Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year Resolution

The best resolution to make this New Year's Day might be to open your eyes to everything around you—while also recalling that most of our lofty resolutions will ultimately come to naught.

Pico Iyer reviews Arto Possillina's famous novel "The year of the Hare". But it's more than a review article. Iyer gives a rare and wonderful insight into living the other way. Which is consistent with the theme of the novel.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Khushwant Singh's current take on Salman Rushdie

There is more to Rushdie than his fertile imagination and powerful pen. Besides his brain, he has other parts of his body well-endowed. How else can one explain that this beady-eyed, bearded man in his middle age had a succession of wives and mistresses to warm his bed? That is yet another reason why I envy and admire him.

Source: Khushwant Singh's column "With malice towards one and all" published in the Hindustan Times dated Dec 26, 2010.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Literary greatness= a game of hype?

EILEEN BATTERSBY has an interesting article in The Irish Times

HYPE HAS a great deal to answer for. It embellishes, it manipulates, most of all, it distorts. Hype creates a subplot; it elevates a sideshow to a main event. If Jonathan Franzen had not taken nine years to write Freedom, it would most likely have been received as the novel it actually is – a sloppy, overwritten, mildly amusing extended sitcom that is being inaccurately, even grotesquely, hailed as a masterpie

Sunday, December 19, 2010

" I have unbounded admiration for her."


I do not know Arundhati Roy well as I have met her briefly a couple of times. But I have unbounded admiration for her. She is good-looking, animated, unconventional, a gifted writer, gutsy and a champion of lost causes. I am by no means her only admirer; she has millions of them in India and abroad. I am not wrong in believing that she is the best known Indian woman in western democratic nations and regarded as the leading voice of dissent in democratic india.. To penalise her will further enhance her reputation abroad and bring India a bad name.

Source: Khuswant Singh's column "With malice towards one and all" in the Hindustan Times dated Dec 19, 2010.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Liu Xiaobo's collection of poems in English

Literary news: Graywolf Press of Minneapolis will be publishing the first collection of poems in English by Liu Xiaobo, the Chinese dissident poet and literary critic who is the winner of this year's Nobel Peace Prize.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Mario Vargas Llosa's Nobel Lecture

"Without fictions we would be less aware of the importance of freedom for life to be livable, the hell it turns into when it is trampled underfoot by a tyrant, an ideology, or a religion. Let those who doubt that literature not only submerges us in the dream of beauty and happiness but alerts us to every kind of oppression, ask themselves why all regimes determined to control the behavior of citizens from cradle to grave fear it so much they establish systems of censorship to repress it and keep so wary an eye on independent writers. They do this because they know the risk of allowing the imagination to wander free in books, know how seditious fictions become when the reader compares the freedom that makes them possible and is exercised in them with the obscurantism and fear lying in wait in the real world. Whether they want it or not, know it or not, when they invent stories the writers of tales propagate dissatisfaction, demonstrating that the world is badly made and the life of fantasy richer than the life of our daily routine. This fact, if it takes root in their sensibility and consciousness, makes citizens more difficult to manipulate, less willing to accept the lies of the interrogators and jailers who would like to make them believe that behind bars they lead more secure and better lives.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Gao Xingjian interview

"Literature can neither change nor save the world. A work of literature is nothing more than the voice of the writer as an individual, and it is an illusion for any writer to think he or she can change the world. During the 20th century, literature became too intimately involved with politics. In China, literature became a screw that turned the machinery of proletariat dictatorship, and writers became public relations personnel of the Communist Party. But literature is--and should be--about exploring the complexities of human nature and seeking the truth. Literature must remain independent.

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