Sunday, November 13, 2011

Speaking In Delhi and Trivandrum this week

The literary magazine Pratilipi is a journal whose values I respect and admire. Even to call it bilingual, which it is, is to mischaracterize it, for it contains not just original work in English and Hindi but also translations into English and Hindi from many other languages. No individual mind, publishing house, or journal can come close to comprehending Indian literature across time and across languages, but Pratilipi seems to me very dynamic and ambitious in this regard.

Recently the magazine has diversified into book publishing, and among its new titles is one of the most enjoyable books I've read this year: The Pratilipi Special on the Village. On Wednesday, November 16, the magazine is hosting a joint event for several titles in Delhi at the India Habitat Centre. There will be readings by the poets Mangalesh Dabral, Alok Bhalla and Asad Zaidi, and then Jai Arjun Singh will speak on Pratilipi's list of Swedish novels and I will speak on The Pratilipi Special on The Village.

If you're a student, or just a reader interested in literature outside the mainstream, come along: the Facebook page for the event is here. Would that such events were around when I was a student in Delhi at the end of the nineties; then my education in Indian literature would have taken far less time than it did. In those days there was no transmission of information about events on the Internet; nobody ever invited me to anything; I was confined to English literature classes at Delhi University, and my only outings in culture were viewings of obscure (but beautiful) films in the hushed, prayerful atmosphere of the Iranian Cultural Centre on Ferozeshah Road. This was in its own way not such a regrettable matter, as those films have decisively influenced my aesthetic beliefs, but all I meant to say is that if such an event had taken place in 1999 and I'd known about it I'd have definitely gone for it -- and so should you.

And on the afternoon of Friday, November 18, I'm giving my lecture "Ten Ways In Which Novels Can Change Your Life" at the Hay Festival in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. Just in case there are some of you at the talk -- unlikely, but one should never say never -- who also came to the talk by the same title in Delhi in February, don't worry, I'll have changed lots of the novels around, so even if we've grown nine months older -- it's terrible, I know, how time passes, and nothing to show for it but more chapters of a novel thrown out into the trash for lack of rhythm, energy and sense -- the talk won't have. The entire program for the festival is here.

1 comment:

Sundhar said...

Hi Chandrahas,
Can you create an archive of your "
New and Noteworthy" section on the right side tool section? I was searching for the title of a book on Palestine you had listed in that section few months back.