Plato

When William Godwin said,​‘Justice is the sum of all moral duty’,​he allotted the concept of justice to a cardinal stature, just as Plato who used the Greek word​‘Dikaisyne’​ for justice which is almost synonymous to the word ‘morality’ or ‘righteousness’. With the prevailing degenerating conditions of Athenian democracy, Plato, dissatisfied, saw in Justice the only remedy to save Athens from the malady of dwindling prosperity.

Republic, Book I, inquires about justice from the crudest to the most refined interpretation. Book I has dialogues between Socrates and a number of characters, on Justice as to what it actually is, each of…


A poet, playwright, fiction writer and art historian of erudite stature, Jagannath Prasad Das also known as J.P. Das, has assimilated his literary collection in Oriya and English. His poems emanate the themes of love and loneliness and explore the existential aspects of mortality and despair. His early poems are poignant and pessimistic but then shifted to write poems celebrating love, life and death in their omnipresence. His stories essentially deal with the complexity of relationships and ordinary people caught in the vortex of everyday life with its hope and disappointments. The chief themes under conflict are the illusions that…


Mirabai in her reverie

“ It is extremely difficult to find a parallel to this wonderful personality, Mira, a saint, a philosopher, a poet and a sage” , Swami Sivananda had said.

The devotional poet saint in the sixteenth century India, Mirabai, was a noble born, daughter to Ratan Singh Rathore of the Medda state of Rajasthan. Long before she was married to Raja Bhajraj of Udaipur, since childhood, she had her utmost faith and love devoted to Lord Krishna. She was a celebrated Bhakti Saint and her influence in Bhakti poetry has been profound. Her biography is very fluid historically as is the…


A modernist, Samuel Beckett, the Irish playwright, novelist, poet, theatre director of the 20th century is often associated with the ‘The Theatre of the Absurd’. His creations tend to eschew conventional plotting upholding the inclination in the exploration of human philosophy, mind and condition in ways that are both starkly humorous and subtly profound, where laughter is a weapon against despair.

Rendered as a classic example of ‘Theatre of the Absurd’, Waiting for Godot is a dramatic work that highlights the philosophy of its name. This play revolves around two men spending their entire time doing absolutely nothing productive, or…


John Osborne

The Oscar-winning screenwriter John Osborne, better known as one of the most important British playwrights of the 1950s generation that revolutionized English-speaking theater, has authored Look Back in Anger which was revolutionary, as it gave voice to the working class.

As Dan Rebelatto notes, the year 1956 has become a prescriptive cultural market for studies of postwar British theatre. In that year, paradigmatic Angry Young Man, John Osborne, and his equally irate and irascible creation Jimmy Porter, stormed onto the stage and seemingly, so the story goes, revolutionized British theatre. …


Among all the ‘isms’, Naturalism was one such wave that swept through the philosophical, cultural, literary universe of the late nineteenth century, Emile Zola being the principle vocal advocate of it. Naturalism, of which Zola is considered the father, stems from a pragmatist concern with the primacy of scientific interest over supernaturalism. With the heyday of realism and the emergence of early genres of modernism at the end of the century, naturalism thrived to commence as highly controversial. In contemporary philosophy, the term ‘naturalism’ does not hold an unambiguous stance. Every field of reality should be investigated by scientific endeavours…


Left: The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch; Right: The Great Masturbator by Salvador Dali

The early 20th century beheld such a humongous upheaval of paramount events which were wombs for the germination of new but indispensable ideas about life and its aspects. As good as said, the surrealist tide began to propel the minds of men once the First World War finished wrecking its havoc. The prolonged era of tranquility and material advancement, during which Europeans had become attuned to celebrate science and civilization as irrefutably altruistic, they were attacked by the glaring bankruptcy of science and logic, of their faith and progress, of philosophy and literature which proved deficient in dissenting against the…


Indian journalist and novelist, Nayantara Sehgal’s works elucidate crises of India’s elite on an individual level amid settings of political upheaval. Hailing from a strong political background and family of freedom fighters, Nayantara Sehgal is one of the most prolific writers who perpetuate her pertinence as a humanist with oblivious political as well as feminist concerns. Her literary canon chronicles the political scene with predominance in man-woman relationships and the marginalised women of the society.

Nayantara’s Sehgal’s novel, Rich Like Us is foregrounded in the political background of emergency and sketches the life of the ‘doubly marginalised women’, Rose and…


Gudipat Venkat Chalam

A literary and social crusader, Gudipat Venkat Chalam, pioneered feminism in Telugu Literature. His unflinching outlook towards sex and morality lambasted the societal institution of marriage and family. His revolutionary ideas and iconoclastic, provocative writing surely was avant-garde, but he was tagged as a controversial figure for the same. His writings were vociferous about the right of women to dictate their own life, to have a say in the contentment of their desire and destiny. As a reaction against the institutionalized ingrained patriarchy in the society and to castigate the misogynistic norms of society and literature, Chalam wrote multiple proses…


“the image of Africa as the other world: the antithesis of Europe and therefore of civilization; a place where man’s vaunted intelligence and refinement are finally mocked by triumphant bestiality” --Chinua Achebe

Nigerian novelist, Albert Chinualumogu Achebe, popularly known as Chinua Achebe is extolled for his works which show sheer despise against the uncelebratory social and psychological disorientation of the western world regarding the African society. The African mainland, its inhabitants, their customs and traditions, face endangering impositions by the Western cults: a great subject matter for Achebe’s novels. With emergent Africa at its moments of crisis being the chief…

Alisa Rahman

An amateur writer who is in a constant dilemma between accepting reality and drowning in her surrealistic reveries.

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