed; the author has not bothered to spell out his thesis clearly. There is a certain degree of editorial sloppiness too. For example, ""de facto", ""sarkar"," "ancien regime"" are all italicised, but not ""shastric"." The meaning of ""sarkar"" is explained within parenthesis immediately after the word, but since the preceding two words have also been italicised, this device is more confusing than enlightening; moreover, other native words, which are sprinkled liberally throughout, whether italicised or not, are not explained. The citation after the last sentence is, similarly, unclear. It is only later that one figures out that "IV, 20" stands for item no. 20 in Part IV of this very anthology. The first sentence of the next paragraph is similarly rather abrupt--"When Persian ceased to be the medium of exchange, Rammohan switched to English"-- without any bearing on the content of ...

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Added: 1/22/2007 02:45:26 AM
Category: Book Reports
Type: Free Paper
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