[Reader-list] Rukun Advani on La Martiniere

Shivam Vij zest_india at yahoo.co.in
Thu Jan 15 13:49:10 IST 2004

Here is an extract from the essay "Novelists in Residence"
(Residence is Stephanian for hostel) by Rukun Advani,
published in the book "The Fiction of St. Stephen's" which
discusses the viability of a 'Stephanian School of

"Allan Sealy and Amitav Ghosh are traceable to St.
Stephen's much less easily and much more obscurely than
Tharoor and Chatterjee. Of Sealy it might be said that the
extraordinary richness of his language and the Baroque
extravagance of "Trotter-nama" draw in some ways from the
variety and plurality of life-styles that were available at
St. Stephen's during his time. But Sealy's origins, as far
as institutions go, may lie equally in one of the vicious
public schools where he was a student: La Martiniere
College in Lucknow. which is Baroque and extravagant in its
architectural splendour, and bizarre in less attractive
ways as an academic establishment. Sealy's novel in fact
uses La Martiniere as a locale (as does "Beethoven Among
the Cows": for I too was a prisoner of the same institution
before I was saved by the grace of St. Stephen's), though
perhaps Sealy's distinguished focus upon it was largely
enabled by his escape from La Martiniere and into the more
intellectually formative environment of St. Stephen's

When i read this, i had a feeling of deja vu!

Shivam Vij
(English I)
O9 Rudra South
St. Stephen's College
University Enclave
Delhi 110007
shivamvij at ststephens.edu
0 98684 31703

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