Prufrock's Page

Friday, October 12, 2007

Chaudhuri's Cultural Space

"The free speech argument will only take you so far. You need to extend the argument to the autonomy of cultural space. If we look at India's erotic sculptures and say 'This is us', as if it were a constant lineage, we would be ignoring the disruptions...We cannot say that that the 13th-century tradition is still continuing. In India, if we draw too neat a line, as if we are automatic inheritors of that past, it would be wrong. By doing it we end up with versions of nationalism, some of which are unpleasant."

- Salil Tripathi profiles the gentlemanly, scholarly Amit Chaudhuri

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Ladbrokes Is Wrong, Again

It's Doris Lessing, "that epicist of the female experience, who with scepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilisation to scrutiny." Okay, we can all go back to reading Exit Ghost now.

(An earlier interview with Ms Lessing is to be found here. And here's why she shocked a proofreader earlier this year.)

Another Shortlist

While you await the names of the winners of the Literature Nobel and the Booker, here's another shortlist to remind you of all the catching up you've to do when it comes to books: the finalists of the National Book Awards.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Writers Read

For David Remick, it's Middlemarch; for David Leavitt, it's On the Natural History of Destruction. Find out what writers are reading.

Big City Blues

"My objective was to see if, away from the energy-wasting, ego-eroding literary hustle of New York City, I could make my modest way as a freelance writer. It turned out, one year at a time, I could...[New England is a place] where a man can breathe and a writer can write."

- John Updike, in an essay that's to be found in his new collection of pieces.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Gentlemen, Place Your Bets

Will it be Claudio Magris (5/1), Amoz Oz (10/1), Cormac McCarthy (50/1) or maybe Salman Rushdie (100/1) who will give the acceptance speech in Stockholm?