লেখক: Debraj Moulick
শিল্পী: Team Kalpabiswa
Writer – Douglas Adams
Year – 1979
Country- United Kingdom
Genre – Science Fiction, Speculative Fiction, Comedy
Our life is nothing but a strange series of phenomena. Sometimes it makes sense, and the rest of the time, it doesn’t. Sometimes it is funny, sometimes it is serious, but mostly it is meaningless because in the end, nothing really happens, we are stuck in an infinite loop of birth-life-dual life-death-afterlife-hell-heaven-reincarnation-moksha or nothing at all, and we question about the meaning of life or life itself.
Are you confused? Are you feeling “ What the hell is going on over here ?”
This is the beauty of absurd literature and obviously the world of Douglas Adams’ “ The Hitchhiker’s Guide To Galaxy”, where the protagonist Arthur wakes up in the morning only to discover two things, firstly his house is going to be demolished by a bulldozer and his dear friend is an alien from a distant planet, Betelgeuse. He finds himself in the pub, and a few minutes later, his house, along with his planet, Earth, is facing the same issue that postmodern people often feel… ‘Existential Crisis’. Arthur loses his house along with his planet, and how he is rescued and thwarted into space by his alien pal, Ford Prefect, forms the plot of the novel, which was adapted from a radio series of the same name by the same author, Adams. The writers sketch some bizarre characters like Arthur Dent, who, just like the readers, doesn’t seem to have much idea about almost anything. Ford is an interesting person (oops, not a person but a third person if we consider the rules of English Grammar) with an intriguing job; he is updating the upcoming edition of the book of books, the mother-the father-the God of all bestselling books in the Universe, Galaxy to be specific, The Hitchhiker’s Guide To Galaxy, a wholly remarkable book.
In fact, it was probably the most remarkable book ever to come out of the great publishing corporations of Ursa Minor-of which no Earthman had ever heard either. (2, The Hitchhiker’s Guide To Galaxy)
There are some astonishing events across the out-of-the-ordinary course of the novel with a weird human as well as inhuman ( that is rude, ok extraterrestrials) characters like the bureaucratic, idiotic but poetic Vogons, an ordinary girlfriend of an extraordinary character, Zaphod Beeblebrox who happens to be the President of the Galaxy, a depressed soul or rather a soulless entity- the robot named Marvin who is a paranoid android and lastly Startiblast, the God, oops the creator of Earth.
The narration doesn’t follow a particular stream of thought; rather, it jumps from one course of thought to the other, just like a hyperlink. But it never fails short of one thing, humour, whether it is satiric, dark, dry or witty. In the end, the reader might be confused just like the listeners when they hear these lines from one of the most famous songs of the millennium on Earth; it is the Rhapsody of a Bohemian in Queen’s Language.
“Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide, no escape from reality
Open your eyes, look up to the skies and see
I’m just a poor boy; I need no sympathy.”
( Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen, 1975)
But in the end, it made sense out of the nonsense; it made us smile, and it made us laugh at the incongruities of life. Douglas Adams was sure that he wanted the reader to enjoy a good old series of laughter sessions rather than take on something very serious like the plotlines of Dune (1965) and Lord of Light (1967).
Thus, this book which is a genetic crossbreed (No reference to The Island of Dr. Moreau, 1896 between StarTrek, 1966 (Space, the Final Frontier), Monty Python, 1971 (the craziness quotient), the Stream of Conscious style of narrations and obviously, the absurd literature.
Douglas Adams writes with effortless ease because he took his time to produce this endearing piece of speculative fiction by staying hydrated, cool, calm, composed and believing in the philosophy of ‘Don’t Panic’. Lastly, he adds a pinch of philosophy where a deeply thinking computer named ‘DeepThought’(such a creative nomenclature) provides an answer to “Ultimate Question to Life, the Universe, and Everything.”
In order to know the answer and the explanation behind it, hitch a ride across space, hyperspace, Magrathea in a kind-hearted spaceship named Heart of Gold and when you are done with your adventure, book a table at The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (1980)Tags: Debraj Moulick, English Section, অষ্টম বর্ষ প্রথম সংখ্যা, সমালোচনা