The Otters And The Jackal


SOUTHEAST ASIA AS A SETTING FOR MYSTERY NOVELS

May 5, 2015

The obvious pitfall in locating mystery novel narratives in Southeast Asia is that one can all too easily succumb to the temptations identified in Edward Said’s book ‘Orientalism’ (1978). These revolve around a tendency for Western writers and artists to patronise Eastern cultures by depicting them (expressly or implicitly) as exotic but backward, stagnant and corrupt. Such portrayals often included scenes involving hookah salons, harems, hill tribes, howdahs and other similarly quaint and emblematic Asian paraphernalia, all imbued with a distinct whiff of imperialist condescension.

This distinctly arrogant attitude has only been partly offset by the occidental thirst for oriental spirituality that seems to have begun with Theosophy at the end of the C19 and continued with the foundation of the Buddhist Society in London in 1924.

 

NOVELS ABOUT DECIPHERING OLD TEXTS STRIKE DEEP RESONANCE AMONG READERS

April 15, 2015
The growing popularity of novels set around the deciphering of ancient documents seems to strike a profound chord among readers. Perhaps they echo the older process whereby a privileged priesthood either claimed or actually enjoyed the sole right to interpret divinely inspired texts that contained major spiritual truths that were written in an arcane language that they alone understood and graciously undertook to explain to the common multitude. 
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MYTHS AND ETERNAL INFANCY

January 8, 2014
Mythology appeals to the infant within us and - arguably - to an infantile stage in the evolution of cultures and societies. The posts below discuss whether this is the key to understanding the appeal of myths today.


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