the server by tim parks
Last Updated : GMT 11:08:12
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

The Server by Tim Parks

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today The Server by Tim Parks

London - Arabstoday

In his 2010 memoir, Teach Us to Sit Still, Tim Parks wrote beautifully about how meditation helped him deal with chronic pain. His new novel takes place on a Buddhist retreat. Fleeing her hedonistic and troubled life, Beth moves to the austere Dasgupta Institute, where sex and talking are forbidden. She wrestles with the Buddhist teaching that the self is an insubstantial fantasy – not easy for someone with an ego the size of India. Soon restless, Beth sneaks into a man\'s bedroom and reads his diary. Thrilled to discover another tortured soul desperate to \"start over\", she keeps going back for more. The interwoven narratives – Beth\'s thoughts and the man\'s late-night scrawls – evoke the Buddhist concept of dukkha (suffering borne of confusion). But sadly, the main suffering is done by the reader. Few middle-aged male novelists should attempt to inhabit the minds of \"feisty\" young women and Parks proves no exception. Beth\'s inner monologue – replete with sexual fantasies – is unconvincing and embarrassing. Parks has applied Buddhist teachings too perfectly. It\'s said that meditation helps us recognise how stale our personal stories have become, so we can let them go. By creating two such insubstantial characters, he\'s written a novel you want to let go of even before you\'ve finished.

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