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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Holmes, Harry Potter, and forgetting

Against the background of avidly watching the new Sherlock season episode by episode, and agreeing to like or dislike this or that facet of the show and plot, my daughter and I fell to wondering how in this fast and frenetic age, so many people still cling with such strong nostalgia to the undying saga of the world's most famous fictional detective. So much has changed that Holmes' London, nay the whole world, is well-nigh unrecognizable to us, yet we keep harking back fondly to the old happy memories, and every new attempt to alter, redesign, modernize the stories draws literally tens of millions of people the world over still, all eager to criticize, but unable to stay away. If you don't envy Conan Doyle, whom would you rather envy?

From that, quite naturally, we went on to ask each other whether we could expect the same sort of thing to happen to other, later great stories, such as the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. Perhaps not, we agreed sadly, and the fault would not be the writers'. It is a truly sad age we live in, despite all the surface progress and prosperity and glitz: people are poor as never before. Because things keep happening so fast and fade from the collective memory so soon that we can hardly hope to leave anything in the line of a heritage behind for our own older selves, leave alone for posterity. So that the economy can keep moving, and things keep getting sold, and people of the most superficial kind keep being entertained, we have made a world where nothing stays, because nothing really matters, there is nothing that we truly care for any more -- not even ourselves and our memories.

Think about it. I don't feel like carrying on now. Perhaps I shall come back to this post in a few days' time. Meanwhile, do look up this post in my other blog.


Diptokirti Samajdar said...

Hello Sir,

I wonder whether you have had the leisure to browse through some of G.R.R. Martin's works. I have in mind his saga, 'A Song of Ice and Fire' and also the TV series, 'Game of Thrones'. In case you haven't, I would like to comment that while this author does not engage with classical traditions in the same way or extent that Mrs. Rowling and Tolkien have, the scope and nuance of his imagination are simply fascinating. In case you decide to give this a go, I'd strongly recommend you peruse the books before you watch the series. The series is quite the treat in itself, however I cannot help presume that the despair and grit that the author portrays so well might be savoured more in the course of watching the series if you have read the books already. The books unfortunately are quite lengthy and many of my acquaintances have treated my 'still' reading such books as somewhat juvenile etc. but I find them incredibly informed and incisive about life in general.
It would be nice if you wrote more Bangla.

I heard this recently and quite like it, do give it a listen.

Yours Sincerely,

Sayan Shourya Muhuri said...

Dear sir,

I am Sayan Shourya Muhuri from class 9 , batch 2 . In the post 'That fleeting butterfly , happiness' you had written , 'I am happy that poverty has visibly reduced in this country: I rarely see the kind of hungry people in rags that I saw everywhere in my childhood.' but in this post you mentioned that people are poor as never before . Kindly tell me what you meant by that .

Yours Sincerely,

Suvro Chatterjee said...

Surely those of us who read Wordsworth's Daffodils together, and noted what he meant by 'wealth', shouldn't have their intelligence insulted by needing to be explained what I meant by 'poor', Sayan?