JLF: Sen and Franzen

Highlights From Day One of the Jaipur Literature Festival: WSJ

AMARTYASENHarvard economist Amartya Sen opened this year’s festival of books in Jaipur with a keynote address entitled “A Wish a Day for a Week.”

His speech took the form of an imagined dialogue between the 80-year-old Nobel laureate and what he called “the goddess of medium things,” in which he set forth his seven wishes for India.

The first: A revival of classical education. The study of Sanskrit and other ancient languages, of great books, music and art. It’s all fallen off the map, Mr. Sen said. Bright students everywhere in India go for science and technology and look down on the humanities, he lamented.

“A novel can point to a truth without pretending to capture it in some exact way,” the economist added.

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