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Danny Spedding

Reading “What I learnt while teaching Pakistani literature to a class of old, White Americans” I felt this literature consisted of some novels and stories by a few English-speaking expats and maybe Urdu natives. A visit to the library, however, results in a different picture of that country’s writing and reading communities over time. Another Pakistani newspaper had an interesting article recently which shows that a literary tradition is more than just a list of novels: The mention of stories by Abbas and Manto gives us a wider reference. I guess America too is more than just old and white. A Pakistani scholar (Alamgir Hashmi) who published a remarkable philosophical / critical book, The Commonwealth, Comparative Literature and the World, it appears way back in 1988 and perhaps ahead of its time, makes an important point in the sub-chapter “The language of color is highly invisible”. It shows we can’t be simplistic about reading, books, literature, people, culture, and related matters. Dr. Danny Spedding