Quotes by: Pankaj Mishra

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Tanpinar presciently feared that to embrace the western conception of progress was to be mentally enslaved by a whole new epistemology, one that compartmentalised knowledge and concealed an instrumental view of human beings as no more than things to be manipulated.
Pankaj Mishra
The Sino-Indian War in 1962 has fundamentally shaped and distorted Indian attitudes towards China. It also obscured a great deal of what has happened in China since 1962.
Pankaj Mishra
If your writing collides with the conventional wisdom, there's going to be some kind of friction.
Pankaj Mishra
As in the early 20th century, the elemental forces of globalisation have unravelled broad solidarities and loyalties.
Pankaj Mishra
In 1853, American warships bullied Japan out of centuries of virtual isolation and into the modern world. The threat of force compelled Japan, like India and China before it, to accept trade agreements that were economically ruinous and eroded national sovereignty.
Pankaj Mishra
Countries that managed to rebuild commanding state structures after popular nationalist revolutions - such as China, Vietnam, and Iran - look stable and cohesive when compared with a traditional monarchy such as Thailand or wholly artificial nation-states like Iraq and Syria.
Pankaj Mishra
The Indonesian nationalists, mainly Javanese, who threw the Dutch out - in 1949, after a four-year struggle - were keen to preserve their inheritance and emulated the coercion, deceit, and bribery of the colonial rulers.
Pankaj Mishra
As a writer, I tend to be drawn to marginal people - writers, poet-prophets, seers, eccentrics - who embody the deeper ambivalences of their societies and bear deeper witness to their world than the famous figures we are used to celebrating, or demonizing, in our histories.
Pankaj Mishra
To Westerners, the students at Tiananmen may have given an impression of a solid and energetic consensus against dictatorship and for democracy, but they were an egotistical and fractious lot, riven by disagreements over tactics and money.
Pankaj Mishra
I started out as a novelist and wrote several novels before deciding to publish one, and I fully intend to go back to the form.
Pankaj Mishra
Thomas Friedman's 'The World is Flat' sold more copies in India than in the U.K. The market for go-getting business books or wonkish tomes by corporate moguls posing as philosopher kings has grown dramatically in modernising China and India.
Pankaj Mishra
Governments everywhere that are unable to guarantee equitable growth and social welfare have suffered a fatal decay of legitimacy.
Pankaj Mishra
The White House tapes, the recordings that Nixon made of his conversations in office, have long been recognized as a marvel of verbal incontinence.
Pankaj Mishra
I think the presence of caste in India, how the villages are geographically structured on caste lines, is very different from China. The presence of an egalitarian culture is striking in a Chinese village.
Pankaj Mishra
Ineptitude and negligence directed British policies in India more than any cynical desire to divide and rule, but the British were not above exploiting rivalries.
Pankaj Mishra
Devout Anatolian masses rising from poverty have transformed Turkey politically and economically.
Pankaj Mishra
The Turkish, Arab and Chinese nationalists who built new nation-states out of the ruins of old empires scorned their old, decrepit rulers as much as they did the foreign imperialists who imposed free trade through gunboats.
Pankaj Mishra
Decolonisation seems to have dented little the sense of superiority that since 1945 has made American leaders in particular consistently underestimate the intensity of nationalist feeling in Asia and Africa.
Pankaj Mishra
Basically, I think of fiction and non-fiction as different ways of engaging with the world. You reach a point where you feel you have said all you possibly can, in reportage or a review essay or a reflection on history, which 'From the Ruins of Empire' was.
Pankaj Mishra
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