Monday, December 22, 2014

Jaipur Literature Festival – Part 2 -The Greatest Writing Classroom in the World

Writers at the Festival

100+ Writers in one Event
The reason I came back to the Jaipur Literature Festival in 2014, was because of the amount of quality learning about writing, I could do in such an environment. This year writers like Antony Beevor, Jhumpha Lahir, Jonathan Frazen, William Darylmple were at the festival. By attending their sessions I got glimpse into their worlds and the way they worked and wrote.

After the morning keynote on Day one of the festival, I decided to attend the session of Jonathan Franzen. There were five separate sessions happening simultaneously at five different venues. It was very hard choosing between sessions at the festival. Sometimes I would attend half of one session and then run to the next venue to attend the latter half of another session.

Learning from the Best in the World

Jonathan Frazen at that point of time was one of the most well renowned American novelists. He was a recipient of the National Book Award in the United States of America and the best selling author of books titled, ‘The Corrections’ and ‘Perchance to Freedom’.

So many new interesting people to meet
I found the situation I was in, quite interesting from a learning perspective. Authors spend most of their time writing, which is very obvious. Not many of them come out regularly and speak to large audiences. There are several exceptions. The chance of a Pulitzer Prize winning novelist or Nobel Prize winner coming to my college or work place, was highly unlikely unless I worked at Google or for the government.

Why the Jaipur Literature Festival was such a Great Classroom?

This festival I was currently part of, was like a classroom I had created for myself. I don’t expect a renowned author or researcher to come too me. Rather I respect their time, study their schedule and go to places where they are scheduled to speak based on their own commitments.

It was surreal sitting in the audience, learning directly from a renowned contemporary novelist or writer of our time. This was possible, because I put in the effort to find my own teachers. These teachers were masters of the field. I went to them and did not expect them to find me and come to me. It was my responsibility to find them and learn as much as I could from their experience.

All of this was playing out for me at the Jaipur Literature Festival.

Let us Learn Together
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