کتاب مشت مالچی عارف

اثر وی. اس. نیپال از انتشارات ققنوس - مترجم: مهدی غبرایی-برندگان جوایز ادبی

In this slyly funny and lavishly inventive novel–his first–V. S. Naipaul traces the unlikely career of Ganesh Ramsumair, a failed schoolteacher and impecunious village masseur who in time becomes a revered mystic, a thriving entrepreneur, and the most beloved politician in Trinidad. To understand a little better, one has to realize that in the 1940s masseurs were the island’s medical practitioners of choice. Witty, tender, filled with the sights, sounds, and smells of Trinidad’s dusty Indian villages, The Mystic Masseur is Naipaul at his most expansive and evocative.


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بعد از خانه ای برای آقای بیسواس ، این دومین کتابی است که از و.س.نایپل خواندم. برنده جایزه نوبل سال 2001 که در این کتاب با زبانی طنز روایتگر زندگی گانش است که از یک مشت و مالچی ساده به سیاستمداری موفق تبدیل می شود که در نهایت نشان امپراتوری بریتانیا را هم دریافت می کند.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
عليرغم جذابيت ماجرا خواندن ترجمه كتاب برايم بسيار ناخوشايند بود
ظرافت براي ترجمه غلط هاي گفتاري به كار رفته بود اما غلظت اين اشتباه ها زياد بود و واقعا آزار دهنده
ترجمه هاي خوبي از آقاي غبرايي خوانده اما اين يكي را اصلا نپسنديدم
نكته عجيب هم اين كه با وجود داشتن ١٥٠ عدد پانويس و توضيح باز هم كلمات زيادي توي متن با الفباي انگليسي نوشته شده بودند


مشاهده لینک اصلی
Wonderfully written, with a dickensian flair for satire. At the end however I was left with a bitter taste in my mouth-- its clear that the author didnt really like any of his characters very much. No hope for redemption. Understanding without empathy-- just exceedingly skilled mockery. Sort of a disappointment. But as the craft of writing goes this is pretty exemplary.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
I dont really know anything much about Trinidad, but I did enjoy this book and found it interesting in terms of insight into that society (or at least the books interpretation of that society) during the 30s and 40s. The book is of course funny, as it is an effective satire of a society caught between oral and written culture, western civilization just cutting through. The protagonist rides this wave almost by force, taking the opportunity and rides it to the end. There can be an argument made that he exploits the people who seek him, as the mystic masseur, but ive written my thoughts on in this in my copy of the book, and would rather you read it and figure that out for yourself. Needless to say, its as much to say about western capitalism as it does about human nature.

One word of warning: if you dont like it when characters or narration use a broken version of grammar, then this book is not for you. The dialect is sometimes jarring, sentences like “Ah, sahib. I know you just come to comfort a old man left to live by hisself. Soomintra say I too old-fashion. And Leela, she always by you. Why you don’t sit down, sahib? It ain’t dirty. Is just how it does look.’@, and thats a very light example, but you get the point. I think the funky dialect is obviously to give it more of an oral and historical context/feel.

The ending falls flat a little, but i think thats the point and i didnt feel like it ruined the experience for me too much. The pace completely changes, but with where the protagonist, Ganesh, is towards the end of the book, its as if the narrator is doing the reader a favor. I wont throw out any spoilers in that regard, so youll just have to read it and see for yourself what im talking about.

I read this book for a world literature class, and even though I had to read it within a week and a half among four other classes, I feel like someday there might come a time when i dont mind picking it up again.



مشاهده لینک اصلی

This is Naipauls first novel, which I found at my local library in a volume of his first three novels. Apparently Naipaul has had two phases in his writing: an early comic vision of which The Mystic Masseur is an example and a later disturbing darker period.

V S Naipaul was born in Trinidad, an island in the Caribbean, to which his grandfather had come from India. The island is a polyglot of races, nationalities and languages and has been ruled by various European nations since the 15th century. After slavery was abolished, the plantation owners brought in indentured labor from India.

Naipaul uses a combination of humor, magical realism and scenes from Indian/Hindu immigrant life to describe the coming of age of Ganesh Ramsumair, an orphan who makes it through some college education, fails as a school teacher and returns to his native village. In an effort to support his wife, he takes up healing as a masseur, though he is a complete quack. Mostly he studies the books he acquires, lining his walls and gaining knowledge until he gains fame as the @[email protected]

The Indians from India who reside in Trinindad comprise a tightly knit and enclosed culture with their own foods, customs and competitions. Ganesh finally rises in the world and enters politics only to find disillusionment in the end. Naipauls writing is lively and robust but I cant fully agree that his vision is comic. He makes some fun of his own people but what comes through is a rueful account of life as second class citizens in a post colonial world.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
Seperti banyak orang Indonesia di Suriname, di Trinidad juga banyak orang India.
Dan mereka masih ketat menjaga tradisi.
Mulai dari ratapan saat ada yang meninggal, mahar dari pihak perempuan saat pernikahan, juga perlakuan suami terhadap istri. Mereka juga menjaga kepercayaan terhadap hal-hal mistis.

Melalui Ganesh, penulis menunjukkan semua itu. Sindirannya pasti mengena telak. Naipaul memang berniat menunjukkan kepada para pembaca mengenai diri mereka sendiri. Soalnya, biasanya memang sulit menyadari kelemahan dan kekuatan diri sendiri. Seperti si Ganesh ini.

مشاهده لینک اصلی


Sir Naipaul has such a formidable reputation, both as a scholarly writer & a curmudgeon that, readers/people are afraid to approach him(ask writer Paul Theroux!).

I feel lucky that I started my acquaintance with this writer through his first book, The Mystic Masseur (1957) which is rather simple & approachable.
I think if you plan to read a writers entire oeuvre then its better to read them in a chronological order so as to enjoy more the gradual evolution of their worldview/artistic vision that inform & shape their work.

This work forms part of Naipauls early Carribean novels yet its about the Indian community in Trinidad (as most of his fiction is). You feel as if you are transported to some rural non-descript small town & village in India! The dialogues among these people sometimes read like literal translation from Hindi! It adds to the realism but gets discomfiting at times. I dont know how a native speaker will handle it.

Its a simple tale, simply told, but with a liberal dose of irony & humour: the novel traces the life of Ganesh Ramsumair, resident of a small town called Fourways, who receives an English education but fails as a teacher, attempts to follow his fathers profession as a masseur but realises he is not cut out for it. All along, his one passion has been reading & collecting books & he aspires to be a writer. But success eludes him: explaining himself to his long-suffering wife, he says:
@@Leela, is the thing. Everybody who want to write have to face. Poverty & sickness is what every writer have to [email protected]
@But you aint writing, [email protected]
Ganesh didnt [email protected]

He meets people who see an aura & power in him, they encourage him to write & ply him with more books.
Turns out all that reading & writing had not been in vain: it was a preparation for his true calling, that of a spiritual healer, the mystic masseur!
@we never are what we want to be,@ he wrote, @but what we must [email protected]
An Indian dishing out spiritual mumbo-jumbo is as natural as a CPA crunching numbers! Of Course he becomes a Carribean sensation. To be fair to him, he is not a fake like the others:
@His prestige was secured by his learning...Ganesh elevated the profession by putting the charlatans out of business...he could speak on almost any subject...he was no bigot...but more than his powers, learning or tolerance, people liked his [email protected]
With providence favouring him, Ganesh prospers, so do the people around him & his backward village of Fuente Grove.
With such popularity, entering politics is only the next logical step, only theres a pesky nemesis called Narayan in the vein of The Fountainheads Ellsworth Toohey, albeit on a lower narrative scale.
But now Ganesh is a man of the world, he crushes all opposition & becomes MLC & then M.B.E., a pucca brown sahib! The novel ends on a brilliant,cynical note.

This novel is a slice of life: readers get to see the sacred thread ceremony for a Brahmin boy(a coming-of-age event like the Jewish Bar Mitzvah), an Indian funeral, then a wedding. Naipaul merrily caricatures the two latter events.
Pls dont believe that Indian husbands beat their wives on their wedding night— they beat them afterwards!
Hee hee! Kidding.
See it in the context of the taming of the shrew. Of Course, Naipaul tells a lot in just a few lines about Indian sexuality: as chastity is prized, pre-marital sex is a big no no & permissiveness in general, is frowned upon. In such a scenario, youngsters get their carnal knowldge from equally clueless adults as is the case here.

One heartening thing esp. with reference to the Goodreads folks, is the supreme value placed on books in this novel: thus readers here with 2000+ books on their read shelf, not only add heft to their profile but there is a good chance that, providence smiling upon them, they might end up writing proper books.
Note to self: must add books, must add books......

مشاهده لینک اصلی
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