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Jaipur Literature Festival
« on: January 18, 2014, 06:23:25 PM »
Jaipur Literature Festival: Criticism is a dirty job but someone has to do it

Sunil Kumar Kumawat
Saturday, Jan 18, 2014
 

Do authors really hate critics? Yes, if you go by the interaction between authors Chandrahas Choudhury, Carsten Jensen, Geoff Dyer, Rana Dasgupta and Philip Hensher during ‘Litcrit’ session on the inaugural day of Jaipur Literature Festival on Friday. The session was held in Mughal Tent on Diggi Palace premises. It was moderated (or rather dominated) by literary theorist Homi K Bhabha.

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Re: Jaipur Literature Festival
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2014, 06:24:21 PM »
While Dasgupta admitted that he doesn’t read reviews of his work because reviewers are mostly academics, Jensen said, “I personally don’t have respect for critics; but criticism is a dirty job and someone has to do it.”

Hensher, whose witty one-liners kept the audiences in good humour throughout the 1-hour session, said he likes the reviews which get the characters’ names correct.

When moderator Bhabha reminded the novelists on the dais that public needs reviews for getting ‘an introduction to the subject’, Jensen seconded his opinion saying, “Criticism and literature are part of the same dialogue. But criticism should be a good argumentative piece.”

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Re: Jaipur Literature Festival
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2014, 06:25:22 PM »
A brief discussion on ‘word limit of a review’ was also held towards the end of the session.

Shedding light on his own virtues, Hensher said he once wrote a review in just 120 words and “it is an art to make a point in 120 words”.

While most of the experts unanimously expressed their disliking for critics, Hensher went a step ahead and declared, “I hate writing. If someone gives me $20 million, then I won’t write. I would rather like to be written about.” And the audience was in splits yet again. What a session it was…

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