Corridor is all urban, and mostly male. All the characters in its social network are connected to one central person, Jehangir Rangoonwalla, who is more of a philosophy dispenser than a second hand book seller which is his profession. Brighu is an obsessive collector of things and is currently pondering whether to settle down with his girlfriend Kali. Digital Dutta thinks about his H1-B visa during the day while at night Karl Marx advises him to use his knowledge to help the poor. Shintu is newly married and is on the search for an aphrodisiac to enhance his pleasure at night.

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Save Story Save this story for later. In his four books to date, the graphic novelist Sarnath Banerjee has asked what the country risks losing in the course of its rapid economic transformation. To critics, claims of a New India are contradicted by the persistence of poverty, entrenched structural inequalities, discrimination against minorities, and the repression of free speech.

For the Berlin-based Indian graphic novelist Sarnath Banerjee, both narratives contain some truth. As economic growth has fostered a new middle-class Anglophone reading public, interest in genre fiction has exploded. Indian readers of English can today find homegrown works of chick lit, techie lit, detective fiction, even what the scholar E. India has long had a small but vibrant tradition of comic-book publishing, exemplified by the popular Amar Chitra Katha series, but today most major and independent Indian presses publish in the genre, while others are entirely dedicated to the graphic form.

Banerjee in Berlin, Before making graphic novels, he worked on documentaries for Business India TV and contributed illustrations and comics to prominent Indian publications. In , a MacArthur Foundation grant gave him the time and resources to work on his own book. In , Banerjee and a business partner, Anindya Roy, founded a comic-book publishing imprint called Phantomville; it closed in owing to financial difficulties. To tell his stories, Banerjee, who has been based in Berlin since , draws upon the visual and textual vocabulary of Western modernism: fragmented narratives, alternative endings and beginnings, repetitions, elisions, mixed-up chronology.

It skips around in time from Lubeck, , to St. His style is collage-like, consisting of black-and-white ink sketches interspersed with photographic images drawn from magazines, advertisements, and film posters and stills, as well as color panels and newspaper clippings.

His texts are casually multilingual, including phrases of Hindi, Urdu, and Bengali without translations into English. To date, there are U. In addition to writing graphic novels, Banerjee makes drawings and films that have been exhibited around the world. Published in India in , the book begins by chronicling the privatization of Bharat Copper Limited, a fictionalized version of the government-owned firm Hindustan Copper Limited.

One worker displaced in the process is a plumber, Girish, who goes to Delhi to look for work. During his quest, Girish encounters numerous people who have been banished below earth for the crime of wasting water, such as Jagat Ram, a scapegoated employee of the Delhi Water Board, and B. Does it result simply from living in India? These are the readers who can move comfortably between Delhi shopping centers and Frankfurt Airport, between textual references to Jean Baudrillard and Pankaj Mishra, between high literature and comic strips.

By depicting them as a gaggle of ineffectual pontificators, Banerjee suggests that they might not be much better than the greedy businessmen who hope to grow rich chasing imaginary bodies of water and driving up the price of real estate. Someone, his novels remind us, is living in those tony new buildings and taking solace in the same old myths.

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A Graphic Novelist Captures the Paradoxes of Living in the “New India”

Arashigor Help Center Find new research papers in: Just a moment while we sign you in safnath your Goodreads account. One story unfolds and as soon as I start getting a grip on it, another begins. Some, like the hakim and Murthy, are little more than caricatures. If anyone reading this has a different perspective, I would be very happy to discuss it. Corridor: A Graphic Novel, Sarnath Banerjee — southasiabookblog In comics the words and the pictures together create units of meanings that neither can by themselves. The product of a fellowship awarded by the MacArthur Foundation in Chicago, Corridor offers a highly entertaining glimpse into several dimensions of middle-class life in India — much of which will be hauntingly familiar to readers everywhere. This is a good attempt at a graphic novel.


Sarnath Banerjee






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