Hay Festival host literary personalities in Thiruvananthapuram

Saturday, November 13, 2010

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM - The three-day long Hay Festival began in Thiruvananthapuram with many eminent authors participating in the festival.

Kerala’s Education and Culture Minister M. A. Baby, actor Mammootty, and MP Shashi Tharoor inaugurated the festival of literature and performances on literary themes and genres on Friday.

The director of the Hay Festival Peter Florence said the idea behind it is to mix local authors with authors, artists and filmmakers from around the world.

“Well, the idea of the festival is to mix wonderful indigenous local authors with some interesting voices from around the world and we have got Basharat Peer coming who has won the Crossword prize for ‘Curfew Nights’, we have Simon Schama, who is coming to talk about Obama on Sunday. We have some of the most phenomenal novelists from around the world,” he said.

The festival will play host to intellectuals and performers like Irish musician, writer and activist Bob Geldof, filmmaker and writer Adoor Gopalakrishnan, analyst Simon Schama, writers Vikram Seth, Michelle Paver and Miguel Syjuco, mathematician Marcus du Sautoy, novelist William Dalrymple and Sahitya Akademi Award winner O.N.V. Kurup.

The visitors at the festival said that such workshops are a way of deriving inspiration and sharing knowledge and experiences of intellectuals.

“In a festival like this, it’s not about education. This is basically about social networking; this is the first thing for me because you meet a lot of people. This is a relation you should continue by yourself. So, what happens here, this is a three-day festival, you can’t expect a miracle happening, but you meet a lot of people, you understand their feelings, you share their experiences,” said Balan Madhavan, a visitor.

“There are people who are willing to share their knowledge, experiences, and the philosophy behind their books, that is an inspiration for you. What is at the end of the day required is an inspiration, that inspiration is derived from these kinds of workshops,” he added.

On the first day discussions were made on books by Vikram Seth and conversations featuring Adoor Gopalakrihsnan, Hannah Rothschild and Simon Schama. Various cultural programmes were also held.

The Hay Festival began about 25 years ago in Wales.

Former US President Bill Clinton has described the festival as the ‘Woodstock of the Mind’, which promotes new age literature. By K. S Ashik (ANI)

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