Basti By Intizar Husain Pdf

10/11/2021by admin
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by Intizar Husain

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'Bastiis the great Pakistani novel, a beautifully written, brilliantly inventive reckoning with the violent history of a country whose turbulence, ambitions, and uncertainties increasingly concern the whole world. In Urdu, bastimeans any space, from the most intimate to the most universal, in which groups of people come together to try to live together, and the universal question at the heart of the book is how to constitute a common world. What brings people together? What tears them apart? When the world was still all new, when the sky was fresh and the earth not yet soiled, when trees breathed through centuries and ages spoke around in the voices of birds, how astonished he was that everything was so new and yet looked so old so the book begins, with a mythic, even mystic, vision of harmony, as the hero, Zakir, looks back on his childhood in a subcontinent that had not yet been divided between Muslims and Hindus. But Zakir is abruptly evicted from this paradise real or imagined into the maelstrom of history. The new country of Pakistan is born, separating him once and for all from the woman he loves, and in a jagged and jarring sequence of scenes we witness a n… (more)
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Basti is a fictionalized retelling of much of the history of Pakistan in the twentieth century through the eyes of a teacher who, as a child, lived through the Partition of India and Pakistan in the 1950s, and who experiences the secession of Bangladesh in the 1970s as an adult. The word basti in Urdu means something like “settlement”, and it is through a sequence of villages and towns and cities and the sometimes coerced transitions between them that Husain builds up the plot to his fictionalized history of Pakistan.
On a more abstract level, much of the novel deals with questions of home, of belonging to a land (or the land), and it follows its narrator and his family and friends as they uproot themselves and are forced to move to new places where the tough and intricate business of creating a new home can always be disrupted as the political and religious winds change. Family ties weaken and friendships dissolve across sudden national borders, and the town that became so familiar when your own wave of immigration moved in may change again as the next one is forced through.
That is not to say that the book is not readable: it speeds along at a crisp enough pace, slowing down where necessary and moving towards associatively-connected dream time passages when that is called for. One of the things I’ll remember best about this novel, though, is just how densely the prose is spiced with quotes from and allusions to various poets and religious and mythological texts, from several languages and traditions (Urdu, Persian, Arabic) – references which the footnotes take pains to elucidate. The ending, particularly, appears to be Husain’s reworking of an intense amalgam of poems and lines from other sources (akin, I believe, to how Umberto Eco blent the Song of Solomon, among others, into his own prose for the sex scene in The name of the Rose). Knowing about the references, and especially knowing how frequent they are, adds to the sense that this novel is solidly anchored in a rich and interconnected literary tradition with tropes and techniques of its own.
There were things that did not work for me. For one thing, Husain didn’t always juggle the two timelines (1950s and 1970s) as smoothly as he could have. This was particularly noticeable towards the beginning of the novel, where a few brief cutaways to the later timeline were especially inelegant – nothing happened in them, they merely repeated prior cutaways, and they served quite transparently to signal to the reader that the later timeline was going to be important, just not at that moment. I don’t think the gears and joints of writing should be showing this much. For another, I don’t think the characterization worked out all that well: several of the narrator’s friends ended up too similar to each other and could easily have substituted for each other.
Reading Basti on its own is a bit of a challenge: unfamiliar as I am with Urdu literature, the dense allusions and the assumed familiarity with the history of Pakistan and Bangladesh threw me for a bit. But once I got into the movement of the prose, I was more than happy to be along for the ride. I now feel much better prepared to tackle more literary fiction from Pakistan! ( )
1Petroglyph Jun 21, 2018
I bought this book last year, early in my translated fiction kick, and I think it's easily one of the best books I found as a part of that interest.
It is also a difficult and challenging book to read. Zakir wanders between the events of his present day, reminiscing about the past, and then, as the book goes on, into dreams and visions, retellings of myths and history that blend into each other so seamlessly that you're not sure you've departed from the here and now until suddenly you're in a town where most of the inhabitants have been beheaded -- but they are still up and walking around and talking.
Adding to this complexity is that while most of the book is narrated by Zakir, not all of it is, and in conversation there are only the quotes, lacking the signifiers of who is speaking them, then the cultural/language difficulties of understanding nicknames and other naming conventions. There is a very helpful glossary, though, which I wish I'd discovered earlier in the book.
Despite these difficulties, it is the later parts of the novel, when the effects of war -- the uncertainties and suspense and unknowingness of war -- cause Zakir to stray more often and deeper into stories, myth, and metaphor, that I really fell in love with the book. And it makes a powerful argument for the humanities -- there are forces that, when you're living them, espeically, cannot be understood by science or journalism alone.
An amazing book. ( )
greeniezona Dec 6, 2017
Intizar Husain is considered by many as the most significant living fiction writer in Urdu. This novel is set against sectarian violence, both the violence of the 1947 partition and the violence of the events resulting in the nation of Bangladesh. These events are related through the eyes of Zakir. The novel begins prepartition in India during Zakir's idyllic childhood. The language is lyrical: 'When the world was still and new...when a bird seemed that it had just delivered a letter to the Queen of Sheba's palace and was on his way back toward Solomon's castle.' He lives in a small village, and we experience through his eyes, the wonders of childhood--the playful monkeys, the coming of electricity to the village. And it was a village in which everyone got along--the Hindu families and the Muslim families and the Buddhists and the Christians. Zakir grew up hearing legends and myths from the Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim religions. 'Every day these conversations, every day these stories, as though Bagat-ji and Abba-jan together were explicating the universe for him.'
Then we are thrust into the 1970's (when this book was written). Zakir now lives in Lahore, Pakistan with his father and mother, and works as a teacher. His family lost everything when they were forced to move during the Partition. Some of his relatives remained in India and some are in Eastern Pakistan. New violence has erupted, Eastern Pakistan wants to secede, and India is making war noises against Pakistan in support of Eastern Pakistan. Zakir notes, 'In houses, in offices, in restaurants, in streets and bazaars--everywhere the same situation. The discussion was at first ideological, then personal, then insulting, then abusive, and then it came to blows.'
Outward events are taking place in Lahore, the past is in Zakir's mind, the sorrows of the Partition live on. Husain has been criticized for not presenting a full and complete picture, for not taking an ideological position. He has also been praised for a new style that moved beyond naturalism into more imaginative depictions of reality.
While I liked this book, and was very impressed with the writing, I did not feel the connection with it that I did with Song of Kahunsha. This book is definitely more intellectual and rational; Song of Kahunsha speaks from its heart.
Recommended
3 stars ( )
6arubabookwoman Sep 7, 2013
This book is poignant and at times wrenching. I truly felt how painful and excruciating the experience of Partition was for many of the books characters. I can only speak about the English translation and it read in a clean way, i.e., the English version reflected good usage and the English language did not distract me from the story it was trying to convey.
However, as an English-language reader, I found something stilting about the pace and flow of the book. This may have been intentional in the original and certainly its jarring effect would be consistent with the characters' experiences.
I'm curious to read his other translated work. ( )
ming.l Mar 31, 2013
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'Bastiis the great Pakistani novel, a beautifully written, brilliantly inventive reckoning with the violent history of a country whose turbulence, ambitions, and uncertainties increasingly concern the whole world. In Urdu, bastimeans any space, from the most intimate to the most universal, in which groups of people come together to try to live together, and the universal question at the heart of the book is how to constitute a common world. What brings people together? What tears them apart? When the world was still all new, when the sky was fresh and the earth not yet soiled, when trees breathed through centuries and ages spoke around in the voices of birds, how astonished he was that everything was so new and yet looked so old so the book begins, with a mythic, even mystic, vision of harmony, as the hero, Zakir, looks back on his childhood in a subcontinent that had not yet been divided between Muslims and Hindus. But Zakir is abruptly evicted from this paradise real or imagined into the maelstrom of history. The new country of Pakistan is born, separating him once and for all from the woman he loves, and in a jagged and jarring sequence of scenes we witness a n

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Basti / بستی Jan 13, 2021 - 13:32 PM Intizar Hussain Basti Basti is the great Pakistani novel a beautifully written brilliantly inventive reckoning with the violent history of a country whose turbulence ambitions and uncertainties increasingly concern the. A Chronicle of the Peacocks collects fifteen stories by Urdu writer Intizar Husain published over more than four decades, from 1952 to 1999. Born in India, he moved to Pakistan after the Partition (of the two countries), and much of his work is colored by that.

Download Basti by Intizar HussainPDF Novel free. The “Basti” is a great Pakistani novel, which describes the history of a country whose turbulence and uncertainties increasingly concern the whole world.

Description of Basti by Intizar Hussain PDF

The “Basti” is a great Pakistani novel that describes the history of a country. Intizar Hussain is the author of this fiction novel. Intizar Hussain was born in 1925 and died in 2016. He was a journalist, short story writer, novelist and one of the most significant fiction writers in Urdu. He was born in Dibai, Bulandshahr in India and migrated to Pakistan in 1947. He has written two other novels, such as Naya Gar, which paints a picture of Pakistan during the ten-year dictatorship of the Islamic fundamentalist General Zia-ul-Haq and one other.

Basti means any space, from the most intimate to the most universal, in which groups of people come together and live together. When the earth sky was fresh and the earth not yet soiled, trees breathed through centuries and ages spoke around in the voices of birds. After migrated to India and Pakistan, in 1947 the new country of Pakistan is born, separating him once and for all from the woman he loves. This amazing novel engages all the readers from first to end of the page. In short, Basti is a great Pakistani fiction novel that describes the history of a country.

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  • Name: Basti
  • Author: Intizar Hussain
  • ISBN: 1590175824
  • Language: English
  • Genre: Urdu literature
  • Format: PDF/ePub
  • Size: 6 MB
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