“It’s a small question; at least it’s easy to state even though it’s not so easy to answer. That question is: What makes for a just society? How should the good things be distributed? How should income, and opportunities, power be distributed? How should those things be distributed? According to what principal?” questioned Michael Sandel as he paced across the stage addressing the sea of humanity gathered at Charbagh.

Advertisements

Members of the AAP spotted at Zee Jaipur literature festival signing up volunteers and asking tough questions: DNA

The ongoing five-day Zee Jaipur Literature Festival had unexpected visitors in the form of members of the much-in-demand Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). In sharp contrast to Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s call of protest, at the literature festival its volunteers were making their presence felt.

Author of A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers speaks about taking to writing in English after having earned fame as a Chinese filmmaker and writer: DNA

Guo XiaoluA Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers, published in 2007, is an extraordinary novel about a Chinese woman who comes to live in England for a year to learn English, and has an affair with an Englishman. Structured like a dictionary with chapters arranged according to the alphabet — “a” for alien, “b” for bisexual and so on — it deals with issues of alienation, loss, memory and exile — so relevant in the face of the many artists who have had to leave China because of political persecution. Large parts of the novel are written in broken English to mirror the author’s own lack of proficiency in the language, which becomes smoother and more grammatically correct towards the end.

Fiction, Nonfiction and the Space in Between: WSJ on JLF’s Day Two

JhumpaThe first session on the Jaipur Literature Festival’s Front Lawns on Saturday was entitled “The Global Novel,” and for an hour, the six international panelists circled their subject warily, never quite agreeing upon what they should debating. But the slippery topic did yield some firm insights.

Moderator and author Chandrahas Choudhury began by proposing that the novel has been global for as long as it has existed. But he asked whether was something different today, now that, thanks to technology and globalization, authors can have a larger and farther-flung audience than previously imaginable.

American novelist Jonathan Franzen feared that his upbringing made his viewpoint necessarily circumscribed. “I was born in the center of the great colonial power of my era,” Mr. Franzen said. “Certain questions of identity and concern about the rest of the world didn’t necessarily apply in the Midwest of the U.S. in 1959.”

The Jaipur Literature Festival has become rather popular – some come here seeking intellectual stimulation and others to chill, socialise and get ‘cool-zoned’ by friends just by marking their presence. During a session by authors Jonathan Franzen and Chandrahas Choudhury in the colourful and overcrowded Char Bagh tent, a lady sitting next to me tells her son that “they’re talking about novels and how characters are sketched,” and gets up to leave as the boy happily ‘checks in’ on Facebook. 

The annual Jaipur Literature festival begins on Friday amidst expectations of nearly 2 lakh visitors at the historic Diggi palace in the city. The gathering this time will see the likes of several Nobel prize winners, Booker prize winners. The big faces who will grace the occasion will be Jonathan Franzen, Amartya Sen, Jhumpa Lahiri and Gloria Steinem among others.