A Puncher & Wattman publication
‘When I listen to Bach, I seem to turn into a fish’.
Bach (Pau) in Love
‘We forget because we want to live in hope for a better life. It’s this wretched hope that demands
that we forget the unforgettable’.
The Last Smile of Graf, Tolstoy
Subhash Jaireth’s latest collection of short stories explore the nature of love, loss and memory. Central to each story is the uneasiness the narrator feels about his or her place in the world. A critical moment in the life of each narrator illuminates these themes in remarkable ways.
The book was launched by Professor Jen Webb, Director, Centre for Creative and Cultural
Research, Faculty of Arts and Design, University of Canberra at Thursday 8 October, 6 pm at The National Library Bookshop. Buy your copy from the National Library Bookshop
Moments Book Launch
My thoughts on Moments
Reading these stories has given me great pleasure. One of the first aspect that struck me was the honesty and authority of the narrator. I found them enigmatic with fluctuations of mood as emotional pressures mount for the characters going about their daily lives. The attention to detail adds greatly to the reading pleasure. The stories are anything but predictable as they unfold and lead the reader to a moment of epiphany or discovery. Each of the characters is distinct and original. There is a certain sadness, sometimes melancholy to these stories. I enjoyed the way in which each story is set in a different part of the world. The stories strengths are the originality of the storylines, the musicality and rhythms of the poetic prose and the impact of the bitter-sweet endings to the stories that linger on in the reader’s mind.
The Quartz Hill
I found this story fascinating and highly original. It really captures the landscape in all its glory. This story is blue in a completely different sense and was thoroughly intriguing. I shall never look at a kapok in quite the same way again.
From the National Library “Moments” Page:
In the story “Walter Benjamin’s Pipe” the narrator wants to comprehend that critical moment when Walter Benjamin, the famous Jewish-German philosopher and literary critic, decided to end his life. In the story “Bach (Pau) in Love,” the famous Catalan cellist Pablo Casals imagines the situation which
would have inspired Bach to compose his six suites for cello. In the story “Anna and Fyodor in Basel,” Anna, Fyodor Dostoevsky’s wife waits for that moment when Holbein’s famous painting about the dead Christ makes its appearance in the novel The Idiot. In “The Quartz Hill,” a Cantonese photographer looks at the prints of Paddy Bedford’s paintings about the Bedford Downs massacre and decides to visit Halls Creek in search for her Gija grandmother’s roots.
Subhash Jaireth lives in Canberra. Between 1969 and 1978 he spent nine years in Moscow. He has published three books of poetry: Yashodhara: Six Seasons without You (2003), Unfinished Poems for Your Violin (1996) and Before the Bullet Hit Me (1994, in Hindi). His short story collection To Silence was published by Puncher & Wattmann in 2011 and his novel After Love was released in 2012.