Thursday, September 27, 2012

A dialogue between Indian and Danish writers in Copenhagen

Three Indian writers met and dialogued with three Danish writers last Monday, Sept. 24, in Copenhagen, in a program titled "The contemporary role of literature in India and Denmark."

Mridula Garg, Githa Hariharan and Manu Joseph were in Denmark to participate in the literary events series "India: Literature Now - Writers' Exchange" organized by the University of Copenhagen, Aarhus University and Gyldendal Publishers. The writers Carsten Jensen, Astrid Saalbach and Kirsten Thorup are all based in Denmark.

Hariharan and Joseph write in English, Garg in Hindi, though her work has been translated into English. Jensen, Saalbach and Thorup write in Danish.

The panel discussion, chaired by Vera Alexander of the University of Copenhagen, grouped the writers into pairs, each pair asked to respond to a series of questions. Eventually, the discussion became more freewheeling -- commonalities discovered, disparate views aired, and some of the deep-seated tensions that attend a writer's position relative to ethics, to colleagues and to the market, vaulting up as well.

The experience of having these six different individuals responding to one another at that very moment and in that same space, is something that will not happen again, so I’m sharing it with readers of this blog, and hopefully it will find an audience in those interested in literature as a whole. As many brilliant things were said, my coverage of that afternoon will as much as possible be in the writers' own words, as per my transcription, and will be in the three posts that follow this one. - L. Sitoy

From left: Manu Joseph, Carsten Jensen, Mridula Garg, Kirsten Thorup, Astrid Saalbach, Githa Hariharan. 

 Johannes Riis, director of Gyldendal (top)
and Peter Andersen of the Center of Global South-Asian Studies, University of Copenhagen


To come:
*Githa Hariharan and Astrid Saalback
* Mridula Garg and Kirsten Thorup
* Manu Joseph and Carsten Jensen
* Free discussion and open forum
* ALOA sponsored program: Mridula Garg, Githa Hariharan and Manu Joseph talk about their work at Trankebar bookshop in Copenhagen
* Author biodata






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