Thursday, March 25, 2010

Under construction - The great Delhi novel

Drawing a literary map of Bombay, or Calcutta, is a relatively straightforward exercise: writers fall into neat categories, and time periods, and claim their neighbourhoods easily.

But as a recent collection of writings on Delhi indicates, this is the original Trickster City. In most of its centuries, Delhi has hosted more writers than it has nurtured them: the Capital has been the resting place, the halt between stages of a writer’s career rather than the inspiration for great writing. Foreign correspondents and old Asia hands pass through Dilli on their way to Ayodhya or Kashmir or Maoist Chattisgarh.

After the last mushaira in Bahadur Shah Zafar’s time, Delhi has housed poets, but there has been no great outpouring of Delhi poetry — nothing to match Bombay’s line-up of Nissim Ezekiel, Dom Moraes, Arun Kolatkar, Adil Jussawala and Jeet Thayil.

Full report here Business Standard

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