Symposium 4 : Against Storytelling

Against Storytelling: Mission Statement

Against Storytelling: Mission Statement

About a decade ago, I interrupted a talk I was giving to a small group of international writers and academics gathered in Delhi to say, ‘Fuck storytelling.

Lyric Embarrassment: Or, Why I Can’t Tell a Story

Lyric Embarrassment: Or, Why I Can’t Tell a Story

When I first received Amit’s concept note for the symposium with its opening provocation, ‘Fuck storytelling!’ I felt a little pop of relief in my chest, and in the parts of me

UP Against Storytelling, for David Antin

UP Against Storytelling, for David Antin

In the aftermath of popular-vote loser Trump’s election, the search for blame began. On some accounts, the blame laid on postmodernists and poststructuralists who had so undermined

Storytelling and Forgetfulness

Storytelling and Forgetfulness

Years ago, I began to run into the claim that we are all storytellers. Storytelling was evidently a primal communal function for humanity. I was assured that we’ve been telling each other

Fabricating Texts for Theatre from a Tribal village in Bengal

Fabricating Texts for Theatre from a Tribal village in Bengal

Imagine a street, or better still – this one being less than four metres wide – imagine a narrow road made of hard-packed reddish soil stretched over about a kilometre

Journalism and the Triumph of the Story: A Personal ‘Narrative’

Journalism and the Triumph of the Story: A Personal ‘Narrative’

When I started out as a journalist, I had the makings of a very poor one. The pieces I turned in didn’t tell proper stories with a beginning, a middle and an end. And I guess – thinking back – they were light on information

“What Difference Does It make?” For and Against Storytelling via the Novels of Kiran Nagarkar

“What Difference Does It make?” For and Against Storytelling via the Novels of Kiran Nagarkar

Kiran Nagarkar’s 1974 novel Saat Sakkam Trechalis – Seven Sixes are Forty-Three in the English translation – is a modernist collage: fragmentary, dream-like

I Don’t Have Wings: Vinod Kumar Shukla

I Don’t Have Wings: Vinod Kumar Shukla

In one of his poems, the Hindi writer Vinod Kumar Shukla compares the flight of a bird to that of a butterfly

A Story In Memory of John Ashbery

A Story In Memory of John Ashbery

All life Is as a tale told to one in a dream In tones never totally audible Or understandable, and one wakes Wishing to hear more,

Beyond the Tangible

Beyond the Tangible

These images are from the prologue of Anhey Ghorey Da Daan, or Alms For the Blind Horse, a film dealing with the angst, alienation and exploitation of the marginalised castes in Punjab