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About Amit Varma

Amit Varma is a writer based in Mumbai. He worked in journalism for over a decade, and won the Bastiat Prize for Journalism in 2007. His bestselling novel, My Friend Sancho, was published in 2009. He is best known for his blog, India Uncut. These days, he makes his living playing poker as he works on his second novel.




My Friend Sancho

My first book, My Friend Sancho, was published in May 2009, and went on to become the biggest selling debut novel released that year in India. It is a contemporary love story set in Mumbai, and had earlier been longlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize 2008. To learn more about the book, click here.


If you're interested, do join the Facebook group for My Friend Sancho


Click here for more about my publisher, Hachette India.


My posts on India Uncut about My Friend Sancho can be found here.


Bastiat Prize 2007 Winner

Recent entries

The Four-Card Game

This is the 20th installment of my weekly poker column in the Economic Times, Range Rover. A marriage with two…

The Game Outside the Game

This is the 19th installment of my weekly poker column in the Economic Times, Range Rover. I am in Macau…

The Dark Game

This is the 18th installment of my weekly poker column in the Economic Times, Range Rover. A few months ago,…

Luck is All Around

This is the seventh installment of Lighthouse, my monthly column for BLink, a supplement of the Hindu Business Line. You…

Miller’s Pyramid

This is the 17th installment of my weekly poker column in the Economic Times, Range Rover. “So what is the…

28 May, 2007

Why are modern novels “so bloody boring?”

Julian Gough explains:

Well, let’s go back a bit first. Two and a half thousand years ago, at the time of Aristophanes, the Greeks believed that comedy was superior to tragedy: tragedy was the merely human view of life (we sicken, we die). But comedy was the gods’ view, from on high: our endless and repetitive cycle of suffering, our horror of it, our inability to escape it. The big, drunk, flawed, horny Greek gods watched us for entertainment, like a dirty, funny, violent, repetitive cartoon. And the best of the old Greek comedy tried to give us that relaxed, amused perspective on our flawed selves. We became as gods, laughing at our own follies.

[...]

Yet western culture since the middle ages has overvalued the tragic and undervalued the comic. We think of tragedy as major, and comedy as minor. Brilliant comedies never win the best film Oscar. The Booker prize leans toward the tragic. In 1984, Martin Amis reinvented Rabelais in his comic masterpiece Money. The best English novel of the 1980s, it didn’t even make the shortlist. Anita Brookner won that year, for Hotel du Lac, written, as the Observer put it, “with a beautiful grave formality.”

I agree, and wonder if it has to do with our taking ourselves too seriously. Wouldn’t that be funny?

(Link via PrufrockTwo.)

Posted by Amit Varma in Arts and entertainment

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