“Great literature needs great criticis,” to paraphrase Terry Eagleton. Chandigarh Literature Festival 2014, which aims to be an exercise in fine criticism, will be a four-day affair from October 30 to November 2 at Chandigarh Club, Sector 1.
Festival director Altaf Tyrewala and Adab Foundation chairman Mitul Dixit announced the format of the festival on Tuesday. As many as 14 of the country’s leading literary critics in the year 2014 will each nominate a book of their choice and further serve as ambassadors of their nominated book.
Tyrewala shares that these books will be dissected, analysed and read out. A city-based theatre group will enact passages from some of these texts as well. “In other words, these books will be celebrated the way excellent books truly should be,” he adds.
The festival will include panel discussions touching upon literature, politics and society. Besides, other events such as guess-the-book reading sessions, art and writing competitions will also be held.
However, Mitul Dixit emphasizes on the fact that as always the aim of the festival is to give books the centre stage.
“At CLF 2014, we are not looking at a personality-driven talk-fest or marketing pitches disguised as literary roundtables, but just books and hopefully an audience that will go back with these 14 essential books engraved in their minds and hearts in the time to come!” he says.
Indeed, CLF’s third edition hopes to put the City Beautiful on the national literary map by adopting an untested format for the festival. Besides, films such as Dedh Ishiqiya, Luck By Chance, Shahid and Passive Euthanasia, will be screened to depict the intersection between cinema and literary form.
Tyrewala and Dixit inform that the film screenings will be followed by discussions between critics and film-makers. These would include big names like Raja Sen, Mayank Shankar, Ajay Brahmatmaj and Chetan Shah.
City residents also must watch out for the panel discussion to mark 30 years of Operation Bluestar on the inaugural day. Similarly, one of the many engaging sessions lined up for the subsequent three days will include, “Publishing in the time of diktat”, with Urvashi Butalia (Zubaan), Karthika VK (Harper Collins), Ravi Singh (Tiger) and authors Kiran Nagarkar, Altaf Tyrewala as well as Nirupama Dutt.
Critic Book Nomination
1) Jai Arjun Singh- Or the Day Seizes You by Rajoshree Chakraborty
2) Nirumpama Dutt- Roll of Honour by Amandeep Sandhu, Unbordered Memories by Rita Kothari
3) Chandrahas Chaudhary- Beautiful Thing by Sonia Falerio
4) Anjum Hassan- White Mughals by William Dalrymple
5) Suresh Menon- Serious Men by Manu Joseph
6) Salil Tripathi- Lost Loves: Exploring Rama’s Anguish by Arshia Attar
7) Urvashi Butalia- The Gypsy Goddess by Meena Kandasamy
8) Ravi Singh- Paro by Namita Gokhale
9) Trisha Gupta- In Freedom’s Shade by Ayesha Kidwai
10) Harish Trivedi- Srishti Par Pehra by Kedar Nath Singh
11) Zac O’ Yeah- Red Blood Saari by Ashok Banker
12) Deepanjana Pal- Hangwomen by KR Meera
13) Vijay Nambisan- Once Upon a Time in Scandivanistan by Zac O’Yeah, Homecoming by Shashi Warrier