Sunday, January 14, 2007

More Linx

WhyPaintCatsBookCover

My first link is to a phenom I was introduced to through friends who gave me a book called WHY PAINT CATS by author Burton Silver and photographer Heather Busch. The picture you see is just one of very many astonishing images in the book -- and then, when you read the text, you begin to be astonished at a secondary level: you begin to doubt the book's pix. If you visit the link, you'll see that the visitors there are fairly evenly split between those who love the book and believe the pictures are genuine (i.e., that there really are people who decorate their cats with dyes, sometimes paying huge sums of money for the privilege); those who love the book and believe the decorations have been faked; those who hate the book and cannot bear the thought of decorating felines with paint/dye/whatever, whether faked or real.

I will admit I didn't for a moment doubt that the cats really had been painted, until I showed it to S in Vermont, who took one look and said, "... PhotoShop?" It was only when I read the text that I too began to have doubts. And even before I became suspcious, I was rather surprised to see a picture of an Indian woman holding a "traditionally" painted cat -- the caption would have us believe that it's a common practice in North Indian temples for cats to be thus decorated. Well! Hmmm! So far as I know, many Indians consider cats to be inauspicious and either dislike them or are a little scared of them. Temple rats we've heard of, temple snakes, temple elephants; but CATS?? Uh-uh. Nope.

Uncontrollable immodesty leads me to post this second link -- it's to my review in OUTLOOK magazine of Raj Kamal Jha's recently published novel, FIREPROOF. After I'd read the book, I called the Books Page editor to ask if I could wriggle out of having to write a review but she was TOUGH and said "DO IT, WIMP!" (well, of course, not in those words!) and so -- being a wimp -- I did it. For once, I believe, I got away with quite an amusing result. I even think some people will feel inspired to buy the book just coz of the review ... but that may be self-flattery beyond acceptable limits. What I will say is, I actually enjoyed writing the review and THAT's a rare event!

6 comments:

Sharanya Manivannan said...

Heh. Am looking forward to reading it, and hope I enjoy it more than you did! :)

Marginalien said...

That would be great! If my review inspired you to go out and buy the book, I wouldn't need to feel the least shadow of guilty for writing it.

Anonymous said...

hello mp - i thoroughly enjoyed the biting review you conjured 4 outlook - style and content. in the spirit of applying said process of turning available material on itself i would propose that the first write up on painting cats could be entitled -
"cat as trophy?". gt

Amrobilia said...

Very nice revmew!

Marginalien said...

... make that "guilt" not "guiltY"! As for "revMEW", nice touch Amro! And thanks for the CAT-astrophic suggestion gt ...
Every time I see a cat these days, I imagine what it MIGHT be made to look like, if I could only get it to sit still long enough. MWAHAHAHAHAHAAAA

Damanpreet singh said...

Nice review