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Algebra of Infinite Justice
Algebra of Infinite Justice | Arundhati Roy
10 posts | 2 read | 6 to read
A few weeks after India detonated a thermonuclear device in 1998, Arundhati Roy wrote the essay The End of Imagination, in which she said: My world has died. And I write to mourn its passing. The essay, as have all its successors, attracted worldwide attention, debate and acclaim. In the years since, the essays she has published in magazines and newspapers worldwide have reinforced an impression of a writer in the modern world prepared to use her fame and gifts in the cause of the voiceless and the overlooked. Those essays are gathered together here. Carefully revealed and closely argued, they demand to be read and discussed; they dispute, they challenge, they provoke and they uplift.
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Lindy
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I was waiting for my library hold on Roy‘s new collection of essays, so I decided to reread this one that I own. In her dust jacket photo, Roy (born in 1961) looked young when this collection was published in 2001. The content concerns socio-political issues 2 decades past, but her insights & witty style remain engaging. In the title essay: “President George Bush can no more ‘rid the world of evil-doers‘ than he can stock it with saints.” 5 stars

Lindy I‘ve looked at the table of contents for Roy‘s new collection and I see that all six of the essays in The Algebra of Infinite Justice are included, along with another 37 pieces, in (edited) 4mo
Cathythoughts Brilliant quote 👍🏻 4mo
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Lindy
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In the present circumstances, I‘d say the only thing worth globalizing is dissent. It‘s India‘s best export. (From: “The ladies have feelings, so… “ written in February 2001)

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Lindy
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Nowadays I‘m introduced as something of a freak myself. I am, apparently, what is known in twenty-first century vernacular as a ‘writer-activist.‘ (Like a sofa-bed.)

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Lindy
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What is happening to our world is almost too colossal for human comprehension to contain. But it is a terrible, terrible thing.

(Internet photo: activists protesting displacement of over a million people because of dams on the Narmada River)

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Lindy
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Let‘s just say we‘re an ancient people learning to live in a recent nation. The majority of India‘s citizens will not be able to identify its boundaries on a map, or say which language is spoken where or which god is worshipped in what region. To them the idea of India is, at best, a noisy slogan that comes around during wars and elections.

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Lindy
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They were on the streets, celebrating India‘s nuclear bomb & simultaneously “condemning Western Culture” by emptying crates of Coke & Pepsi into public drains. I‘m a little baffled by their logic: Coke is Western Culture but the nuclear bomb is an old Indian tradition?
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(Image: video still from The God Must Be Crazy)

Lindy “Yes, I‘ve heard—the bomb is in the Vedas. It might be, but if you look hard enough, you‘ll find Coke in the Vedas too. That‘s the great thing about all religious texts. You can find anything you want in them.” 4mo
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Lindy
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The only dream worth having is to dream that you will live while you are alive and die only when you are dead.

Cathythoughts Beautiful 4mo
Lindy @Cathythoughts Roy writes passages that I read over and over for the pleasure of her words and ideas. 😊 4mo
Cathythoughts Well then that‘s a stack 👍🏻♥️ 4mo
Lindy @Cathythoughts These essays were written two decades ago, but the social justice, political and environmental issues she addresses are even more urgent now. 4mo
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Lindy
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The only good thing about nuclear war is that it is the single most egalitarian idea that man has ever had. On the day of reckoning, you will not be asked to present your credentials. The devastation will be undiscriminating.
(Internet photo of Pokhran nuclear test.)

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Lindy
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For marmots and voles and everything else on earth that is threatened and terrorized by the human race. [This book‘s dedication]

Cathythoughts Oh how adorable 4mo
Lindy @Cathythoughts There were many of these golden-mantled ground squirrels around when I rested on a hike in Banff. Curious but cautious little beings. 4mo
squirrelbrain Hello, little squirrel-type thing! 🐿 4mo
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blurb
Lindy
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Starting this month, my version of the #TBRchallenge to always have at least one of my owned books in whatever mix of titles I currently happen to be reading. I‘m really looking forward to reading Arundhati Roy‘s new essay collection and it will be a wait before my library hold comes, so I‘m rereading her essays that were published in 2001.

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