Author's Diction~Vipin Behari Goyal: July 2013

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The future of English fiction writers in India (2)

The future of English fiction writers in India (2)

indian english author
                                                                                 [Mehek Bassi - Indian English Author]
The interesting generalization about Indian English Authors who have become famous recently is their background. They have a higher technical degree and work in Banks/Financial Institutions. What makes them author? Except that they were born to be authors. They had a natural talent for the art of telling a story. Whatever novels have been written and published in the last one decade which one of them fall in the category of English Literature?

Encyclopedia Britannica defines “English literature, the body of written works produced in the English language by inhabitants of the British Isles”. Many famous authors of English Literature settled outside the British Isle like James Joyce, D.H. Lawrence, Aldus Huxley, Christopher Isherwood, Robert Graves, and Graham Greene etc. The books written by Indian authors are classified as Indian English Literature or IEL. In India English has a status of second language. English as a second language (ESL) is the use or study of English by speakers with different native languages.

The countries like Great Britain, USA, Canada and Australia form an inner circle where English is the primary language. India and Singapore, are extended circle of English where it is the second language in a multilingual society. The third category is of countries like China and Japan, which form expanding circles where English is getting popular as a foreign language.

Unfortunately it is not the Hindi our mother tongue and national language, but English is the lingua Franca that connects the whole country. Much powerful literature has been written in regional languages which need to be translated in English. The business of publishing books seems to have more moral and ethical responsibilities, which again is a debatable issue. But one thing is sure that the future of Indian English fiction publishers is co-related to the future of Indian English writers.

The future would not be decided by The Great Authors like Vikram Seth or Arundhati Roy as they do not have mass appeal. Their novels were read by book lovers, who was already reading foreign authors. The English novels of Chetan Bhagat and Amish Tripathi etc. found a niche market.

A niche market is defined as “the subset of the market on which a specific product is focusing. So the market niche defines the specific product features aimed at satisfying specific market needs, as well as the price range, production quality and the demographics that is intended to impact.”

English should be the first preference to write if you can think, imagine, read and write in English. English like any other language is not monopoly of any nation.

About a thousand years back the nobility of England spoke French and read Latin and ordinary people spoke Old English which evolved as Middle English under the influence of Germanic, Romance and Celtic languages. Modern English has come a long way in last hundred years and it will be New English in coming hundred years.

English is the universal language by chance. Now it belongs to all equally. Books written in one part of the world in English are as good as written in any other part. So let us not confine language in the man-made boundaries of nations.

Kudos to the authors and publishers!!!

Salute to the whistleblowers and torch bearers!!!

The niche market is hungry and few books that have come so far are only appetizers.

Give them healthy food, lest they fall for junk food.

                                                                               ~Vipin Behari Goyal
Other related articles:
The future of English Fiction Writers in India (1)                                                      

The Facts about Self Publishing a novel

Copyright laws in India

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Why Murakami did not get a Nobel?

Why Murakami did not get a Nobel?

When everyone waited expectantly that the Nobel prize for literature for 1912 would go to Murakami , the name of Mo Yan was announced. Not many had read him before. Some booklovers even never heard about him. People sought consolation in the fact, that at least some Asian has won the prize.

Despite the hype and nomination why Murakami missed it? The literary world debates like academician. Most of the books of Murakami are best sellers and after his epic IQ84 he was considered as a potential contender of The Prize. At least the name would remind people of a great work of George Orwell, since in Japanese language 9 is written as Q. The novel is interesting and two moons could be symbolic of many things. What it lacks is a nucleus. The Author is not an entertainer, he has a social responsibility. Where is the voice against social injustice and satires against totalitarian political system which 1984 had?

So far people know that Mo Yan wrote stories about his village, what he had seen and faced all his life. So it touches the core of the heart and makes you realize that human emotion all over the world are identical. Many would not like to argue whether Mo Yan’s work is hallucinatory realism or magical realism, for a common man all magic is hallucinatory.

Everyone believes that the decisions of committee have remained controversial since its inception in 1901. Chekhov and Tolstoy were deliberately overlooked just because they were Russian and “ideal direction” was misinterpreted to favor certain authors. But same is not true for Japan. Japan has already won the Nobel Prize in literature twice,   Yasunari Kawabata in 1968 and Kenzaburō Ōe in 1994.

If committee could ignore Kafka (“The Metamorphosis”, “The trial” and “The Castle”) himself, they could easily ignore the author of “Kafka at the shore”. Though his most popular work of Murakami is “Norwegian Wood”.

Let us listen to this famous Beatles song "Norwegian Wood":

The book reflects western influence on the author. He behaves differently in Japan and USA. He is not brand of Japan. An author carries the weight of cultural values and ethos of the community where he is rooted. If he is to go up, he has to go down.

The fusion of realistic and fantastic in the novels of Haruki Murakami is unparalleled but “The Wave” is not for that. The wave is of “Magical Realism” and “Red Sorghum” is about that.

                                                                                               ~Vipin Behari Goyal

Monday, July 1, 2013

Modern Masters of English Literature

          Modern masters of English Literature

“He dug so deeply into her sentiments that in search of interest he found love, ... once more in the youthful superstition that poverty was the servitude of love.”-- One Hundred Years of Solitude By Gabriel Garcia Marquez .

The secret of happiness is not doing what we like but in liking what we do.” ― J.M. Coetzee

There are many more. These are first two names that come to my mind.  They have written books that influence our life. The thoughts and desires stacked in sub-conscious mind pop up and some conclusions are drawn when prejudices are shredded.

The Magic Realism of Márquez is captivating. We live in the town of Mocondo when reading his book “One hundred years of solitude”, and become a friend of Florentino Ariza while reading “Love in the Time of Cholera”. The academic debate to categorize his work as Realism, Magical realism, surrealism or Magical surrealism could be endless. For a non-literature reader it is fantasy and he would call it as  Simply Fantabulous. It was his childhood dream to write about his town but to weave a story like that surpasses many realms of human existential consciousness.

In the end when Aureliano deciphers parchments Marquez writes

“It was the history of the family, written by Melquiades, down to the most trivial details, one hundred years ahead of time. He had written it in Sanskrit, which was his mother tongue.”

It shows the eastern inclination of author where it is believed that Valmiki wrote the great epic of Ramayana in Sanskrit before birth of Rama.

His books are criticized for promiscuity and incestuous relations of his characters. Death, violence and revolutions have always promoted promiscuity and incestuous relations in the society. Author simply narrates multi-faceted human behavior in an interesting way.

Similarly “Disgrace” by Coetzee tells how a  human emotion of attraction and its exhibition scares the society to condemn and thrust disgrace on a noble man.

In “Life and times of Michael K “ Coetzee enters into the mind of a simpleton who is deformed and acts dumb.

It is not strange to find such characters in every society, but it needs exceptional talent to identify them and find a philosophy in their behavior. That is how immortal books are written by Grand Masters.

When authors become a celebrity the society is cruel to them. They are also required to pay a price like any other celebrity in the field of Politics, Cinema and sports which are more or less skills. I think the public should be kind to painters, authors, scientist and sculptors who are differently molded and are creative . Both the modern masters have inspired authors to write in their own unique style  and explore one of your own from  infinite  dimensions of literary styles.

Are some Indian authors in the queue?