Underappreciated stateside despite critical acclaim, Jeet Thayil’s Narcopolis hooked me from the very first sentence—a seven page sidewinder reminiscent of the book-length paragraph in Bolaño’s By Night in Chile. From there, the book traces the simultaneously seething and sedated underworld of Bombay/Mumbai through a series of unplotted, vignette-like sections each ending in pitch-perfect cadence. Sprinkled with occasional violence and ruminations on art and addiction, poverty and privilege, this poet’s novel is narrated with immense sympathy.
I recently came across Directors Notes, a Brighton, UK-based blog and podcast that features the "What, How & Why of Independent Filmmaking." DN's Vimeo channel showcases a multitude of beautifully shot, illustrated, and produced art films from around the world. Though I could link to dozens of interesting and visually appealing films from their channel, I'll include just one that particularly caught my attention: "grapheme" by German visual artist and filmmaker Robert Seidel. The above clip is a documentation of Seidel's permanent video installation at the Museum Wiesbaden. While the video excellently displays the creativity, delicacy, and intricacy of Seidel's stunning piece, the prospect of seeing it in person may very well merit a trip to southwest Germany...
An interesting reflection on contemporary African literature and why we shouldn’t think of it all as “national allegory,” as well as on the health of the African publishing industry.