Friday, January 14, 2011

Racism, Raj, Fake Palindromes

Ha. Hartosh Singh Bal's stirring up stuff again. Here's how:

1. Hartosh Singh Bal writes a piece titled 'The Literary Raj' about the Jaipur Lit Fest.

2. William Dalrymple (who HSB says is not the main point of the article but just look at that caricature, will you?) responds with a charge of racism.

3. Bal replies, asking if Dalrymple knows what racism means. He also responds obliquely to some of the comments in his original piece.

Me - I'm being [Opening the] Cage-y*about this.

Then, this review of Swar Thounaojam's new play, Fake Palindromes. (I've read the play and it's excellent. Looking forward to getting it here some time. Watch this space.)

But the review! C.K. Meena begins thus:
A midst the fresh crop of English-language playwrights in Bangalore, where are the female faces? Do all the young women stay at home raising poems while the young men go out hunting scripts? If you've asked yourself these questions, you would have found an answer last week at Ranga Shankara where Swar Thounaojam's “Fake Palindromes” was staged. 
Morgan (reprise): I have nothing to say and I'm saying it. 

What? I'm stayin' at home raising mah pomes. You want me to have opinions as well? 

*Probably the most searched-for post on this site, esp. since Morgan died.


JP said...

It seems like an exercise in stirring up shit for its own sake, which seems to be Bal's standard MO. He seems to have mixed up a literary festival with the literature itself.

Space Bar said...

JP: Yeah, he likes muddying the waters, doesn't he?

I think this authenticity thing is not going to go away any time soon, partly because every new generation of readers and writers is going to have to grapple with the same old qs time and again.

JP said...

>>he likes muddying the waters

More like adding his own saline solution to the same clogged-up loo everyone seems to want to use even though there are miles of convenient little cubicles stretching from here to yonder on the horizon.

I don't even know why I just typed that except that I've been listening to Eyehategod all morning.