Features - May 2012

Adaptations in Bengali poetry

Top row, left to right: Raad Ahmad, Mesbah Alam Arghya, Santanu Bandyopadhyay, Subhro Bandopadhyay; bottom row, left to right: Sukanta Ghosh, Aryanil Mukherjee, Sabyasachi Sanyal, the logo of the Circumcontentive Poets.

I was first introduced to Bengali poetry when I received a small book coauthored by Aryanil Mukherjee and Pat Clifford. Titled chaturangik/SQUARES, and published in Goa by CinnamonTeal, this book uses the game of chess to bring together two languages, English and Bangla. Each page renders nine squares of the chessboard with one outlined in black — if you flip through the pages this outlined square progresses across the board in accordance with the rules of the game.

Gertrude Stein's war years: Setting the record straight

A dossier

Over the past several years, Gertrude Stein’s wartime record has been subjected to a stream of misinterpretations, distortions, and disinformation in the mainstream press. Most of these articles are written by authors who are hostile to Stein's literary works and who admit to their inability (and unwillingness) to read her work, including the works by Stein that directly address the issue at hand. In this Stein dossier, key documents are provided that refute the sensational tabloid accounts of Stein's activities, views, and affiliations during the war  years, when  she and Alice B. Toklas lived in Bilignin, France (near Lyon and Geneva).