Tuesday, April 30, 2002

Why Must Everyone "Hate" On Arundhati Roy

I was going to wait to post on this until exams are over, but after seeing Andrew Sullivan's quite immature response to Ian Buruma's scathing review entitled "The Anti-American," of Roy's new publications "Power Politics," and "The Algebra of Infinite Justice," I had to comment immediately.

"Yes, it all comes to down to ressentiment. It's true in the Middle East as well. How must those failed Arab polities feel when they look at tiny little Israel, a country that started from scratch, is minuscule in comparison in population and land-mass, and yet has left all its Arab neighbors in the dust. Talk about humiliating. And what more familiar panacea for humiliation than envy and violence? It was ever thus, and ever will be. But it doesn't make it any more defensible. Or any less pathetic."

Sullivan suggests that Roy's prose is symbolic of her resentment towards the West. I cannot say that resentment was not part of her motivation, but is it unbearable, or out of the ordinary for a writer to want to present to the world an argument that is not being promoted or given the time of day in American media? While I am not imploring everyone to agree with her, I must say this, Arundhati Roy never ceases to amaze me. Whether it is her writing on nuclear tests, globalization, the U.S. war on terrorism, or even the carnage in Gujarat, her prose is encapsulating to say the least. Of course she offers no solutions, no remedy to the problems, but what she does do, what every good writer must do, is be persuasive and eloquent in his/her arguments, and she does accomplish that task quite brilliantly.

Here is a link to another "hater," Amrit Dhillon's peace from The Spectator entitled "Dam Hypocrite"

I have a lot more to say on this, but alas, exams are calling.


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