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Kitaab to organise its first ever book-inspired conference series on startups in Asia

Startup Capitals Singapore conference & book launch to be held on May 20

startup capitals EDMStartup Capitals, a thought-leadership conference based on the recently published book authored by Singapore-based author and journalist, Zafar Anjum, will be held on May 20. The one-day conference which will also witness the official release of the book, celebrates the innovation/startup ecosystem of cities that are making a mark on the world map. It brings together all the stakeholders in a startup ecosystem, including entrepreneurs, business leaders, innovators, researchers and educational specialists, government leaders and venture capitalists, under one roof who champion innovation and who are passionate about taking their innovation ecosystem to the next level.

The one-day conference in Singapore on May 20 at The POD, NLB, 100 Victoria Street will have Mr Steve Leonard, Executive Dy Chairman, IDA, deliver a key note speech on “Building the World’s First Smart Nation.” Mr Zachary Caceres, award winning writer, entrepreneur and Director of Startup Cities Institute based in Guatemala City will deliver key note speech on “Startup Cities, Micro reforms and treating governance services as a technology for start-ups to innovate.”

This uniquely curated programme offers a chance to hear and interact with the thought-leaders and entrepreneurs who are leading the change in the world and who are committed to making the world a better place. One of the sessions, Innovation Express will showcase some of the most innovative and successful ideas and start-ups from Singapore.

For a detailed agenda please log in to Read more

Persian literature seats to increase in Italy

Iranian Culture and Islamic Guidance Minister Ali Jannati who is heading a delegation in Italy met with his Italian Education Minister Stefania Giannini in Rome on first day of his visit on Friday.

The two sides stressed necessity of strengthening and expansion of scientific ties on archaeology, human sciences and Persian and Italian literatures between universities of the two countries.

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10 notable moments from this year’s Emirates Airline Festival of Literature

As the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature wrapped up its seventh edition over the weekend, here’s a look at 10 of this year’s noteworthy moments.

Welcome to wonderland

The festival kicked off last Tuesday with a glittering opening ceremony at the Cultural and Scientific Association in Al Mamzar. Director Isobel Abulhoul set the scene, describing the festival theme of “wonderland” as “about making the black squiggles on the white page leap out at us with images so real and believable that fiction becomes fact or fact becomes fiction, characters become our friends or enemies, and heroes become villains”.

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Zee Jaipur Literature Festival: After Narcopolis, Jeet Thayil plans to cut an album

Jeet Thayil-NarcopolisAfter the success of his debut novel Narcopolis (2012), poet Jeet Thayil has turned to songwriting. A part of the Sridhar-Thayil duo, he is also cutting an album with his six-piece band called ‘Still Dirty’, which would perform at the Zee Jaipur Literature Festival 2015 on Thursday. At the sidelines of the festival, Thayil spoke exclusively with dna about life after Narcopolis and why he is putting off writing another novel.

“There is also a novel in the offing,” he said. “I’d better not talk about it. The last time I talked about it, I jinxed it a little. That’s writing. Writers tend to be a suspicious bunch. Obsession, anxieties, rituals, appalling discoveries about your worst inner recesses, hopefully, served up with black humour. The kind of humour that doctors share.”

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Jaipur Literature Festival 2015: Vishal Bhardwaj not yet ready to give up on Shakespeare, may direct a comedy next based on bard’s play

OmkaraEven though Vishal Bhardwaj has made a trilogy based on Shakespeare’s work already, the director doesn’t mind making a few more films based on the bard’s work.

During a short chat up at the ongoing Jaipur Literature Festival, the filmmaker revealed that while he hasn’t planned his next film yet, he would like to take up more of Shakespeare’s work for films. “Perhaps a comedy next based on one his plays,” quips Bhardwaj. Read more

Mishima: sliced from the shackles of time

Review of Yokio Mishima by Damian Flanagan: Japan Times

MishimaPart of the originality of Damian Flanagan’s latest work rests in its approach to time, the author contending that a unique approach to the temporal was a key factor in Mishima’s life and death. Flanagan points out that in Japan, the age of 20 — which Mishima reached in 1945, the year World War II ended — marks the transition from childhood to adulthood. After a further 20 years had transpired, Mishima felt a strong sense of “being cut off from the natural flow of historical time.”

Flanagan describes how the youthful Mishima was awarded the prize of a timepiece by the Emperor, the “ultimate symbol of time transcendence,” after being nominated top of his class at the Peers School in Tokyo. Before committing ritual suicide on Nov. 25, 1970, he took off his watch, signaling his departure from life — the extinction of earthly time.

‘What does it mean to be a writer? A bad back, sleep deprivation, loneliness, moods, lack of money’: Mirza Waheed

FT’s Q&A with author Mirza Waheed

Mirza-WaheedWhat does it mean to be a writer?

A bad back, sleep deprivation, loneliness, moods, lack of money. An unmatched high when it’s going well. Ecstasy when a sentence, paragraph or chapter turns out the way you intended. Tears of joy when you see a book you’ve been toiling over for years inside a beautiful cover.

Mirza Waheed’s latest novel ‘The Book of Gold Leaves’ is published by Penguin

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Dharma Drama: Myhthology in India

In their retellings of India’s ancient past, these writers fall somewhere between shallow revisionism and ponderous pontification: Open

Ashok K Banker, a well recognised writer of mythological fiction, has already earned a great deal of both critical and commercial acclaim for his retelling of the Ramayana. Ten Kings, his latest, extends his range somewhat; while the story is still based on textual history (a shloka found in the Rig Veda), it tells of an ancient battle that was possibly responsible for the founding of the city of Harappa. In that sense, this novel breaks new ground; most modern writers of mythological fiction tend to restrict themselves to the clearly established ‘literary history’ of India rather than venture out into the less documented archaeological arena. In Banker’s novel, a vastly outnumbered King Sudas and his 6,000 ‘Trtsus’ face off against an alliance of 10 kings and their 60,000 soldiers, to determine the fate of the ‘Panch-ab’, the land of five rivers—and this, in 3,400 BCE. Complicating this battle is the fact that both sides are led by sages of immense eminence; Sudas is guided by the sage Vashishta, while Anu, the leader of the ‘ten kings’, is advised by Vishwamitra. Banker, known for being a stickler for accuracy, takes pains to point out in the author’s note that while his research is based on the Rig Veda, ‘it’s impossible to tell whether this Vishwamitra and his counterpart Vashishta, Sudas’s guru, were the same brahmarishis whose legendary feud appears in other puranic works’. This is both Banker’s strength and weakness; when it works, the historical accuracy he infuses his writing with adds a great deal to the flavour of his novels, but it can occasionally make the prose dry and cumbersome.

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