WSJ Blog: Has the Jaipur Lit Fest lost its edge?

william_dalrympleWilliam Dalrymple’s duck-billed smartphone is a lot like the Jaipur Literature Festival that he co-directs: a clever core with a showy outer shell of fun.

The author and historian carries the bright-yellow-phone between venues of probably the world’s largest free literature festival as he moderates sessions on his beloved nonfiction, explains to young acolytes how he goes about his meticulous historical research, and thanks authors for attending.

“That was the best public lecture on art I’ve ever seen,” a rosy-cheeked Mr. Dalrymple said to a friend after a session on the 17th-century Italian painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. “By a biographer,” he added.

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