Writers weave stories out of memories

Writers weave stories out of memories

 Bibiliophiles and aspiring writers of the City had a lot on offer on the second day of the Bangalore Literature Festival.

The sessions offered insights into the craft of letters by renowned writers themselves. The day also featured a special session which brought together leading publishers talking about emerging trends in Indian literature.

The sessions discussed the role of memory, experiences and creativity in literature.
K S Nissar Ahmed said that every writer is a Christopher Columbus who sets on sail in search of an amorphous thing working at the subconscious level. His famous poem ‘Kurigalu Saar Kurigalu' was supposed to be a sonnet, but as he wrote, it ran into 130 lines, the poet said.

True to his style, Jnanpith award winner Chandrashekhar Kambar had a very ingenious take on the source of his creativity – his metaphor Shivapura. Kambar said that his village on the banks of the River Ghataprabha was notorious for murders. “People used to murder and dispose of the bodies in the river.

These bodies would come floating and pile up in front of our village. Our village folk would get hyper active, weaving stories as to who it might be and as to why he could be murdered. A story that I weaved in the morning would come back to me by afternoon,” he said.

While Manju Kapoor termed experience and memory as the oxygen for her stories, Biman Nath said that writing was the best way to get liberated from memories and also painful experiences. Biman Nath elucidated that in his first novel he had subconsciously written of a painful memory in his life with striking similarities brought into the plot. He termed it as a liberating experience.

Memory is as truthful as the writer is with himself, said Kaveri Nambisan.
Dreams, a mainstay.She added that imagination and intuition are more important for the writer. She said that her dreams were her mainstay for imagination as it was the most original and exclusive to her.

Anita Nair said her first novel, ‘The Better Man’, is a chronicler of memories. Her father, a Malayali who had stayed most of his life away from home, returned to the village after retirement. “His memories of his village had taken him back. But he was disillusioned with the reality. So memories are tricky.” she observed.

“As I started chronicling the memoirs of the family and the village, it became my first novel,” she added.

Talking of experiences being the mainstay of a writer, she said that a writer cannot bank on his repertoire of experiences alone, but has to draw stories from people around. She said that she interviewed a lot many kathakkali dancers to write her novel ‘Mistress’, in which the protagonist is a kathakkali dancer.

“Sometimes, you will have to experience it yourselves,” she said, recounting her experience of writing on an ingenious method of torture by the police in her latest ‘Cut Like Wound', in which a person is made to eat a lot and not allowed to even sit and again forcefed till he spills the beans. She tried it out.

There was also a special session comprising the leading publishers of the industry – Karthika V K of HarperCollins India, Sanjana Roychoudhury of Amaryllis, and Caroline Newsbury of Ramdom House among others.

To queries by the aspiring authors, the editors said that they were searching for authors and manuscripts, and not there to reject them. They gave some useful tips to the emerging wordsmiths on how to get published.

Comments (+)