Thursday, October 08, 2009

Tamil Writing

Have been reading a few contemporary Tamil writers. I confess I didn't know that the contemporary Tamil writing (prose, poetry, short stories, etc.) was so prolific and that I had a less than favorable opinion of writers & publishers. Visiting the Chennai Book Fair stalls, I had thought of publishers of Tamil books as lacking in skills and taste and the writers as vendors of second-hand ideas. Even a cursory glance at a few writer's books and their blogs proves me wrong.

I made the acquintance of a Tamil poet/writer in one of my recent trips, Ajayan Bala. He writes at I recommend for anyone interested in contemporary Tamil writing. Charu Nivethitha and Ajayan Bala are two other writers whose blogs I read sometimes. I consider Charu's writings as ideally suited for regaling oneself and not worthy of any serious thought.

One aspect of writers that I find distasteful is the extent to which they go to disagree (quarrel?) with their peers. For instance, I chanced upon a post in Charu's blog - it was apparently from a reader of his blog and it spoke of another writer in unprintable language. Charu had posted that on his blog and given that a reply too - and I came to know that he and the other writer din't get along well and such verbal duels on blog posts and in writer's conferences were quite common. This I have observed in other Tamil writers whom I know, they refer to the others disparagingly and in responding to ideological debates, ad hominem attacks are the norm. Their interest in personal quabbles renders their moral authority in presenting opposing viewpoints questionable. Quite sad.