( once again I am unable to post the photos of the books)
Sometime ago, a couple of years back maybe, I had found J.M. Coetzee’s ‘Inner Workings’, a collection of 21 literary essays he wrote during 2000-2005. Not long after I bought it I read all the essays in it, one by one. They were lengthy essays on many big name writers analysing their writings with perception and insight. Much of what he wrote went above my head, I must confess. Of the twenty one writers I had no idea about several of them like Bruno Schulz, Hugo Claus, Robert Walser, and so on. However, Coetzee’s essays were so good that I wanted to read the books written by these writers. The only problem remained finding them since it is not usual to find books by writers like those I mentioned above anywhere in Hyderabad or even the country. Last Sunday at Abids I was in for another surprise.
I saw a book ‘Confessions of Zeno’ by Italo Svevo in a heap of books at Abids and when I picked up the book to take a closer look something clicked in my memory. I felt that I had read about this author somewhere but couldn’t remember where. I hesitated before buying it since it looked like a book I wouldn’t want to read whatever the blurbs on the back cover said. Ultimately I decided to buy it since it was coming cheap, at just thirty rupees. On come home I took out the copy of ‘Inner Workings’ and opened it only to find that the first essay in it was on Italo Svevo!
The copy I found was a translation of Beryl De Zoete. I read the essay in ‘Inner Workings’ once again and it seems there’s another translation done by someone called Beth Archer Brombert. I do not know if I will read ‘Confessions of Zeno’ but I have the satisfaction of finding a book by an author I had thought would be impossible to find in Hyderabad.