peteg's blog - noise - books - 2016 05 01 Mishra TheRomantics

Pankaj Mishra: The Romantics

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Kindle. I've been meaning to read this one for ages, just to see if Mishra makes more sense in transparently fictional form. This one is overstuffed with too many underdrawn characters, and amounts to little more than East meets West in the East, which thereby opens up the East to the East. Set in Benares, sacred city of the Hindus, and fascinated by the Himalayas, the chief worry is that Mishra is really just engaging in autobiography and fantasy. The idea that we live between illusion and the void may have been news to Rushdie. There are also far too many references to Continental literature for the whole enterprise to grab me.

Akash Kapur tries to talk it up.