Literature Festival day 1: 1. Inspiration

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Inspiration (Bahaa Taher, Yann Martel, Imtiaz Dharker) (10th March, 2010: 2.30 pm)

Inspiration to write definitely differs from a person to another. Some find it within themselves, some find it in natural scenes, some in muses, and some in everyday’s conversation.

As Yann Martel says, to write, you have to be at discomfort towards a state in the world. You have to have that intellect curiosity of wanting to know how to help change that. Then when you write, you become momentarily in control, you become the painter of that change. You are overtaken with the joyful process of writing.

Imiaz Dharker, a poet, had a very interesting reasoning on writing poetry. You don’t write because you want to be published, not because you want it to be read, not because you want to get money of it. You just have to write, because this is all you can do to express it, because you cannot not write. You just write. For an audience that may never be. Writing gives that sense of harmony, a moment when everything internally is finally balanced. Beautiful!

A point that was raised by Yann Martel, is that he started writing when he was 18 years old. He stated that when you’re young, you don’t think of retirement or money, you don’t care about being poor, you got that optimism in you. You believe you’re immortal. That’s why he started writing then. He wrote horrible plays, but he wrote anyway, he kept trying, he had that hope.

This is opposed to what often is suggested for writers by surrounding people, to quit that nonsense, and submit self to that sense of corporatization, for the sake of job security, and guaranteed salaries. This was stated by Paul Blezard (the host) and confirmed by Martel.

I can’t help but to think, if the above is the reason why we don’t have that much of new young writers? Is the society holding them back? Are we still looking at corporate as the only right way to go? I know I don’t! But what is it about that fear of stepping into that land? Does the change have to come from the individuals alone? Or should there be a support system from the country and the society?

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