Thursday, February 25, 2016

All of us are hungry for print...

Most authors now who are being published online—almost all of us—have all had the experience of being flamed in the comments section. And all of us are hungry for print, that sense not of permanence but of the attempt at permanence that print suggests, the durability it suggests. I think that’s how all writers write: They try to be eternal, they try to be durable and when something’s published in print, it’s a way of honoring that attempt.

--John Freeman

Monday, February 22, 2016

Literature is a perverse game...

Literature is a perverse game because it’s too easy to say that the teller pretends that Little Red Riding Hood or Madame Bovary or Anna Karenina is a fiction. Step by step, I want you to lose your critical control and start crying about the fate of Anna Karenina. But then I know that once you finish reading the book, you come back to reality and at the second reading you don’t cry any longer but simply appreciate the way in which I obliged you to cry the first time. That is the perverse literary game. Simonini is more cruel. He wants you to believe. He doesn’t want to show his inner strategy. The writer desires that you discover my strategy. Simonini, no. Every forger wants to be taken seriously.
--Umberto Eco in a 2011 interview.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Umberto Eco, philosopher who wrote novels over weekends, passes away at 84

"To believe in the end of something is a typical cultural posture. Since the Greeks and the Latins we have persisted in believing that our ancestors were better than us. I am always amused and interested by this kind of sport, which the mass media practice with increasing ferocity.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Recommended Reading: Sine Cosine Tangent by Don DeLilo

The New Yorker has a no- plot wonderful story by Don DeLilo, which ends with

Ordinary moments make the life. This was what she knew to be trustworthy, and this was what I learned, eventually, from those years we spent together. No leaps or falls. I inhale the little drizzly details of the past, and know who I am. What I failed to know before is clearer now, filtered up through time, an experience belonging to no one else, not remotely, no one, anyone, ever. I watch her use the roller to remove lint from her cloth coat. Define “lint,” I tell myself. Define “time,” define “space.” 

Monday, February 8, 2016

Literature always matters...

"Literature always matters, whether people read it or not. It is a witness account; it is a document that is going to outlast you, that’s going to live there for a long time. That’s why it matters.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Recommended Reading: Everything About Everything: David Foster Wallace’s ‘Infinite Jest’ at 20

Most great prose writers make the real world seem realer — it’s why we read great prose writers. But Wallace does something weirder, something more astounding: Even when you’re not reading him, he trains you to study the real world through the lens of his prose. Several writers’ names have become adjectivized — Kafkaesque, Orwellian, Dickensian — but these are designators of mood, of situation, of civic decay. The Wallaceian is not a description of something external; it describes something that happens ecstatically within, a state of apprehension (in both senses) and understanding. He didn’t name a condition, in other words. He created one.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Thursday, February 4, 2016

What Intizar Husain said 23 years ago about himself and literature

The WIRE has published a 1993 interview with Intizar Husain, the great Pakistani writer, who died on Feb 2, 2016. How relevant even today after long 23 years!

I like to see myself as part of the great tradition to which Amir Khusro, Nizamuddin Aulia, and Dara Shukoh as much as Rahim, Raskhan and Jayasi belong. This tradition is as much Hindu as it is Muslim. My stories are a struggle against religious fundamentalism, against mullahism.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Intizar Husain, great Pakistani writer, passes away

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