Daily Archives: February 26, 2014

Wendy Doniger: it’s the brackets!

indiamapRecent news that Penguin India is to pulp copies of The Hindus: an alternative history, by Wendy Doniger (ISBN 978-0-19-959334-7), is, of course, shocking.

India has a web of laws designed to prevent the horror of communalism. This euphemism disguises the horror of different sets of people killing each other in the name of various religions including Hinduism, Islam and Sikhism.

Doniger’s 779 page book is an idiosyncratic look at Hinduism. She is an academic. It’s an entertaining enough book – I read it a few years back and re-read it following the Penguin India controversy.

The thing that mars the book for me is her excessive use of brackets.  I turned at random to page 528. On this page alone there are seven pairs of brackets and a hanging bracket at the top of the page.

I haven’t counted all the sets of brackets in the book, but if you multiply up seven by 779 that amounts to 5,453 sets of brackets. That’s way too many brackets!  Brackets break up the flow of a narrative, don’t you know? ♥