Robert Dessaix reviews 'The Origins of Dislike' by Amit Chaudhuri

Robert Dessaix reviews 'The Origins of Dislike' by Amit Chaudhuri

The Origins of Dislike

by Amit Chaudhuri

Oxford University Press, $50.95 hb, 333 pp, 9780198793823

There is something oddly Jesuitical about this arresting, if not quite thrilling, collection of essays in defence of Modernism (and so modernity). It may be Krishna that Amit Chaudhuri champions, rather than Catholic doctrine, or at least Krishna’s delight in ‘the infinitely tantalizing play, chicanery, and light and shade of the created universe’ (music to a Modernist’s ears, even if our essayist is an atheist), but all the same, I smell casuistry in the service of an orthodoxy. It makes at times for compelling reading.

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Robert Dessaix

Robert Dessaix

Robert Dessaix is a broadcaster, essayist, and memoirist. His most recent book is The Pleasures of Leisure (2017).  He is also the author of several other books including the autobiography A Mother’s Disgrace (1994), the novels Night Letters (1996) and Corfu (2001), and the travel memoirs Twilight of Love (2004) and Arabesques (2008).

Published in December 2018, no. 407

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