Chief Executive in Residence
Merrill Boyce is a longtime student of cultures and languages and of the interaction and reaction at their interfaces where tension, dialog and novelty emerge.
Merrill discovered the history of India through a backdoor. Stints in Europe and Vietnam convinced him that history is more than our truncated knowledge of the lower forty-eight. Though he learned that western historians think of India as a sanctum for students of religious, philosophical and spiritual obscurantism, Merrill considers India a portal to understanding the human condition where variety and contradiction illuminate human possibility, where a multiplicity of historical threads weave a complex story, and where recorded action and arcane literature give imperfect insight to peculiar and mystifying existences through often bad translations and perverse cultural interpretations.
India conceals the still mysterious Indus Valley Civilization; nurtures Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism; and hosts a vibrant literary tradition beginning before the Mahabharata and Ramayana, continuing with the court poems and histories of the Mughal Empire and capturing Nobel laureates Rudyard Kipling, Rabindranath Tagore and V.S Naipaul. Even in persuading the most recent of the invaders—the British—to leave, the people of India leveraged a successful synthesis of methods and institutions that endure as a foundation for the world’s largest democracy. India is a ravel well worth lifetimes of thoughtful consideration. It will bend your mind to tease the knot.
Two years of study and travel in India (and return visits) have persuaded Merrill of the viability of India as a nation and the wealth of its history as a hydra of stories—the broad, the deep, and the tangential—that deserve extensive attention beyond a survey.