Trust Me, I'm a Storyteller

October 10, 2015

Just released: “Moments” by Subhash Jaireth

Moments

by

Subhash Jaireth

moments book coverA Puncher & Wattman publication

‘When I listen to Bach, I seem to turn into a fish’.
Bach (Pau) in Love
‘We forget because we want to live in hope for a better life. It’s this wretched hope that demands
that we forget the unforgettable’.
The Last Smile of Graf,  Tolstoy

 Subhash Jaireth’s latest collection of short stories explore the nature of love, loss and memory. Central to each story is the uneasiness the narrator feels about his or her place in the world. A critical moment in the life of each narrator illuminates these themes in remarkable ways.

The book was launched by Professor Jen Webb, Director, Centre for Creative and Cultural
Research, Faculty of Arts and Design, University of Canberra at Thursday 8 October, 6 pm at The National Library Bookshop. Buy your copy from the National Library Bookshop

Moments Book Launch

My thoughts on Moments

Reading these stories has given me great pleasure. One of the first aspect that struck me was the honesty and authority of the narrator. I found them enigmatic with fluctuations of mood as emotional pressures mount for the characters going about their daily lives. The attention to detail adds greatly to the reading pleasure. The stories are anything but predictable as they unfold and lead the reader to a moment of epiphany or discovery. Each of the characters is distinct and original. There is a certain sadness, sometimes melancholy to these stories. I enjoyed the way in which each story is set in a different part of the world. The stories strengths are the originality of the storylines, the musicality and rhythms of the poetic prose and the impact of the bitter-sweet endings to the stories that linger on in the reader’s mind.

The Quartz Hill
I found this story fascinating and highly original. It really captures the landscape in all its glory. This story is blue in a completely different sense and was thoroughly intriguing. I shall never look at a kapok in quite the same way again.

From the National Library “Moments” Page:

In the story “Walter Benjamin’s Pipe” the narrator wants to comprehend that critical moment when Walter Benjamin, the famous Jewish-German philosopher and literary critic, decided to end his life. In the story “Bach (Pau) in Love,” the famous Catalan cellist Pablo Casals imagines the situation which
would have inspired Bach to compose his six suites for cello. In the story “Anna and Fyodor in Basel,” Anna, Fyodor Dostoevsky’s wife waits for that moment when Holbein’s famous painting about the dead Christ makes its appearance in the novel The Idiot. In “The Quartz Hill,” a Cantonese photographer looks at the prints of Paddy Bedford’s paintings about the Bedford Downs massacre and decides to visit Halls Creek in search for her Gija grandmother’s roots.

Subhash Jaireth lives in Canberra. Between 1969 and 1978 he spent nine years in Moscow. He has published three books of poetry: Yashodhara: Six Seasons without You (2003), Unfinished Poems for Your Violin (1996) and Before the Bullet Hit Me (1994, in Hindi). His short story collection To Silence was published by Puncher & Wattmann in 2011 and his novel After Love was released in 2012.

After Love cover

September 10, 2012

Australia-India Literatures International Forum a resounding success!

The Australia-India Literatures International Forum held at the State Library of NSW from 4 – 6 September, as promised, generated ‘lively discussions from passionate speakers’.

AILIF was officially opened by the Consul-General of India in Sydney, Mr Arun Kumar Goel and it brought together readers, writers, translators, editors, agents and publishers from Australia and the Indian subcontinent.

Mahmood Farooqui skilfully demonstrated Dastangoi, the revival of the art of telling Dastans or epic stories of adventure, magic and warfare by reciting or reading aloud. Sudesh Mishra and Vijay Mishra explored the creativity of Indians who were brought to sugar cane plantations in Fiji as indentured labour in the late nineteenth-century. Prabodh Parikh presented Art and the Writer: Rabindranath Tagore’s 2000 paintings.

Seven panels over the three days discussed motivation to write; the struggle against injustice and inequality; the importance of local languages and dialects; alienation from land, animals and tradition; storytelling as protest; the important role that writers have in telling the truth; the power of myth and legend in writing and storytelling. Mamang Dai, Inez Baranay, Subhash Jaireth, Girish Karnad, Malcolm Knox, Manisha Jolie Amin, Roanna Gonsalves, Bem Le Hunte, Michelle de Kretser, Suneeta Peres da Costa, N S Madhavan, Uday Prakash, Christopher Raja, Aashish Kaul and Kunal Sharma spoke about crossing borders, a sense of place, dislocation, the home of the imagination, place as a construct, ‘fossilised memory’, ‘rearranged identity’, ‘languages as legitimisation’ and ‘what is Indian anyway’?

Highlights included: gut-wrenching poems by Ali Cobby Eckermann, from her collection little bit long time, which left the audience stunned and lingered on in the mind. Alexis Wright bringing to our attention the importance of ancient lore, the voice of the Elders, temporal rather than linear stories, before reading from Carpentaria. Gogu Shyamala, Dalit feminist and Telangana activist. C S Lakshmi (Ambai), feminist and activist, who revealed her take on the world and her experiences with wit and humour. All of which helped to create a deeper understanding of the challenges regularly encountered.

C S Lakshmi (Ambai) and Gogu Shyamala in Sydney

Award winning poets Judith Beveridge, Michelle Cahill, Kynpham Sing Nongkynrih and Prabodh Parikh spoke about the poetic imagination and treated the audience to their strong and subversive poems.

The final panel session of editors, translators and publishers explained the practical hurdles of publishing books in regional languages and in finding skilled translators; as well as the responsibility of editing and publishing stories in localised variations of english in literature. Kabita Dhara, publisher at Brass Monkey Books Australia, Ivor Indyk from Giramondo Press, Mita Kapur author and CEO of Siyahi, R Sivapriya Managing Editor of Translations and Classics Penguin Books India and Sharon Rundle who has co-edited Indo-Australian books for Picador (Australia, India) and Brass Monkey Books emphasised the importance of publishing transnational writing and translations.

The State Library NSW book shop stocked books by the various speakers, including ‘Alien Shores’ and ‘Fear Factor Terror Incognito’. It was quite a thrill to see them on display there.

“Alien Shores” and “Fear Factor Terror Incognito” in the State Library NSW book shop!

Huge congratulations to the organisers, Mridula Nath Chakraborty and Anthony Uhlmann Director of the University of Western Sydney Writing and research Centre; and the State Library of NSW, for this essential and welcome initiative.

AILIF was supported by the Australian Government through the Australia-India Council and the Australia Council; Copyright Agency Ltd Cultural Fund; Australia India Institute; State Library of NSW; The Taj Foundation.

A full report is published in the current issue of The Indian Herald.

August 22, 2012

Australia India Literatures International Forum September 2012

ALIF Program 2012

Australia-India Literatures International Forum

4th-6th September 2012

State Library of New South Wales

Metcalfe Auditorium.

(entrance via Macquarie Street)

Sydney

© Image shown above Copyright owned by Wikicommons

 

Don’t miss this very special event! This exciting forum will generate lively discussions from passionate speakers. An event of such potential and ambition has not been undertaken in this region before.

The Australia-India Literatures International Forum brings together writers from the

regional literatures of India with indigenous and multicultural writers of Australia.

The Forum will take the form of seven panel sessions and three special

presentations, which are all open to the public to attend.

 

Each panel comprises Australian and Indian delegates, who will make a short presentation each, followed by audience discussion moderated by the Chair.

 

The three special sessions explore the connection of writing

with performance, art and indenture.

Tuesday 4th September

4 pm: Special Presentation:

Dastangoi.

Mahmood Farooqui

The word Dastangoi refers to the art of storytelling; it is a compound of two Persian words Dastan and goi that means to tell a story.

 

Wednesday 5th September

12 noon: Special Presentation:

Travelling languages/evolving cultures across the Pacific Ocean.

Sudesh Mishra and Vijay Mishra

In the late nineteenth-century, Indians were brought to Fiji as indentured labour to work on sugar cane plantations. This

free-flowing conversation explores the subject of indenture/girmitiya and creativity.

4:30 pm: Special Presentation:

Art and the Writer.

Prabodh Parikh:

Rabindranath Tagore’s 2000 paintings

The first non-European Nobel Laureate, Rabindranath Tagore, was also a self-taught artist who started painting at age 67.

Within 15 years, Tagore had completed over 3000 paintings, which have since become part of India’s national treasure.

Forum Panellists include: Alexis Wright, Sharan Kumar Limbale, Gogu Shyamala, Ali Cobby Eckermann, Inez Baranay, Mamang Dai, Bem le Hunte, C S Lakshmi (Ambai), Subhash Jaireth, Nicholas Jose, Girish Karnad, Malcolm Knox, Suneeta Peres da Costa, Michelle de Kretser, N S Madhavan, Uday Prakash, Manisha Jolie Amin, Roanna Gonsalves, Aashish Kaul, Chris Raja and Kunal Sharma, Kabita Dhara, Ivor Indyk, Mita Kapur, R Sivapriya and Sharon Rundle.

 Panel Chairs: Peter Minter, Christopher Cyrill, Vijay Mishra, Paul Sharrad,  Mita Kapur, Pam Newton, Ivor Indyk, Michael Wilding and R Sivapriya.

 Speakers:  Mridula Nath Chakraborty, Anthony Uhlmann Director Writing & Society Research Centre, University of Western Sydney

 

For full program and information on the participating writers,

see our website: http://www.uws.edu.au/india

To purchase tickets to attend any of the Australia-India Literatures

International Forum public events, please go to:

http://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/events/events_talks/index.html

or contact the State Library of NSW Bookings line: (02) 9273 1770

or Email: bookings@sl.nsw.gov.au

I look forward to seeing you there,

Sharon

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