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stumbling-stone

Aubrey Menen

Aubrey Menen (in full Salvator Aubrey Clarence Menen) (22 April 1912 in London13 February 1989 in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, Southern India) was an English writer of Irish and Indian parentage who was primarily a satirist. He was also a drama critic, theater director, advertising agency executive, and an alumnus of University College London. His essays and novels explore the nature of nationalism and the cultural contrast between his own Irish-Indian ancestry and his traditional British upbringing.

A quote: "There are three things which are real: God, human folly, and laughter. Since the first two pass our comprehension, we must do what we can with the third."

Asked to give advice to writers, Mr. Menen, who was admired as a satirist, told the publication Contemporary Authors that the aspiring writer should perform a daily physical exercise: He should sit on his bottom in front of a table equipped with writing materials, he said. If his top end fails him, at least his nether end won't.

"The Prevalence of Witches" takes place in an uncivilized area of India which he calls "Limbo", possibly an homage to the work by Aldous Huxley whom he explicitly acknolwedges in the book as one of the greatest writers of his time.

Works

Novels

  • The Prevalence of Witches (1947)
  • The Stumbling-Stone (1949)
  • The Backward Bride: A Sicilian Scherzo (1950)
  • The Duke of Gallodoro (1952)
  • The Ramayana, As Told by Aubrey Menen (1954)
  • The Abode of Love: The Conception, Financing and Daily Routine of an English Harem in the Middle of the 19th Century (1956)
  • The Fig Tree (1959)
  • SheLa: A Satire (1962)
  • A Conspiracy of Women (1965)
  • Fonthill: A Comedy (1974)

Travel

  • Rome Revealed (1960)
  • Speaking the Language Like a Native (1962)
  • India (1969)
  • Upon This Rock (1972)
  • London (1976)
  • Venice (1976)
  • Four Days of Naples (1979)

Other Non-Fiction

  • Dead Man in the Silver Market (1953)
  • The Space within the Heart (1970)
  • Cities in the Sand (1972)
  • The New Mystics and the True Indian Tradition (1974)
  • Art and Money (1980)

Links

  • NYT Obituary: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=950DE1D81F30F937A15751C0A96F948260
  • Time magazine review of "Man Without a Country" and information about Mr. Menen: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,818777,00.html?iid=chix-sphere
  • Review of, "A Conspiracy of Women": http://myweb.unomaha.edu/~mreames/Beyond_Renault/menen.html

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