From The Editor
Welcome to Taj June 2005! I experienced an ineffable dejection when Tsunami Terror and waves of destruction killed so many innocent children and women in southern India. Countless dead bodies lay on the beaches as more than 130,000 people died. This was the country's worst natural disaster. The question is if a poor country like India can afford an early warning system to detect such earthquakes so that the tragic history may not be repeated. The whole world felt:
A grief without a pang, void, dark, and drear,
A stifled, drowsy, unimpassioned grief,
Which finds no natural outlet, no relief,
In word, or sigh, or tear.
Coleridge, "DEJECTION: AN ODE"
The death of the Pope left the world's 1.1 billion Roman Catholics lonely and unhappy. He exuded true passion for universal love and peace. Special prayer service were observed in Catholic churches in Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram in India. Pope John Paul II's daily message transmitted by SMS on April 2, 2005 says: "Know how to recognize in the cross the most eloquent sign of the Lord's mercy."
Another news that made me unhappy was the sudden passing away of Arthur Miller (1915-2005) on Feb 11, 2005, at the age of ninety. He was an intellectual dramatist, and his best play is All My Sons. Miller himself said, "The fortress which All My Sons lays siege to is the fortress of unrelatedness."
Besides, the death of Nobel laureate Saul Bellow on April 5, 2005 was a serious loss for all creative artists. Bellow has been called 'a master of comic melancholy'. His most famous books are Dangling Man, Herzog, Humboldt's Gift, Henderson the Rain King, Seize the Day and The Adventures of Augie March. How to cope with the modern world of fret and fury? Bellow answers: "For one thing, it's the thinking we have to do and all the judgments we have to make. It's the price of freedom: make the judgments, make the mental calls."
Rani Drew along with her husband John from Cambridge UK visited my residence in January 2005. We discussed a lot of things concerned with postmodern creative writing, sale problems, new poetic techniques, 'concrete' poetry, disappearance of the author, poetry workshop, etc. Both are very sincere creative writers.
The issue number seven of Taj, June 2005 is devoted to creative writing, not only in English-speaking countries, but to literature in English across the globe. In this issue, I have included all the poems, short stories and essays I found of real interest and quality. I trust some of these writings reveal a social and cultural diversity. The outpouring of lyrical intensity by the poets is a very difficult task in the postmodern era, where we notice the vulgarization of culture by the onslaught of technocratic dictatorship. Genuine creative writing also faces the danger of dissection and deconstruction by New Critics. Edmund Wilson in "The Critic Who Does Not Exist" (1928) comments that the modern author is completely isolated, due to lack of 'intelligent criticism'. The undisputed fact remains that a creative artist must seek new forms of expression for new issues during postmodern era, so that an authentic portrayal of life, and its multicultural sensibility is possible.
It is my great pleasure to acknowledge, with a very deep sense of gratitude, the help and cooperation of the contributing artists. Best wishes.