Prem Krishnamurthy at The Third Rail:

350 pages into Vikram Chandra’s epic novel Red Earth and Pouring Rain, a particular story within a story within a story caught my attention the first time I read it in the mid-aughts. Perhaps one day I’ll pen a lecture on the image of printers within contemporary literature. This one involves the wily Calcutta printer Sorkar, working on commission to an aloof Englishman named Markline. Sorkar wanders his shopfloor, occasionally handing out special letters to his Bengali typesetters to substitute for their fonts. What do these letters spell? It turns out that they are a cipher, a means of encoding secret linguistic jabs against the printer’s British master. They range from political statements such as “The Company makes widows and famines, and calls it peace” to the simple and effective, “Fuck you.”

more here.