Basti by. Intizar Husain. general information | review summaries | our review Urdu title: بستى; Translated and with a Translator’s Note by Frances W. The central figure is Zakir, and the novel begins in his childhood, in the. This item:Basti (New York Review Books Classics) by Intizar Husain Paperback “Intizar Husain is the most important writer of fiction in Urdu, the strangely. In Urdu, basti means any space, from the most intimate to the most universal, translator notes at the close of the novel, Intizar Husain’s Basti is an imperfect.

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To ask other readers questions about Bastiplease sign up. He felt he was not reading slogans, but walking on flies. His writings are archived at www. It is a story of migrants, and every kind of migrant will be able to relate to it. Most of the references to religious stories or mythical stories were lost on me and the translator did not seek to expand or educate the slightly ignorant readers amongst us.

It made me want to read it in Urdu to see how accurate I was. Glad to have this over so I can move on to some more pleasant reading material. Love is primary in Basti and everything flows from it, even when it is only a shadow of a memory of a touch In he received the Pakistani civil award Sitara-e-Imtiaz and a lifetime achievement award at the Lahore Literary Festival in September Like other borderland literature, Basti renders lines drawn on a map as an emotional geography that blurs them.

It’s wonderfully written, moving but dense, and I at least left it with a deeper sympathy, I hope understanding, for the travails of a large and important place and all the people over the generations who have lived there.

Dec 26, Pages.

There was a lot of brutality, misinformation, bias, bloodshed and upheaval from jrdu events and no cathartic national process instead we just moved on a chose to believe the convenient truth which suited each side.

Mar 06, Seth Reeves rated it it was ok.

Zakir wanders between the events of his present day, reminiscing about the past, and then, as the book goes on, into dreams and visions, retellings of myths and history that blend into each other so seamlessly that you’re not sure you’ve departed from the here and now until suddenly you’re in a town where most of the inhabitants have been beheaded — but they are still up and walking around and talking. As though urru had happened, as though nothing would happen.


Setting the tone for their story, young Zakir suggests early on: I am walking on flies. But it got just too scattered and weird for me as it progressed.

Basti by Intizar Hussain

When the earth slips out from under your feet, that’s when it really surrounds you. I struggled my way till the end.

However, as an English-language reader, I found something stilting about the pace and flow of the book. I would also advise getting a clearer idea of the geographical location of the places mentioned in the book, as it will help you navigate through the narrative. It seems to me that Hussein is refusing to partition his own self by drawing on Hindu and Buddhist sources hhusain well as the Quran and Iranian poets.

This may have been intentional in the original and certainly its jarring effect would be consistent with the characters’ experiences. Then “whens” that had passed away, the “Whens” that were yet to come.

Basti, by Intizar Husain, translated from the Urdu by Frances W. Pritchett

But I loved the common man view of Man suffers due to three things; a disloyal wife, an over demanding brother, and education gained without any experience. Accoding to Aamir Mufti, who writes on the back cover, “Urdu is “the strangely homeless la In an effort to read more books set outside of North America and from different perspectives, I’ve recently intkzar Basti, a story told by a west Pakistan man which spans the war between Pakistan and India, Originally written in Urdu, the book is interwoven with religious and cultural references to Hindi, Christianity, and Islamic texts and stories.

While seemingly a intizqr, personal narrative, the novel makes several strong political statements, the strongest being its jn of the two-nation theory propounded by the Muslim League.


Hence – if you get the book you just get it and if you are like me, you’ll want to finish it at the earliest. But I loved the common man view of great events like the Partition and Partition of Bangladesh and Pakistan. Mar 05, Aaron Typographical Era rated it liked it Shelves: Beautifully translated into Spanish by Pariente de Carranza. Where you radical communist friends became Islamists seemingly overnight or after a visit to the US and the only escape is in memory and in the past.

I suppose that was deliberate in terms of depicting how we experience thought and I’m not sure if it was the style or the translation but I struggled to get into this.

When the slogan “Crush India” appears on taxis it is startling, because we have not left India in spirit, the movement, the crossing, is from a child’s paradise to adult sorrow and loss Why did no one ever wonder why the Muslim League set up in Dhaka in suffer such a death blow in that very city in ?

From that new story still another story emerges, and from that one stories continue to emerge. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Perhaps it is partly due to the bemused, somewhat perplexed look he wears most of the time, a bit like R. The book is translated from Intizar Husain’s Urdu by Frances Pritchett who says, “My goal has not been to make the characters sound like Americans.

Translation of celebrated Urdu novel Basti reveals search for a homeland

The central figure is Zakir, and the novel begins in his childhood, in the village of Rupagnar, where electricity is just being introduced. Of course, the parallels are strong.

I read this as someone who thinks you need look no further than religion and colonialism nusain see why, today, the world is set to explode. Pritchett for the translation.