Archives and the Great Divide - Review of the Foreword.

Book Review Challenge # 2

In his Foreword to the book, Prof. Rudrangshu Mukherjee discusses the idea of the archive. He talks about the creation of an archive that is based on memory, stories, the violence of lost friends and relatives. It is an archive that is about lives lived and lost. All these together becomes the stuff of 'remembrance of things past’. 'Separation' and 'Uprooting' seems to be the two words that figure in the discussion on Partition. There are two types of archival documents. The first one is…

The title of the book is ‘Remnants of a Separation -A History of the Partition through Material Memory’. The preface is written by the author Aanchal Malhotra, and it discusses the following ideas,

  1. How was the research for the book done?
  2. The reasons behind writing this book.
  3. The journey or the revisitation to get the signature of the interviewees.

The research is centred around the objects or things that people carried across the border. The author interviewed men and women who were directly or indirectly affected by the Partition of the Indian subcontinent. The technical and historical name for the…

This note is prepared based on my understanding of the article, which appeared in The Washington Post on July 9th 2021. The article is written by Angela Haupt. She is a freelance writer and editor.

Angela has drawn the primary content from two books. The first book is Still Procrastinating? — The No Regrets Guide to Getting it Done. Joseph Ferrari, the author, says that 20 percent of adults are chronic procrastinators and procrastinating is not a trivial matter. The author doesn’t procrastinate, and his 107-page resume is a testimony to this fact. He has built a career around studying…

Reading Challenge # 14

Goodreads and The Graphic Novel.

Using the Goodreads app, we can track and record our reading habits. The app classifies books into three categories — Want to Read, Currently Reading and Read. As I was reading David Diop’s At Night All Blood is Black, I also read Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale: The Graphic Novel’. It is adapted by Renee Nault who is a Canadian comic artist & illustrator. Renee Nault is known for her vibrant watercolour-and-ink illustrations of mermaids and fantastical worlds. She is also a sought-after illustrator for fashion, books, magazines and newspapers such…

Reading Challenge # 13

The last few pages of the novel talk about the physical might of Alfa. Alfa is well built compared to Mademba, who is more of an intellectual who is good at studies. Alfa is a wrestler and knows how to use his agile body to win wrestling events. Alfa’s selection to the army was easily done, whereas Mademba was turned down in the first attempt. Alfa believes in the power of his body “my arms are heavier than I expected; they are full of suppressed power that feels like it could explode at any moment”. The…

My grandmother passed away this evening. Due to the pandemic, I am not in a position to travel. I am curled up in the bed of memories 😢

Reading Challenge # 12

Alfa Ndiaye in the rehabilitation centre or the ‘Rear’ is flooded with memories of his village and Fary Thiam. It dawned on him that Fary Thiam offered herself to him because she wanted him to be a man before he went to fight the war. Fary Thiam is pictured as a sensible woman because she understood very well that France and its army would take him from her. She knew that he would never return to Gandiol. She went against the ancestral law and her father Abdou Thiam, the village’s Chief. Alfa’s father never liked Abdou…

Another project from after-the memory space to augment the learning quotient. Work in Progress

Reading Challenge # 11

The following few chapters in the book ‘At Night All Blood is Black’ does not contain the horrid details of the war zone. Due to the excessive energy shown by Alfa, the Captain has asked him to occupy the ‘Rear’ (another word for the rehabilitation centre). He is confined to a hospital bed under the supervision of Dr Francois and his daughter Mademoiselle Francois who was a nurse. Alfa could sense that Mademoiselle Francois had a particular way of looking at him. “She said to me with her matching blue eyes that she found me very…

Reading Challenge # 10

David Diop’s novel is heavily interspersed with references to the African culture and tradition. In a way, through these references, the Senegalese origins of the author is celebrated. Alfa’s attacks on the German front in search of the ‘blue-eyed one’ is compared to the African mamba snake. “I slid like a snake along the side of the trench. I was invisible, and I slid, slid, slid as fast as I could to get myself right next to the enemy soldier” The Captain and the old Chocolat Croix de Guerre infantryman Ibrahima Seck wanted to know about…

Premjith Mathew

after-the memory space is an independent research project in memory studies. Instagram -@after_memoryspace

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