Description - Sketches by Hootum the Owl Satirist's View of Colonial Calcutta by Kaliprasanna Sinha
Calcutta's extraordinary ability to be obsessed with itself, the marvellous tension between its cosmopolitan features and inherent provincial character that contemporary writers find engaging, were probably explored for the first time in Hootum Pyanchar Noksha (literally, Sketches by Hootum). This book, primarily a series of lampoons on the manners and morals of its citizens, cutting across all classes, was written by Kali Prasanna Sinha between 1861 and 1868. Sinha uses comedy and scatology as agents of subversion: The potpourri of street lingo and Calcutta cockney, peppered with Sanskrit, Urdu and English, Hootum's language is an anachronistic milestone in the time of Victorian sensibilities that no one has dared emulate. This book presents the rise of a new social class. An uncensored portrait of its sleazy backstreets and vibrant inner courtyards that excite, entice and also threaten their occupants.
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Bhatkal & Sen
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Book Reviews - Sketches by Hootum the Owl Satirist's View of Colonial Calcutta by Kaliprasanna Sinha