Pico Iyer in interview with Sandip Ray at the Kolkata Literature Meet (KLM) Part 2

there must be another more appropriate word than "crush" to represent my feelings about pico iyer, graham green, nayangshu, budhhadeb, kookie jar nuttie corners, kwalities strawberry ice cream, bodum, yogatic, DTI tractography, MATLAB, connectionist modelling, the hindu, titas, paris ...

Loved this interview with Pico Iyer and Sandip Ray


"everyone in this room has some connection with this singer or writer, where you somehow feel that this unmet stranger, gets you, knows you and your secrets better than your friends and family do. so i decided to investigate graham green, and of course as you were saying, the more I thought about it, as to why do you create these alternative fathers, these shadow parents in our heads, in opposition to the parents who really created us. the more i thought about graham green the more i thought about my father and then they did converge and I suddenly i remembered, the last conversation i ever had with my father was on the subject of graham green, before he died 17 years ago.

when you are growing up, you think, that in order to make yourself in the world, in order to define yourself you have to run away from your family, you have to become the opposite of your parents. You have to define yourself by your first name, not your family name. And then 21 years later you look in the mirror or your hear your voice on an answering machine, and you realise you have turned into your parents. You rebel against them until you have become them

Its sometimes tougher to have a relationship with goodness. There are several quotes you have from Graham Green, talking about goodness and the problems of being good. And he says I wish you had a few bad motives you might understand a little mroe about human beings. And another book where he says its the good in the world that do all the harm. What was your relationship with goodness growing up? Where you the quintessential good boy? GG's relationship with goodness was that of a child with his face pressed against the window fascinated by integrity purity and simplicity which he could never get to himself. And the poignancy of his books is that he had such respect for goodness and felt he was so far from goodness. That tension is at the heart of most of his work.

When I was growing up I had one goal in my life when I was a boy and that was not to listen to my father and when he was gone I realized that the best source of wisdom I had was probably my father and I through my pride had squandered that opportunity.

And also, there's mixed feelings. Also I think we have a double standard. Its very difficult to look at yourself, and navel grazing just thow's a blank wall. But the minute there is something external that reflects yourself, you can bring a much more penetrating gaze"

PS: Who said recently in an article something to the effect that Calcutta is so full of itself and it and its under-cultured-ism, that it needs two Lit-Meets?

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