In truly every way, Europe has set seeds to the wind. And in these distressing days of open or incipient war and terrorism, Europe dreads to inherit the storm ... with the catastrophic reinforcement of the American hawks."
Astonished, then attentive, Europe observes the literary tide coming from India. Heralded by the clash of cymbals, there have been The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie and the death decree [fatwah] against the novelist, announced by the sinister old man that ran Teheran [the Ayatollah Khomeini]. Through a flow of moving and tormented pages, one could see in the words of Tarun J. Tejpal and Rushdie again, lost paradise, the Punjab and Kashmir, the marvelous beauty of their valleys, orchards and thick forests, under the shining protection of massive glaciers; but also the violence, the wars against Pakistan, Hindu and Muslim massacres and the degradation of a nation [India] that, far from following the path of its prophet Ghandi, covets its atomic bomb, protects the new wealthy cast, and arrays against its poor a pitiless and often sadistic police force.
There was, at the end of the 90's, The God of Small Things, a triumphantly received novel written by a woman, Arundhati Roy , who was crowned for her work by the Anglo-Saxon world. There [in India], it has been said, the subtropical climate, perpetually decomposing, contaminates human beings, who are thrust into the swamp of their own superstitions and cruelty; the author herself, in every chapter, takes pleasure in recounting every sordid detail and ends up describing a pair of doomed lovers (him being an "untouchable") who adopt as a mascot a spider, which is busy transporting a speck of dust, a decomposing leaf and the hollow thorax of a bee along the river.
One cannot understand the desires and fears of such an immense and plentiful literature based on the few works written in English (the French-speaking editors await, apparently, an avalanche of books translated from the regional languages of the sub-continent!). However, just getting a first glimpse of this literary chorus one is struck by the continuous drumbeat: the guilty failure of society, the contempt for those who lead it and mislead it, and the never-ending fascination with the modern Western world.
In this respect, a more explicit author is a friend of Arundhati Roy, the young Pankaj Mishra (we will have to get used to such celebrity names, although they are hard to memorize!), author of a Buddhist grail quest entitled The End of Suffering.
It raises a disquieting paradox of which we are not conscious enough of, but which clarifies contemporary history: the European powers have dominated, manipulated and humiliated the ancient civilizations that surrounded them; amongst themselves, moreover, Europeans have engaged in dreadful wars and then today, having reconciled, they present to the world an exceptional space of tranquility, tolerance and prosperity. Now, oblivious to their colonial past (of which the state of Israel appears to be an abhorrent survivor), they look on, astonished, at the havoc unfolding in their former-empires, where now there is clash between those who want the most favorable environment; wanting to see their values, methods and techniques in line with the Western World; and those desperate masses who are ensconsed in Islamic fundamentalism and wrapped up in frustration but also - subconsciously perhaps - the revolutionary arsenal fabricated by progressive Europe.
In any case, truly, Europe has set seeds to the wind. And in these distressing days of open or incipient war and terrorism, Europe dreads to inherit the storm ... with the catastrophic reinforcement of the American hawks."