Saturday, January 22, 2011

Jaipur Lit Festival & William Dalrymple

The article is more than a fortnight old, but since the Jaipur Lit Festival is still on, it's not stale yet, featuring as it does William Dalrymple, "the pompous literary arbiter of literary merit in India", who calls the shot as its director.

It is not for nothing that over the recent past, Dalrymple has been in conversation with authors as diverse as Tishani Doshi (though a romance linking Wales and Gujarat is perhaps a fit setting for him) and Sonia Faleiro (what could Dalrymple have to contribute to the Bar Girls of Bombay?; on the evidence of the evening, not much). Symbols matter, and if Dalrymple appears central to our literary culture, it says something far more damaging about us than about him.

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