Sunday, March 6, 2016

Redeeming Calcutta by Steve Raymer

Steve Raymer, professor at Indiana Univ. at Bloomington, knows his subject as evidenced in his Introduction. The color photos are excellent and buck the recent trend to go black and white when photographing Calcutta.  Most interesting is reference to trashing articles, e.g., Ved Mehta in the New Yorker (1970) and two books by Gunter Grass, Show Your Tongue and The Flounder. Oxford Univ. Pressis the publisher, wehich has been in India over 100 years.

Here are a few gems from the Intro.

Calcutta is a place where British dreams of global domination were given their most extravagant expression.  Calcutta's redbrick High Court, is a replica of the statehouse in Ypres, Belgium, though with a shortened tower since its marshy foundations could not bear the weight of a perfect copy. 
The City's decline began in 1869 with the opening of the Suez Canal.  William Makepeace Thackery, Anglo-Indian poet and author of Vanity Fair, was born on the site of the Armenian College.