Some of this festival’s dominant ideas and themes have included the rising wave of populism in Indian literature and the democratizing implications of this accessibility, the exciting emergence of so many highly talented Pakistani writers, the new era in American and global politics, and the importance of retaining cultural heritage in a rapidly modernizing world.
DSC Jaipur Literature Festival, Asia’s leading festival of its kind, which brings together writers, musicians, readers, luminaries, children and celebrities in a free and accessible environment, proves it is possible to democratize culture whilst retaining excellence.
This is what some of you had to say:
-Daily Beast, New York
In a word, uplifting. In a few more words, (and to quote one of the panelists on the subject of art), “A release from the trivialities of quotidian life” Where else would a middle class engineer living in Delhi get to rub shoulders with her heroes — the likes of Shoma Chaudhury and Tarun Tejpal? Listen with enraptured attention to a panel consisting of Dalrymple, Thubron, Pico Iyer — each of whom individually fills a shelf in my library. Discover brilliant authors and books — Michael Wood, Simon Schama, Sheldon Pollock. The event was aesthetically, intellectually, and humanitarially (is there such a word?) — illuminating! I am completely starstruck. Perhaps I will write about the sessions in greater detail some other time — right now I will just wallow in lovely memories.
It was our first experience and what an experience it was! Am so glad that we could make it … even though we could only make it for the weekend. What I loved the most was the creative energy of the place and a brilliant combination of the the various arts. I think it was also great that the festival was free and open to the public … that allowed people from all walks of life to come together and enjoy the world of literature … a very warm congratulations and best wishes to you and your team.
This is such a nice thing you have brought to Jaipur. I think it will inspire a lot of people to read and understand literature. Poeple, which includes ordinary people mostly, will get to learn about new developments in the field, about the authors and their works. Great job!!! Thank you.
I have always believed that I chose to be in the field of literature for more than one reason — that of reading. Of course, the pleasure of reading is the foundation, but there is so much more. The Jaipur Literature Festival confirmed my belief in so many ways. The five days that I spent in Jaipur, attending the sessions and just being a part of it all were longer than I have ever spent without calling home and my friends every few hours. This time, I didn’t feel the need to, because I was home. To begin with, the entire organization was immaculate. The Teamwork crew was impeccable in their execution and we all felt so welcome from the word go that after the first day, we knew exactly what to do and where to go and whom to ask if we didn’t know. I have been thinking, even as I have been writing this, about how to justifiably put into words the sheer awe that I experienced at the sessions of the festival … Simply speaking, there is no way that one can sum up the amount of knowledge, the enlightenment, and of course the very pleasure of being able to hear and see and talk to the people that we’ve only known from printed prose all our lives. The evenings were splendid too. At this point, it is quite pointless to even try to find anything to critique or suggest improvements upon, because one is simply immersed in the collective nostalgia of those five days which are now going to be superimposed on all our other holiday memories for a long time to come. I would just like to personally and sincerely thank all for being the most amazing hosts of the most amazing festival.