In 1996 Logician George Boloos published a puzzle in The Harvard Review of Philosophy titled the ‘Hardest Logic Puzzle Ever.’ We stumbled upon it a few weeks ago by chance. No doubt, the sense of curiosity aroused was massive, and we brooded over the solution (and without success) for many days. Shortly after, tired and bruised, we decided to jump to the next best thing possible- detective fiction. As is the case with science fiction or horror novels, the bias created around genre literature is quite disheartening; the detective too, has been murdered.
Regardless, studying the works of Raymond Chandler or say Paul Auster (if he isn’t too eccentric?), was quite refreshing, and indeed insightful. Would it be too far-fetched to call every story a detective thriller? Where every character plays the detective, gauging the emotion of another? And all the while a search for the fine line of subtlety upon which to play the sad man or the happy man or the angry man. And what of the reader? He too, is a detective; not a very good one perhaps – maybe even a dim wit- if he is at the mercy of a clever writer.
We are yet to receive anything that resembles detective fiction (or stumble across them in other magazines), but we would love to read and publish them. There are but a few things that can outdo the vicarious thrill of analyzing another’s troubles.
Now, a different note on troubles: We have been, for some time, considering the merits of bi-monthly publication- for reasons of quality and consistency. Starting January, we will be admitting to this pattern. Submissions, needless to say, are welcome throughout the year.
The December issue was a beta in this regard. We have combined selected submissions received over a two-month period to create a collection of five stories and four poems.
In our last issue, we called for more humor. Aayush Yadav delivers with his story, ‘Cigarettes and Love’, a take on romantics. Kenneth Robbins writes the story of a cold, blue professor in ‘Black Ice’ while Neerja Singh, in her story ‘Other Worldly’, explores the warm relationship between a mother and her recently wed daughter through the realms of parapsychology. Classical music seemed in favor this season: ‘Till the Cows come Home’, by Krupa Ge and ‘Imam Kalyan’ by Shom Biswas revolve around it, albeit in completely different orbits.
Coming to poetry: Love can be a taunting subject for any poet, and rightly so; it is not the representation of any single emotion but rather the confluence of everything. David Ishaya Osu does a brilliant job of it in his poem ‘Happy Birthday.’ Of course, the subject is vast in variety and it can be surely argued that every poet writes about love. Robert Knox’s ‘My aching back’ is the representation of one such love: an old man wandering into his garden, whereas flowers ache to greet him.
Scott Montgomery’s poem Quoricancha, set under the shadow of the Inkil Chumpi stone formations in South America, has a tenderly structured narrative style that is a reflection of the poet’s loneliness as he weighs the mountains. Goirick Brahmachari, dedicates an ode to fractured countries and lost roots, in ‘Pakistan’.
2014 was a year of some electric debuts and controversies in the literary world. Retail giant Amazon and publisher Hachette finally reached a truce in their long drawn out battle over pricing. In a kindly move, the British opened the Man Booker Prize to anyone writing in English, and a few American writers made it to the shortlist, while the prize was finally taken home by Australian writer, Richard Flanagan for his book about prisoners of war forced to work on the Thailand-Burma Railway, The Narrow Road to the Deep North.
The team is currently collecting funds to visit the Edgar Allan Poe house in Baltimore, where the author lived from 1833 to 1835, and which reopened earlier this year after a major renovation. Till then, The Bombay Review will be conducting a series of literary events and workshops around Pune, India, in January, as part of our association with Cara Café.
We wish our readers a warm New Year. Happy reading!
PS – Here is the solution to Boloos puzzle