Sunday, January 24, 2016

They said it in Jaipur Litfest 2016

The novel includes many matters without excluding anything. [...] It remains a hybrid form; there is no single way to read or write a novel. 
Colm Toibin

Saturday, January 23, 2016

A moralist, but not a moraliser

“I’m a moralist but not a moraliser. I’m very interested in how and why people act as they do, but I don’t as a novelist ever try to tell people how to behave.”
--Julian Barnes

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Yann Martel's Compromises and Drafts

Compromises? Hundreds. Drafts? Dozens. I suppose there are some modern-day Jane Austens who write finished polished prose in which only a word or two is changed here and there. I ain’t one of those writers. I’m a messy, untutored blunderer. I might have been left to my ways if it hadn’t been for the bizarre success of Life of Pi, which—among many other consequences—brought me to the attention of many fine, sharp-minded editors.

An article I published on Medium in response to an invite

I write because…

I’ve never really thought about why I write.

I hate entertaining somebody with my writing. I like to see writers as thinkers, visionaries, futurists, social reformers, even activists — but never as entertainers. You write to entertain me, you lose my respect.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Information and Literature

"In my books, I try to use every channel of information possible, keeping in mind that information is not what is most important in literature, meaning is.” 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

In the beginning was the Word

"Word invokes existence, it matures a man, it carries a man to something great and valiant, it makes a man dream, and drives a man to much humanity."


Monday, January 11, 2016

Writing at the age of 80

"I’m not an opera person at all, but I think of Verdi, for example, as someone who was writing at the age of 80 work comparable to what he was doing 50 years earlier.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

"I want people who can make magic" / Gordon Lish

I want people who can make magic. That’s what the job at hand is. To take the elements of the language, to take these tarnished and exhausted entities, and to cause them to move in a way they’ve never moved otherwise. To imbue them with movement through the particular imposition of one’s will, one’s desire.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

When moral police stalks a writer

"Literature remains an unpredictable dialectic between the public and the private, the alien and the familiar, the individual and the collective; individual literary works may have elements of idiosyncrasy that may not always satisfy the conventions we have historically set up through social contracts that make the state, or those which evolve to define communities. Even so, literature exists in continuity with life, not in opposition to it.

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