Tag Archives: Shakespeare

HLF session with Tabish Khair in conversation with A Giridhar Rao

Published by Kitaab, Quarantined Sonnets: Sex, money and Shakespeare by Tabish Khair is considered to be one of the finest works of literature to come out of the Covid 19 pandemic. This anthology of sonnets written by the noted poet, novelist and critic, contains powerfully original rewritings which combine humor and satire with acute social and political commentary.

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Dr Eleine Ng reads from Tabish Khair’s Quarantined Sonnets: Sex, Money and Shakespeare

Shakespeare scholar, Dr Eleine Ng (Singapore) reads from Tabish Khair’s Quarantined Sonnets: Sex, Money and Shakespeare.

In powerfully original rewritings that combine humour and satire with acute social and political commentary, Tabish Khair uses William Shakespeare’s sonnets to paint a memorable and moving picture of the world in corona quarantine. This is arguably the first major work of literature to come out of the corona crisis. With iconoclastic humour and intelligence, it runs the readers through a gamut of emotions. It is also a clarion call for change. These 21 sonnets range from initial humorous riffs on the foibles of our age but grow progressively darker and more acerbic, while always playing with Shakespeare’s original works. A must-read for our times!

Profits from this e-book are being donated by the publisher and author to Migrant Workers Centre, Singapore, helping migrant workers to cope with the current economic crisis complicated by the Novel Coronavirus pandemic.

The Kindle edition of the ebook is available at https://tinyurl.com/quarantined-sonnets

Essay: Hamlet- An Indian Interpretation by Ramlal Agarwal

Why does Hamlet dilly-dally in avenging the murder of his father? His father’s ghost clearly exhorts him to do it. He knows it is his duty and he must do it though he does not like it. 

“… O cursed spite 

That ever I was born to set it right.” 

Taking his cue from these lines, Goethe observes, “A beautiful, pure and most moral nature, without the strength of nerve which makes a hero, sinks beneath a burden which it can neither bear nor throw off; every duty is holy to him- this too hard. The impossible is required of him- not the impossible in itself, but impossible to him.” 

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Kitaab publishes the first major work of literature to come out of the corona crisis

Kitaab has published Tabish Khair’s anthology, Quarantined Sonnets: Sex, Money and Shakespeare, in support of Singapore’s Migrant Workers

In this ebook, in powerfully original rewritings that combine humour and satire with acute social and political commentary, Tabish Khair uses William Shakespeare’s sonnets to paint a memorable and moving picture of the world in corona quarantine. This is arguably the first major work of literature to come out of the corona crisis. With iconoclastic humour and intelligence, it runs the readers through a gamut of emotions. It is also a clarion call for change. These 21 sonnets range from initial humorous riffs on the foibles of our age but grow progressively darker and more acerbic, while always playing with Shakespeare’s original works. A must-read for our times!

Profits from this e-book are being donated by the publisher and author to Migrant Workers Centre, Singapore, helping migrant workers to cope with the current economic crisis complicated by the Novel Coronavirus pandemic. Read more

Poetry: Ode to Verrier Elwin by Richard Rose

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Richard Rose is a British writer, university professor and researcher who has been working regularly with teachers and children in India for the past nineteen years. His work has appeared in academic journals, magazines and books in several countries. His play, written with James Vollmar, Letters to Lucia, which celebrates the life of James Joyce’s daughter, Lucia Anna Joyce, received its first performance by Triskellion Irish Theatre in 2018. Read more

What Writers and Artistes feel about Kashmir in Ten Tweets

 

What are writers and artistes tweeting about the situation in Jammu and Kashmir? What is their attitude to the people in this region?

Rahul Pandita, author and conflict writer from Kashmir, tweeted that “In all, a majority of Kashmiris have no idea what abrogation of article 370 means. Argue with them for a minute and one realises they are totally ignorant. All they know is ‘India will now take away everything.’ From our sources we know NSA(National Security Agency) is aware of it. Big challenge.”

Mirza Waheed, Kashmiri writer and novelist who now lives in London, wrote, “August 11, 2019. Day 7 of Seige of Kashmir. We are not allowed to say Eid Mubarak to our families.” But is it a seige or an attempt to integrate the state into the country?

Vikram Chandra, a commonwealth prize winning American Indian novelist, wrote, “In his Aug 8 speech, PM Narendra Modi did say it was for every Indian to share the concerns of the citizens of J&K. Best way to do that today is to reach out to Kashmiris in other parts of India, spending Eid away from home. Make them feel that they ARE at home.”

Actress Shabana Azmi tweeted “Kashmiri Pandit Youth invite every Kashmiri who has been unable to travel home for Eid for a get together…”

Novelist and essayist Chetan Bhagat has taken a stand where he says, “August 5, 2019. Kashmir is finally free. Free to grow, free to make a future. #Article 370 goes. #OneCountryOneSystem.” And also, “Article 370 never gave Kashmiris freedom. It only created selfish leaders who created a terror filled society and robbed Kashmiri youth of opportunity. It is finally time for it to go. Anyone objects, tell them loudly: One Country, One System.” Read more

Bollywood Legend Bimal Roy: How Classics Moved the Maestro

(On Bimal Roy’s 110thBirth Anniversary, Ratnottama Sengupta traces his enduring affair with books.)

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Bimal Roy (12 th July,1909 – 8th January,1966)

 

“Bimal Da and I – particularly I, being a writer – always looked to literature for story, the raw material of cinema.  People can and do write original scripts for the silver screen, but we did not prefer that because it tends to be hurried writing. We preferred to source our films from books because a writer has already worked on an idea, on the character, on the logic of their action, and its final resolution…”

–Nabendu Ghosh(1917-2007) in And They Made Classics…

He was already a recognised name in Bengali literature when Nabendu Ghosh met Bimal Roy, his film guru. Bimal Roy was a voracious reader. The reasons for this were many.

To begin with Bimal Roy, since school days, had been friends with Sudheesh Ghatak, brother of Manish Ghatak who is better known to Bengali readers as Jubanaswa, a radical writer of  the Kallol era introducing modernism, who drew litterateurs like Tarashankar Bandopadhyay (1898-1971) to his house. The entire family had the gift of story-telling — and not only the eldest brother but also his daughter Mahasweta Devi (1926-2016) and his youngest brother Ritwik Ghatak (1925-1976). Even Sudheesh Ghatak has won accolades for this art.

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Poster of Tagore’s Natir Puja from NT

Eventually, Bimal Roy’s penchant for photography took him to New Theatres (NT) which had, since its inception, transcreated the major novels and stories of writers like Rabindranath Tagore, Bankim Chandra and Sarat Chandra. In fact NT produced not only Tagore’s own Natir Puja (The Dancer’s Prayer, 1932) but also the comedy, Chirakumar Sabha (Bachelor’s Conference, 1932) and Arghya (Offerings, 1937), besides Kapal Kundala (Bankim Chandra, 1933), Dena Paona (Give and Take, 1931), Palli Samaj (Rural Society, 1932), Grihadaaha (House on Fire, 1936), Devdas (1936), Bardidi (Elder Sister, 1939), Kashinath (1943), Biraj Bou (Biraj the Wife, 1946), and Ramer Sumati (The Redemption of Ram, 1947) — all from Sarat Chandra stories. Read more

From Dylan to Shakespeare, literature often finds its way into the Indian courtroom

By Megha Varier

“[A]nd don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no telling
who that it’s naming
For the loser now
will be later to win
Cause the times they are a-changing”…

That’s Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan’s The Times They Are A-Changin, warning writers and critics, “who prophesise with their pen”, not to jump the gun too soon.

But these lines found a quite different reading in the Kerala High Court, in the hearing of a petition against the state’s liquor policy. The judgement pronounced on January 6, pertained to a petition by Perumbavoor native MS Anoop, challenging the state policy, claiming that it was a violation of one’s fundamental rights.

Dismissing the petition, the division bench comprising of Justice PR Ramachandra Menon and Justice Dama Seshadri Naidu maintained that, “common good takes lead and subordinates individual’s inclinations. Read more

Source: The News Minute

The case of reading and preserving Indonesian literature

By Theo Kalangi

In March 2016, a study conducted by Central Connecticut State University (CCTU) entitled “Most Literate Nation of the World” placed Indonesia as the 60th most literate nation out of 61 nations on the list, above only Botswana, and below fellow ASEAN member Thailand. A survey by UNESCO in 2012 records that only one out of 1000 people in Indonesia have an interest in reading. It might sound meagre enough, but what if we ask this next question: how many of the 0.1 percent read books that were written by an Indonesian author?

In most developed countries, especially English-speaking countries, high school students are taught to read books, being exposed to the work of English literature greats like Mark Twain and Shakespeare and encouraged to enjoy and find fun in reading literature. However, in Indonesia, this practice is rare or not practiced at all. Yes, we are taught about the history of Indonesian literature and the periods that divide the styles of literature in Indonesia, but we are not given time to read in class nor are we properly taught to read and appreciate the works of our own people. Read more

Source: The Jakarta Post

Always trust the witches: Keki Daruwalla on poetry from the Northeast and elsewhere in India

Let’s draw a circle on a sheet of paper and call it earth, say these poets.

The instruments of darkness, by which Shakespeare, and perforce I mean the witches, came to me a few nights ago and they first said:

“I see through dark, take my call

The queen will win but still she’ll fall.”

The second witch, more explicit, said:

“Double double toil and trouble

Trump will win. All will be rubble.”

The third:

“Fair is foul and foul is fair

Poisoned will be Delhi’s air.

New York? Worse, if you walk in

to a liberal’s affrighted lair.”

Being less credulous than Macbeth, I paid no heed and am left with regrets. If I knew a bookie and had trusted the witches, I could have made some demonetised money by betting on Donald Trump. Moral of the story: never underrate a huckster or a groper in an election.

To poetry then. There are some poets you feel honoured to write about. Two of them — Eunice de Souza and Saleem Peeradina — have published recently. Peeradina, once from Bombay (not Mumbai then), lives now in Michigan and teaches at Siena Heights University. His fifth collection, Final Cut, published from Valley Press, Scarborough, U.K., is as effortlessly chiselled a volume as you are likely to find. The poems are still life vignettes on birds, fruit, and ruminations. To quote Craig Raine, “These poems are hymns of praise — to birds, to objects, to fruits and to our human bodies…” He goes on to say that “Saleem Peeradina is one of the most important Indian poets writing in the English language.” Read more

Source: The Hindu

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