Prufrock's Page

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Do Readings Matter?

In a long and interesting piece, Mik Awake asks, "I have been wondering for many years now...: what is the purpose of the literary reading? Publishers say, How else can a novelist sell books without going on tour and doing readings? Critics say, In this beleaguered age of literature, where books are quickly going the way of the dodo, we must embrace any event that celebrates literacy. But does the literary reading really help promote a book? And does it really celebrate literature—or just a certain type?"

At the (admittedly few) readings that one has attended, the one earnest question that almost always has been asked of the author is: "Where do you see yourself in the tradition of Indian writing in English?" To which the proper answer is, "In the mirror".


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