Bangalore Literary Festival 2018

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Virtual Vita Nuova

I still have Indian dust on my shoes from the city of Bangalore, where I spent almost a week at the international literary festival. 

    I was mind-boggled at the scale of this national Indian event: literature, politics, activism, feminism.  There was music and even street art, but what a crowd. Sixteen thousand highly literate participants, roaming from one outdoor stage to another, and engaged with every atom of their souls. 

    Literary culture persists in this part of the world, where people still believe that leafing through books is a transformative spiritual experience that can change the world. 

Authors of the first world, beset with Internet and economic crisis, often seem like plastic vanity-toys kept past their sell-by date, but maybe what they lack most keenly is a creative readership.   As a passionate reader, I often claim it is more difficult to read a book well…

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