via Global South Asia On Screen: India only edition.

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Available from Aakar Books Here.

Rest of the world here (bloomsbury paperback in November)

https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4826-8949

 

Just because its only out cheaply in India does not mean you canot still buy stauff – the Hardback is 20 quid on some sites.

ANd there are a few older things still kicking about:

 

John Hutnyk is the author of Bad Marxism (Pluto Press, 2004) and Critique of Exotica …
The Rumour of Calcutta: Tourism, Charity and the Poverty of Representation [John Hutnyk] on Amazon.com. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.

Mother of Pearl

Moving from detective fiction in Thailand to commercial reproduction makes sense when its Angela Savage. This is my next non-work read:

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Some review snippets lifted from Angela’s blog:

Marian Woolf’s review A gripping story of surrogacy, sisters and power dynamics in The Age and Sydney Morning Herald

Surrogacy and the complicated moral and ethical questions around commercial reproduction is a minefield. The decision to use a surrogate, to become a surrogate, or to facilitate a surrogate pregnancy, are all examined in Mother of Pearl.
However, Savage is interested in more than the individual, and uses surrogacy as a lens through which to probe the differences between Third and First World choices. She tiptoes into frustration at the inward nature of Australian charity, our generosity towards our own relatively wealthy society while seemingly immune to the already poor elsewhere.

Ultimately … Mother of Pearl is a book about relationships – between people, countries and cultures – between those who have, and those who have not.

Linda Jaivin reviewed Mother of Pearl for The Saturday Paper.

‘At times, each character veers dangerously close to stereotype… But author Angela Savage is too skilful a writer to deal in clichés. As the narrative of this, her fourth novel, develops, each of the women reveals herself to be more complex and capable than she first appears.’

Savage, who writes with a tough mind and tender heart, tackles the moral and ethical issues around surrogacy with an unsentimental yet sympathetic eye: this is a novel, not a polemic.

Ken Hayley in the Courier Mail, writes:

‘Even a hard-bitten old codger like myself found certain passages of this work tearful going … Authorial attention to technical detail combined with raw emotional honesty and cross-cultural empathy has produced a narrative of resounding depth … This book is a window opening onto an intersection of economic choices and biological imperatives. We have here a rough literary equivalent of the Mexican movie Roma, except that Savage sees the view, with equal clarity, from both sides.’

And then from the transit lounge sales page for the book, the blurb followed by a review by Christos:

A luminous and courageous story about the hopes and dreams we all have for our lives and relationships, and the often fraught and unexpected ways they may be realised.

Angela Savage draws us masterfully into the lives of Anna, an aid worker trying to settle back into life in Australia after more than a decade in Southeast Asia; Meg, Anna’s sister, who holds out hope for a child despite seven fruitless years of IVF; Meg’s husband Nate, and Mukda, a single mother in provincial Thailand who wants to do the right thing by her son and parents.

The women and their families’ lives become intimately intertwined in the unsettling and extraordinary process of trying to bring a child into the world across borders of class, culture and nationality. Rich in characterisation and feeling, Mother of Pearl and the timely issues it raises will generate discussion among readers everywhere.

‘This is a story of family and motherhood, and also a story of culture and exploitation that asks us to think through the costs of our insatiable desire in the West to have everything. What I find remarkable about this novel is how it refuses easy and lazy judgement, how it takes seriously questions of loss, longing, and our human need to connect with each other.’

Christos Tsiolkas, author of The Slap

and finally:

‘A beautifully crafted novel from an incredibly gifted writer. Angela Savage explores the ethical minefield of international surrogacy through the stories of three women, desperate but determined to repair the broken parts of their lives The prose is as precise as it is poetic, the characters so deftly drawn. I read this book compulsively, racing to its poignant conclusion with my heart in my throat.’

Melanie Cheng, author of Australia Day and Room for a Stranger

 

With reviews like this…

Marx on farming, money markets, silver to India and umbrella manufacture

The recent excerpts from Marx’s notebooks from 1866-1869 coming out in MEGA IV / 19 offer much of fabulous interest (after the revelations of IV/18). Here he is cribbing notes from The Economist and is revealed yet again as concerned with the ecology and exploitation of agriculture, of the Raj expropriations in India (drain on silver) and micro detail about production processes.

And all this in a marvellous German-English mish-mash as all notes can be. Recall this is a year after the publication of Capital vol 1.

Here he is on English farming:

Grosser Unterschied z. B. in Midland Counties agreements, containing terms and stipulations so one-sided, so onerous and unfair towards the tenant farmers that incredible. Besides regulations as to cropping and farm-management, which place the tenants most completely at the landlord’s mercy, provided that the landlord shall have power to distrain for his rent a year or 9 months in advance! Z. B. where a tenancy commenced on 25. March, when one quarter’s rent due on 24. June, the landlord is empowered by the terms to enforce by distress the whole year’s rent to then following 25. March – 9 months in advance! Diese tenants have little or no capital, kaum any live stock of their own, also obliged to let their grass and aftergrass, or to take in stock to keep, in order to consume the produce of their land. In such cases, the hirers of the grass, or the putters out of the livestock, have no idea that their animals can be seized for payment of the tenants’ rent in advance. Yet in some districts the landlord or his agent relies on the opportunity of distraining the stock of strangers to secure the payment 13of the tenants’ rent. Wenn Dazu reservation u. preservation of game, the tenant farmers in a terrestrial purgatory. Lausestand dieser estates, charged too, meist mit debts and encumbrances.

Dagegen Musterfarm of Mr. Robert Leeds, of the West Lexham (Graf Leicester landlord), near Brandon, Norfolk. 1200 acres land, 1100 arable, 50 water meadows. „Whoever knows the district will be aware that the soil is light and sandy, only to be farmed profitably by being farmed highly.“ 20 years lease, Jagdrecht allein der tenant etc

„The homestead is fitted up with the best possible machinery, where corn is dressed, chaff cut, seed crushed, and cake ground by steam power. This cake a grand consideration at Lexham, where from 3 to 4 times the rent of the farm is annually expended in feeding stuffs and artificial manures. Er buys forward animals at from 20l. to 25l. each, and puts these on all the cake and corn they can eat, but never more than 2 bushels of roots a day. The beasts are on the farm 12‒16 weeks, and the yards are continually filled up with animals as those fit are disposed of. Except the bullocks bought in for grazing the water meadows, and which do not require any until July, alles sonst at Lexham is always eating cake, and the flock of ewes are now having 12 pound of cotton cake, with a limited ratio of bran at night. The breeding flock averages 300 ewes, and about 1200 hoggets are fattened during winter.“

and here on umbrellas (and books):

„In the case of the umbrella and parasol manufacture, the cover, as a constituent element of construction, represents from the entire cost of the finished article. The silk, the alpaca and Scotish gingham, of which the covers are made, are all imported, the former paying a duty of 60% and the latter two about 50% ad valorem, the variation being slight on the quality of the texture. The manufactured umbrella, covered with the same material, whose constituent parts are not taxed, either on the material used in their fabrication or on their sale, are, however, admitted under the present tariff at a duty of 35% ad valorem, or at a discriminating duty against the American and in favour of the foreign producer of from 15 to 25%. If we make allowance for the various U. St. internal revenue taxes, it is claimed by the American manufacturer that the discrimination in favour of the foreign producer is fully equal to 40%. It needs hardly to be added that, during the past 6 months imported umbrellas have been sold at auction in New York and Boston, with the original cost, duty, freight and charges paid in gold, for a less price than the American article can be manufactured; or that the business of making umbrellas and parasols in New York and Philadelphia, involving a capital of 2,000,000 dollars and employing the labour of some 5000 persons, a majority of whom are females, is threatened with utter destruction. In two instances cited to the Commission, umbrella manufactures have closed their factories in the U. St., and, with a view of exporting to this country, have transferred their capital and skill to Europe. In a communication submitted to the Commission by a committee of umbrella manufacturers, they state that, unless relief is speedily obtained, we can perceive no other possible course to pursue but the alternative of retiring entirely from the field, and leaving it entirely to foreign hands.“

Ebenso mit [also with] books.

„The Commission would add that at the present time the one article which, above all others, would seem to be a peculiar product of American industry, viz. Webster’s Spelling Book, is now being printed in large quantities in London for the use of American schools.“

 

and finally on India and Silver (dig at the irony of the French as couriers) and the implications for fluctuating credit availability, which is key to Volume three:

For the present the foreign drain (to the East) is checked; the silver market in London is dull.

Where does our gold go? Früher, in drain to India, silver went, nicht gold. Grund: Till a recent period, whatever silver was wanted for India was collected on the Continent and sent here. We sent it on to India. But now there is a French compagny sending silver, and French seamen carrying it from Marseilles without its coming here … Our gold goes to pay for the silver which formerly used to be sent to us bodily; but now it is used on our account indirectly, it is transmitted from Marseilles to India to pay our debts.

Many people wonder why, when there is a quick rise of money in Lombard Street, it should be cheap on the Stock Exchange. It is cheap in the latter, because it has quickly changed in the former. The quick change makes people uncertain u. dann der easiest market ist der Stock Exchange „from day to day“. Discount houses etc deal dann möglichst wenig in bills, use it daher on the Stock Exchange, where they can have it at once, just because they do not feel sure enough of the future to lock up their resources till definite dates.

 

https://megadigital.bbaw.de/exzerpte/detail.xql?id=1

The Higher Learning

“even the scholars occupied with the “humanities,” are at pains to find some colourable answer that shall satisfy the worldly-wise that this learning for which they speak is in some way useful for pecuniary gain” – Thorstein Veblen, 1919.

Veblen.jpg.860x0_q70_crop-scale

building my TB fan site.

 

Also: “Among the immediate consequences of this latter feature, as shown in the example of the law schools, is a relatively high cost. The schedule of salaries in the law schools attached to the universities, e. g., runs appreciably higher than in the university proper ; the reason being, of course, that men suitable efficiently to serve as instructors and directive officials in a school of law are almost necessarily men whose services in the practice of the law would command a high rate of pay. What is needed in the law school (as in the school of commerce) is men who are practically conversant with the ways and means of earning large fees, that being the point of it all”  Veblen on p214 of The Higher Learning. [My italics]

Comparison

Cities of Entanglements: Social Life in Johannesburg and Maputo Through Ethnographic Comparison.

By Barbara Heer  (2019 transcript Verlag, Bielefeld)

 

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and on page 282:

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yes, jealous the supervisory Hannerz get to say it: anths giving up what they cannot avoid. Ah well. If I was not already the enemy of anthropology in 1990, I was certainly aspiring to it.

And still:

https://www.academia.edu/37841048/City_The_museum_of_vernacular_regeneration

Global Digital Cultures

Very keen to read this:

Global Digital Cultures: Perspectives from South Asia  – 2019

By Aswin Punathambekar and  Sriram Mohan 

 

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Digital media histories are part of a global network, and South Asia is a key nexus in shaping the trajectory of digital media in the twenty-first century. Digital platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, and others are deeply embedded in the daily lives of millions of people around the world, shaping how people engage with others as kin, as citizens, and as consumers. Moving away from Anglo-American and strictly national frameworks, the essays in this book explore the intersections of local, national, regional, and global forces that shape contemporary digital culture(s) in regions like South Asia: the rise of digital and mobile media technologies, the ongoing transformation of established media industries, and emergent forms of digital media practice and use that are reconfiguring sociocultural, political, and economic terrains across the Indian subcontinent. From massive state-driven digital identity projects and YouTube censorship to Tinder and dating culture, from Twitter and primetime television to Facebook and political rumorsGlobal Digital Cultures focuses on enduring concerns of representation, identity, and power while grappling with algorithmic curation and data-driven processes of production, circulation, and consumption.

Rumours! (my emphasis).

and page 208 discussed Afzal Guru:

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