The post-modern English literary world will find a very profound food for thought, thanks to the Etchings of the First Quarter of 2020.
Authored by Sabarna Roy, this book may be poised to brace controversy worldwide but it propels the readers to think through a broad spectrum on why mankind acts erratically. Sabarna Roy is a much awarded author.
In 2019 he received the Literoma Laureate Award for fiction. and in 2020 he was awarded the Literoma Star Achiever Award for his authorship.
Charting the hitherto uncharted peripheries of heart and mind in relation to human behaviour, this just published book subtly deals with why literary characters like Anna Karenina of Leo Tolstoy, Humbert Humbert of Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita or Nikhilesh of Rabindranath Tagore’s Ghare Baire (Inside, Outside) behaved in their fictional-self in patters they did apart from many other things.
What is most remarkable, Sabarna Roy also touched the extremely debated topic of “reality of purpose” of the Bolshevik Revolution of Russia in 1917.
As the author deals with darker sides of characters like Anna Karenina, Humbert Humbert and Nikhilesh with supreme dexterity, he also raised very pertinent questions about such Communist icons like V.I. Lenin and Joseph Stalin.
Was it that the elite Communist Party of Russia simply usurped power in Imperial Czarist Russia through the Bolshevik Revolution without decentralizing its effects among the real proletariat?
Was it that the “other side of human psyche” or dark recesses of the human mind propelled Anna Karenina to tendentiously betray her lovers, Humbert’s libido made him a slave to Lolita or made Nikhilesh totally un-decisive about his moves?
Sabarna Roy’s unique trait of raising curiosity among the readers as evident in his other five works also gets reflected in this book right from the very first chapter in the form of Letter to a Step-daughter. Apparently, the very title evokes mankind’s curiosity.
It is more so as Sabarna Roy adds another chapter by the catchy title “Nocturnal Conversation between a Step-father and Step-daughter over desserts and coffee” in Etchings of the First Quarter of 2020 making the book more meaningful.
Both these parts of the book made to redefine the step-father Babazula’s pristine real-father-like love for the step-daughter Tulip. Babazula, the character, explains duality of mind to Tulip, the fictional step-daughter in a manner possible only by a real father.
Both these parts of the book have intense emotional overtones.
As a writer, Sabarna Roy undoubtedly is courageous. He has made bold attempts to x-ray such sacrosanct characters like Lolita, Humbert Humbert, Nikhilesh and Anna Karenina. He, in fact, uses scientific tools to explain the duality of mind through which humans suffer.
We know touching such characters and issues especially the secret love story of poet T S Eliot will make hundreds of critics pounce upon him from different corners of the earth.
But he did and did it with supreme realism using psychoanalysis, logic and modern inventions in the area of human behavioural science as tools.
Though a technocrat by profession, Sabarna Roy proves he can also make literary-scientific sketches of the human mind. This becomes crystal clear in A Letter to Suranjana and poem-cycle-series Winter Poems 2020.
Playing a virtual literary musical chair from one topic to other with duality of human mind being the pivot, the author linked both fictional literary characters and actual historical figures like Hegel, Karl Marx, Leon Trotsky, Lenin, Stalin and T S Eliot and medically examine the phenomenon of schizophrenia to thread his narrative.
In fact, Etchings of the First Quarter of 2020 is perhaps the first literary venture that tries to break barriers of misconceptions related to human characters and also flow of political events in the 20th century. That way, it is more of a psycho-political book than a fictional piece.
This particular author always tilts to focus on human being’s dark fantasies.
They spoke for themselves in the form of different fictional characters in Sabarna Roy’s other five bestsellers which are Pentacles, Frosted Glass, Abyss, Winter Poems and Random Subterranean Mosaic: 2012 – 2018 Time Frozen in Myriad Thoughts.
This is a must-read book for all those who search for finding meaning to realities of erratic human behavior.