Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Friday, May 24, 2013

2013 Man Booker International Prize awarded to Lydia Davis

American short story writer LydiaDavis won the fifth Man Booker International Prize for fictionon Wednesday for a body of work that includes some of thebriefest tales ever published.

"Her writings fling their lithe arms wide to embrace many a kind. Just how to categorise them? They have been called stories but could equally be miniatures, anecdotes, essays, jokes, parables, fables,texts, aphorisms or even apophthegms, prayers or simply observations." 

Personally, I feel very inspired because as a writer I love brevity and hate being categorised. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Isabel Allende interview

Writing a memoir about the death of my daughter saved me from going crazy. It allowed me to understand and accept what happened. I will always carry sadness with me but it has not destroyed my life. I was able to process it, as you say – it was very cathartic.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Criticism in the age of internet

Some springs, I teach a college class on criticism in the age of the Internet. Early on, I ask students to think about the difference between a rating, a recommendation, a review, and a piece of criticism. Most of them locate those four types of opinion on a continuum; the earlier ones, they say, require less time to create. I ask them whether this means that they are less valid as opinions. No, they say. Definitely not. Discussion ensues. One thing they decide fairly quickly is that the validity of opinion does not mean the same thing for different types of objects. A product (a toaster or a smart phone) reveals itself immediately. The only thing you might discover about it later is that it has ceased to perform its central function well. This is not the case with works of art. They do not show themselves all at once. Rather, they unfold over time. They gestate in the minds of viewers or listeners or readers.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Helen Garner on book prizes

The trouble starts at the moment when you get the crazy idea that not winning a prize means you're no good. It doesn't mean that at all. I have been a member of several judging panels. I have witnessed the strange dynamic of their functioning. Forces that outsiders can't even conceive of are at work in those meeting rooms. Under all their beautiful intelligent reasoning, prize judges, like people in every sphere of action, are driven by unconscious urges. How could it be otherwise? They are not sphinxes, or oracles, or disembodied spirits. They are people, subject to moods, full of contradictions and unacknowledged emotions and thwarted longings of their own.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Self-publishing Vs Traditional publishing

Self-publishing is as much a lottery as traditional publishing. Each has benefits, each has pitfalls. I think the vast majority of people who self-publish do so because they don’t see any alternative way into publishing. Even if you find yourself an agent and get a publisher on board—which is hard enough—there’s still no guarantee of success.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Last Days of a Real Writer

Subimal Misra, the well-known Bengali writer, called me this evening. Before going to my clinic, I was watching news on the telly at that hour.

Just when I was trying to relocate who it was speaking, he said, "Mrinal-Babu, I'm Subimal Misra. How are you?"

I hurriedly muted my TV set and replied, "Hi Subimal-da! How are you? I hear you after a long time."

"I'm in a very bad shape. That's why I'm going to disturb you."

"What's the problem?"

"You know I've scores of diseases: diabetes, asthma, a pace-maker in heart. But right now I'm having severe cough with shortness of breath. Can you suggest some drugs for me?"

I didn't respond immediately. The fact is, he is unwilling to go to any doctor for whatever reasons. May be he doesn't like visiting any doctor at all. And then he lives alone in a tiny rented flat far far way in the south. He seldom goes down out of his flat. How he manages his day-to-day living, I don't really know. I've not seen him in years - some eight or so. The only bit of news that I get of him is from his translator V. Ramaswamy, who is my friend. Ramaswamy keeps regular contact with him and helps him whatever way he can. .

"Are you listening to me, Mrinal-Babu?"

His is a long tired voice, and I can gauge he's breathing with difficulty. He must have some respiratory infection.

"Well, Subimal-da, take down"

I see him scribbling the names of drugs.

"Thank you. Part 1 of the problem is solved. The second part remains: to buy he drugs from the medicine shop. Who would go to buy it? I've not gone out of my flat for last two months".

"What about your fans and friends?"

"They have all abandoned me."

Silence reigns between us for a long while.

"Have you heard from Ramaswamy recently?"

"Yes. His 21-year- old son has passed away. How sad! Have you seen the boy? Long ago Ramaswamy came to take me to a doctor.. The boy was in the car".

"Are you writing these days?"

"How can I stop? I breathe in my writing".

Read a Subimal Misra story (translated)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Lit News: Witold Gombrowicz diary to hit bookstores on May 23

Four decades after his death, the diary of Polish author Witold Gombrowicz which finally hits book stores in Poland later this month will offer an intimate glimpse of the literary giant who made no secretof his homosexuality.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

And now digitized Carlos Fuentes

Carlos Fuentes' works will be published as E-books for the first time in US on the first anniversary of his death in Mexico city, according to PW.

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