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‘Calcutta is a Great Gallery’: chaloman shilpa andolan, or The Dynamic Art Movement

‘Calcutta is a Great Gallery’: chaloman shilpa andolan, or The Dynamic Art Movement

The year was 1970 – the Naxalite movement was ebbing in Calcutta. I left my home in College Street for Tripura: a kind of exile.

Twins in Suffering: Dostoyevsky and Baudelaire

Twins in Suffering: Dostoyevsky and Baudelaire

Last summer, while preparing a chronology of the life of Charles Baudelaire, I hit upon a fact which I had not found in any book: Baudelaire and Dostoyevsky were born in the same year.

The Bengali Baudelaire

The Bengali Baudelaire

I was formally introduced to Baudelaire in the last year of the last century. I was a university student, and, the nature of such an introduction being what it is, chose to look away.

Symposium 2 : Deprofessionalisation

Symposium 1 : Literary Activism

Mission Statement, 2nd Symposium (8<sup>th</sup> and 9<sup>th</sup> January 2016): ‘Deprofessionalisation’

Mission Statement, 2nd Symposium (8th and 9th January 2016): ‘Deprofessionalisation’

The subject of the symposium is ‘de-professionalisation’ – the urge, as a creative practitioner, or, indeed, a practitioner of any kind, not to be identified with one genre or activity, and to be, in general, a critic of specialisation and a champion of dabbling...

A Note on the Second Symposium

A Note on the Second Symposium

The second symposium in what came to be called the ‘literary activism’ series of symposia was on ‘deprofessionalisation’. By this I meant, among other things, a ‘critique of specialisation’ – to express...

The Little Magazine, Between Journalism and Academia

The Little Magazine, Between Journalism and Academia

Though my intention is to talk about the function of the little magazine at the present time, I should begin by discussing a bit the little magazine where I am an editor, and what I perceive its particular role to be...

The Writer as Tramp

The Writer as Tramp

Staring at you from innumerable photographs, their glossy hair combed back, writers can seldom be mistaken for hobos or tramps. If anything, they look more like men of action than men of contemplation, more men of the mechanized army than of the manual typewriter...

The mission statement is in italics

The mission statement is in italics

The subject of the symposium is ‘de-professionalisation’ – the urge, as a creative practitioner, or, indeed, a practitioner of any kind, not to be identified with one genre or activity, and to be, in general, a critic of specialisation and a champion of dabbling...

‘Only what does not fit in can be true’: Deprofessionalisation and Academia in Adorno and Tagore

‘Only what does not fit in can be true’: Deprofessionalisation and Academia in Adorno and Tagore

I’m not an expert on Adorno; indeed, my approach to Adorno here shall embody today’s theme, in that I shall be ‘dabbling’ in areas that do not strictly belong to those I consider my own...

Time Divided: Blandishments and Fallouts

Time Divided: Blandishments and Fallouts

I find myself here at this very interesting symposium thanks to Amit’s most generous invitation and also to, I expect it follows, Amit’s reckoning that in some measure or form I exemplify the sort of persona that is referenced in the symposium’s title...

What We Do: Deprofessionalisation and Legitimacy

What We Do: Deprofessionalisation and Legitimacy

I first heard the word ‘deprofessionalised’ from Ashis Nandy, about a decade ago. In the course of conversation, he had said amiably, ‘Mushirul Hassan calls me a “deprofessionalised intellectual”.’..

Mission Statement

Mission Statement

From the mid-1990s onwards, we witnessed a convergence between literary language and the language of publishing, for it was publishers, increasingly, who told us about the ‘masterpieces’ they were publishing (the word, like the literary itself, had by then been disowned by most literature departments).

What about Criticism?

What about Criticism?

In his mission statement, Amit Chaudhuri identifies what he calls ‘market activism’ primarily with publishers and literary agents, or, perhaps more specifically, with the large publishing corporations and ‘super-agents’ who began to reshape the literary world during the early 1990s. But he also looks briefly askance at universities in order to point out an implicitly fatal coincidence.

Translation as Literary Activism

Translation as Literary Activism

I would like to evoke the extraordinary work, life, and career of the bilingual English-Marathi poet Arun Kolatkar (1931-2004) and of his generation of poets, writers, publishers, and artists who started producing their work in the 1950s and 1960s, mostly in Bombay, and which I designate here as the little magazine ‘conspiracy’.

The Piazza and the Car Park

The Piazza and the Car Park

It was 1989. I was a graduate student at Oxford. I had made little progress with my doctoral dissertation and I had written a novel that had almost, but not quite, found a publisher. One of the routes that had taken me in my fiction towards Calcutta was Irish literature – its provincialism and cosmopolitanism, its eccentricity and refinement.

The Critic as Lover

The Critic as Lover

Many years ago – in the days before email – I found myself engaged in correspondence with the postcolonial critic Benita Parry. She had visited Rutgers University, where I was teaching, and had given a paper on the fiction of J.M. Coetzee, in which I too had an interest. We had a friendly disagreement about the question of silence in Coetzee’s novels...

Market Activism: A Publisher’s Perspective

Market Activism: A Publisher’s Perspective

I am a market activist. I make no apology for that – though I may apologise for some of the unintended consequences of my activity. I’ve worked in publishing all my adult life and, for the past fifteen years or so, have managed independent publishing companies that have – to a greater or lesser extent – been engaged in the pursuit of trying to make a business out of literary activity. In this respect, I think, I am perhaps an outsider at this symposium.

Magazine: New Writing

‘Calcutta is a Great Gallery’: chaloman shilpa andolan, or The Dynamic Art Movement

‘Calcutta is a Great Gallery’: chaloman shilpa andolan, or The Dynamic Art Movement

The year was 1970 – the Naxalite movement was ebbing in Calcutta. I left my home in College Street for Tripura: a kind of exile.

Twins in Suffering: Dostoyevsky and Baudelaire

Twins in Suffering: Dostoyevsky and Baudelaire

Last summer, while preparing a chronology of the life of Charles Baudelaire, I hit upon a fact which I had not found in any book: Baudelaire and Dostoyevsky were born in the same year.

The Bengali Baudelaire

The Bengali Baudelaire

I was formally introduced to Baudelaire in the last year of the last century. I was a university student, and, the nature of such an introduction being what it is, chose to look away.

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