“Bombay,” by Marie Saglio: A Broken Metropolis

“Bombay,” by Marie Saglio, Serge Safran, 416 pages, €21.90, digital version €13.

For the avid reader of literature, reading is a strange and wonderful experience MumbaiAn anthropologist and expert on contemporary India, Marie Saglio, has published several scholarly works. She specifically tackles social exclusion as a mode of organization and production in India’s vast slums, which feed off the constant recycling of waste in a turbulent economy, against a backdrop of widespread corruption and religious extremism. Mumbai is his first novel. It springs from an inevitability, conceived on every page, strong enough for us to acknowledge without (too much) complaining about the sudden, all-knowing narrator at the turn of the passage, able to recover the secrets of minor characters Thoughts such as the multiplication of strictly informative conversations.One will believe in himself, certain pages, back to that era Three Musketeers They exchange tons of information they’ve already taken to heart, with the sole purpose of getting it across to the reader in the full gallop of the plot.

Indian reality

From this point of view we call literature, Mumbai There’s simple romance, or a thousand and one flaws, whichever you prefer. But that doesn’t matter considering the energy displayed by this vivid mural, which exploits the freedom to combine imaginary gestures with a deep dive into the most contemporary Indian realities. Mumbai Driven throughout by an imperious desire to share knowledge, strictly speaking, sensitive to the Indian metropolis, the epicenter of globalization. The reader measures his ignorance on every page, even as he continues to learn about the ravages of Hindu extremism in a country where the rapid rise of economic power and the population are torn between the worst air pollution, water, soil, poverty of prisoners and caste system Compete with the mafia that infiltrates every class of society.

The romantic scheme conceived by Marie Saglio has a certain effect at this point: it’s fine, because he spent a few years in exile in London, pursuing a brilliant career as an engineer with an international recycling company. Shiv can measure trash India’s latest heartbreak. He left Mumbai shortly after the 2008 Islamist attacks that shattered young people’s dreams of liberating themselves in every way, and himself, from London, could only form a very abstract picture of the situation he was forced to face. Idea framed the task his company had entrusted to him: a study of the possibility of cleaning the huge Gandapur dump and the adjoining shanty towns, populated by displaced populations destined to live lives of perpetual recycling.When Shiv is reunited with his adoptive mother, the brilliant Shantiji, who has been fighting for education for all for years, and at the same time he discovers the weight of the mafia in the vast slums, we are no longer quite clear whether it is the waste of the metropolis or Center of Vitality, and the Perpetual Threat Everywhere “warder”organized into militias in the name of Hindu purity.

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