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Hari Kunzru

Teoksen The Impressionist tekijä

22+ teosta 4,380 jäsentä 156 arvostelua 14 Favorited

Tietoja tekijästä

Born in London and raised in Essex, Hari Kunzru is a freelance journalist and editor living in London.

Sisältää nimet: Kunzru Hari, Hari Kunzri

Tekijän teokset

The Impressionist (2002) 1,372 kappaletta
Transmission (2004) 770 kappaletta
White Tears (2017) 711 kappaletta
Gods Without Men (2011) 566 kappaletta
My Revolutions (2007) — Tekijä — 470 kappaletta
Red Pill (2020) 333 kappaletta
Noise (1600) 99 kappaletta
Memory Palace (1800) 32 kappaletta
Blue Ruin (2024) 9 kappaletta
One For the Trouble 2 kappaletta
Paul Noble: Dot to Dot. (2007) 2 kappaletta
Virus (2006) 1 kappale

Associated Works

Hankalaa olla jumala (1964) — Esipuhe, eräät painokset1,010 kappaletta
The Book of Other People (2008) — Avustaja — 741 kappaletta
We Who Are About To . . . (1975) — Johdanto, eräät painokset580 kappaletta
The Long Winter (1962) — Johdanto, eräät painokset303 kappaletta
Granta 81: Best of Young British Novelists 2003 (2003) — Avustaja — 273 kappaletta
The David Foster Wallace Reader (2014) — Jälkisanat, eräät painokset233 kappaletta
Granta 112: Pakistan (2010) — Avustaja — 172 kappaletta
Four Letter Word: New Love Letters (2007) — Avustaja — 136 kappaletta
Kingdom of Olives and Ash: Writers Confront the Occupation (2017) — Avustaja — 122 kappaletta
Moses Ascending (1656) — Johdanto, eräät painokset98 kappaletta
Granta 125: After the War (2013) — Avustaja — 82 kappaletta
Ox-Tales: Water (2009) — Avustaja — 70 kappaletta
2011 Pushcart Prize XXXV: Best of the Small Presses (2010) — Avustaja — 39 kappaletta
Alien Zones: Roadside Picnic / Hard to Be a God (2014) — Esipuhe, eräät painokset13 kappaletta
Athena Magazine (2015) — Toimittaja, eräät painokset1 kappale

Merkitty avainsanalla


Virallinen nimi
Kunzru, Hari Mohan Nath
Maa (karttaa varten)
London, England, UK
Essex, England, UK
London, England, UK
Bancroft's School
University of Oxford (Wadham College)
University of Warwick (MA - Philosophy and Literature)
English PEN
Palkinnot ja kunnianosoitukset
British Book Award (deciBel Writer of the Year, 2005)
Granta's Best of Young British novelists (2003)
Observer Young Travel Writer of the Year (1999)
Lyhyt elämäkerta
Hari Kunzru, né en 1969 d'une mère anglaise et d'un père indien, vit à Londres. Son premier roman, L'Illusionniste (Pion, 2003), couronné par le prix Somerset Maugham, l'a placé parmi les vingt meilleurs jeunes écrivains de l'année 2003, liste établie par la prestigieuse revue Granta.



Irving Kristol once semi-famously said that a neoconservative is a liberal mugged by reality. In Kunzru's Red Pill, the narrator is a liberal mugged by existential crisis, and the reader has to wonder if he's found any better answer to the challenge than Kristol's unfortunate liberal.

The narrator's crisis is essentially a crisis of Enlightenment and liberal values. On the one hand they are assailed by new knowledge in fields like neurochemistry, which argue that humans are nothing but neurons and chemical impulses. Just bits of matter, protons and electrons. If this is so, what gives humans any particular value? "Why do you believe in human rights?" the narrator urgently asks his wife, a human rights lawyer, at one point. "Isn't it just a fiction, though? Just something we tell ourselves? If we still believed in the soul, maybe." Her answer, "We're human. That's enough" is not close to enough.

On the other hand is something old and ancient: the human will to power, and the irrationality and bloodshed that marks human history. The narrator sees the rising again of an irrational tide that threatens the placid and rational reality everyone around him believes they are living in. This is specifically embodied by the rise of the alt-right in politics, which the narrator becomes obsessed with, though it's only a part of what he fears:
This was a problem between us, Rei's faith in the democratic process, in the Democratic Party, in the essential reasonableness of the world. To me, the presidential election later that year was only a small part of what I feared. The shift was bigger... I saw nothing reasonable about what was coming. Nothing reasonable at all.

When the narrator runs into Anton, a fictionalized Steve Bannon, at a party of the rich and famous he's invited to by some acquaintances, he comes to believe he can resolve his crisis and save humanity and his family by defeating Anton in a final showdown that he is mysteriously being led to. Kunzru's hallucinatory digression mirrors what he did in his previous novel White Tears, though it feels more coherent here.

Our narrator's mental breakdown is brought to a sort of conclusion, however, not by a confrontation with Anton but by a stay in a mental hospital. Upon his release back to his family and social circle, which carries on in its "end of history" style complacency and incomprehension of his crisis, he sees a therapist and works to say the right things, but she is like everyone else with an unjustified faith in the victory of human rationality, and he tries to just shove down his worries.

The philosophy of Joseph de Maistre occupies a central role in the novel. Maistre, who was active in the time immediately following the French Revolution, believed that an evil in the world led to a never-ending procession of human bloodshed and violence, and that a rational attempt at government inevitably lead to unresolvable disagreement and competing claims of illegitimacy, giving rise to violence and chaos. Anton superficially adopts Maistre's philosophy, while the narrator is deeply disturbed by it.

To escape what he saw as the bleakness of the human condition, Maistre believed in God and a divinely ordered ultimate plan of redemption (a part of his philosophy Anton ignores). The narrator doesn't have access to this relief however; when Anton asks him if he's a Christian, admitting that Christianity does present a legitimate objection to his power obsessed worldview, he says no (modern scientific materialism has taken care of that, after all), marking himself as a "typical liberal" in Anton's eyes.

Kunzru doesn't end up offering the narrator much, in my opinion, in compensation with which to counter the existential darkness he faces. "It's not much, but I can say that the most precious part of me isn't my individuality, my luxurious personhood, but the web of reciprocity in which I live my life... Alone, we are food for the wolves. That's how they want us. Isolated. Prey. So we must find each other. We must remember that we do not exist alone", Kunzru writes in the novel's conclusion.

So, community and meaningful relationships. But the narrator had that at the start of the novel. It wasn't enough to answer.
… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
lelandleslie | 14 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Feb 24, 2024 |
Supernaturalism and blues music go together like neon lights and strip clubs. Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil, after all, and the exact details of much of both are murky, dark, and a touch exotic. So a novel about a dead bluesman whose personal history is exceedingly hazy reaching out from the past is not so surprising; nor, separately, is making it into a very contemporary horror genre story that feels exactly of this moment, reckoning with America’s deeply racist past and how that reality continues to shape how things are today.

Unfortunately the story gets too far gone in its hallucinatory melange of past and present and strays over the line into incoherentness, but an interesting failure at least has the interesting part going for it.
… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
lelandleslie | 46 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Feb 24, 2024 |
There's something about big ol' rocks and pagan/mystical beliefs. Stonehenge. Uluru. And in anchoring Kunzru's novel, the trinitarian Pinnacle Rocks arising out of the Californian desert. The native population believed it was where the land of the living and the land of the dead met and were woven together. It was where an exploring Spanish friar was tempted by the devil. It was the base of a 1950s UFO cult and 1970s countercultural commune. It is where a "glowing boy" pops up through the decades.

Kunzru weaves the novel together using strands of story taken from different decades and centuries. We jump from 2008 to 1920 to 1971 to 1775. The largest piece of the action occurs in 2008. Jaz and Lisa Matharu are passing through on a vacation with their 4 year old autistic son Raj. On a trip to Pinnacle Rocks, Raj inexplicably disappears. A media circus descends on the parents. Months later Raj reappears in the desert, equally inexplicably, in the middle of a nearby secure Marine base. Or does he? When first seen he is described as the "glowing boy" who has appeared throughout decades. And Jaz is certain that the boy who has come back is not Raj, but "something wearing his skin".

This appears to allude to the changeling myth, as seen in novels like Keith Donohue's The Stolen Child. Lisa, for her part, thinks Jaz has gone insane. Unlike in Donohue's novel, Kunzru does not say a substitution has been made for certain. It is suggested, and would be in keeping with the coyote theme that is part of the local native mythology and which is woven through the novel (Coyote, that trickster figure that straddles the worlds of the living and the dead), but no more.

This brings up similarities to the film Picnic at Hanging Rock, where a group of Australian schoolgirls go out to a large rock formation on the outskirts of modern civilization. In the midst of strong tones of paganism and mysticism in connection to the rocks, several of the girls climb up them and are never seen again. The mystery of what happened to them is never solved. So here, the mystery of what happened to Raj Matharu is not resolved.

Most everyone in this novel could be termed an outsider or on the fringe. Jaz is from a rural Punjabi family, trying to fit in. Lisa is Jewish. Their son is autistic. Other contemporary characters include a disillusioned British rock star escaping from LA and a teenaged Iraqi girl sent to live with relatives in California after her intellectual father is murdered in the civil war there. A little further back are the Ashtar Galactic Command, talking about communicating with extraterrestrial intelligences and later moving into countercultural drug running. Further back is the Spanish priest, exploring the New World. And of course The People themselves, turned into outsiders in what used to be their land.

So we have a novel of people who largely don't fit in with their surroundings, connected to each other through this physical place that seems to exist outside the boundaries of its own surroundings. If it ends in a confused tangle of uncertain realities, well, that shouldn't be entirely unexpected.

Near the end of the novel, writing as Lisa's character, Kunzru indeed tells us to abandon our need for certain answers:
The problem with modern people - one of the problems - was that they'd forgotten how to be humble... They looked so ugly to her, all the morning people, because when Raj went missing she'd seen the flip side of the self-assurance: the outrage when something unknowable reared up before them, not just unknown for now, because they or their designated expert had yet to enquire into the matter, had yet to Google the search term or send the e-mail or write the check for the correct amount to the relevant company or government department, but unknowable in principle, inaccessible to human comprehension. Their fear made them dangerous - murderous even - for in their blind panic they'd turn on whoever they could find as a scapegoat, would tear them into pieces to preserve this cherished fiction, the fiction of the essential comprehensibility of the world.

You don't know what happened here, Kunzru tells us. And that's as it is supposed to be.
… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
lelandleslie | 23 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Feb 24, 2024 |
Fast-paced, multi-threaded story, centering around an Indian programmer, and his experiences trying to establish himself in a harsh and competitive employment environment, and the resultant streetcar-out-of-control. Would have liked more on the actual practice of programming, and at least one of the plot-threads seemed a little extraneous. But still, very enjoyable, well written, etc.
Merkitty asiattomaksi
thisisstephenbetts | 24 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Nov 25, 2023 |



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