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The Pankaj Mishra Chat

This is an unedited version

Rafiq (Sat Feb 5 19100 3:50 IST)
Hi Mr Mishra great to get a chance to talk to you, sir what according to you constitutes a good work of literature? And why did you dismiss off your really cool travelogue? I think I share the sentiment when I say I along with many others simply loved the book.

salman (Sat Feb 5 19100 5:40 IST)
Hey, where is Mishra gone? To splurge his millions?

JAAN (Sat Feb 5 19100 5:49 IST)

Salman Rushdie (Sat Feb 5 19100 5:54 IST)
to the blue skies yonder where the muses abound

Radhika (Sat Feb 5 19100 5:56 IST)
mr mishra, are you going to ape the film stars and be late?

saleem (Sat Feb 5 19100 5:57 IST)
Hi Mr Mishra, this is about your famous outlook article. Would not you call your first work as written in the same "elitist" voice that you criticise

saleem (Sat Feb 5 19100 5:58 IST)
Also Mr Mishra wasn't it unethical to send Arundhati's book to Godwin when you were employed by Harper Collins

chekov (Sat Feb 5 19100 5:59 IST)
Hi guys, where's the enfant terrible of Indian writing?

lampedusa (Sat Feb 5 19100 6:1 IST)
Pankaj, is the romantics your own story

saleem (Sat Feb 5 19100 6:2 IST)
It seems to be that beneath your veneer of secularity there lurks a crypto fascistic pro BJP mindset. You talk at times of "Islamic depredations". How is this different from Advani's Mughal invasion rubbish???

Vikram Chandra (Sat Feb 5 19100 6:4 IST)
Good Evening gentlemen? Where's the prodigal writer

Tina (Sat Feb 5 19100 6:4 IST)

biblio (Sat Feb 5 19100 6:5 IST)
Hi is he here?

biblio (Sat Feb 5 19100 6:7 IST)
Mr Mishra, does your "discovery" Ms. Roy count among the Indian elite, who, writing in English, discover nothing??

Suparn (Sat Feb 5 19100 6:9 IST)
Mr Pankaj Mishra will be with us in the next 10 minutes, he is on his way to the cybercafe.

Vikram Chandra (Sat Feb 5 19100 6:10 IST)
Dear Pankaj, why does Samar in the Romantics have to rely on western literature for epiphanies. Does he not find anything in his own language (Hindi) I presume that mirrors his and Rajesh's experinence. Wasn't the book an excuse for you to show off your literary reading ranging from Lampedusa's "Il Gattopardo" to Flaubert to whoever??

biblio (Sat Feb 5 19100 6:14 IST)
Hullo, are you there Mr. Mishra? What are your views on Amitav Ghosh, easily the finest living Indian writer writing in English, and that includes Rushdie, Seth, Roy and the like. I ask because I teach the comparatively newly introduced commonwealth literature course at Cambridge University. Almost all my students, as well as the literary community (including writers, critics and literary agents) consider him leagues above ALL the others. And it seems to me that his masterwork 'The Shadow Lines' fulfills all those conditions that you berate the Indian "elite" for not fulfilling in your article in an Indian magazine some time ago. - Nigel Leask Fellow and Professor, Queen's College Cambridge

Tina (Sat Feb 5 19100 6:16 IST)
Pankaj- what was the advance on the novel?????

amitabh (Sat Feb 5 19100 6:16 IST)
hi mr Pankaj Mishra, Its great chance That I m chatting with u.

koki (Sat Feb 5 19100 6:24 IST)
Hi Mr Mishra, Ever since Arundhati Roy happened, every Indian worth his word now wants to write a story. And there are publishers too? What are your views of Indo-Anglican writers? And how come suddenly there are prodigies like you walking the earth?

Rediff (Sat Feb 5 19100 6:24 IST)
hi everyone... mr mishra should be logging any minute so keep those questions coming

biblio (Sat Feb 5 19100 6:24 IST)
Hello, are you there Mr Mishra

koki (Sat Feb 5 19100 6:25 IST)
Hey guys where is this Mishra chap? Gone with the Wind?

biblio (Sat Feb 5 19100 6:25 IST)
Mr Mishra, do you have an all-time favourite novel???

Vikram Chandra (Sat Feb 5 19100 6:28 IST)
what are your politics Mr Mishra?

Tina (Sat Feb 5 19100 6:28 IST)
Good Evening. Finally!!!

biblio (Sat Feb 5 19100 6:36 IST)
I loved the evocative descriptions in your book. But it seems a little flat on narrative structure. Would you agree?

Seneca (Sat Feb 5 19100 6:38 IST)
What do you think of Vikram Seth?

Spinoza (Sat Feb 5 19100 6:38 IST)
What's the next big project?

Ingenue (Sat Feb 5 19100 6:39 IST)
I read, with some interest, your exchange of letters with Sunil Khilnani about India and the bomb? What are your fundamental disagreements with him about the notion of India?

Seneca (Sat Feb 5 19100 6:41 IST)
Does your work as an editor with Picador interfere with your craft as a writer. After all editing to some measure requires suppressing the urge to rewrite. I'm a desk editor with a publishing house, ergo my query

rupa (Sat Feb 5 19100 6:42 IST)
Did you walk with the MS of God of Small Things from an indian publishing firm where you were working and sell it at an astounding price abroad?

koki (Sat Feb 5 19100 6:43 IST)
What does it take to write a really interesting work of fiction -- story, creativity or hype? Or all of it?

Ingenue (Sat Feb 5 19100 6:45 IST)
Apropos one of your responses - isn't it dangerous to talk of "coherent" traditions in the organic Kantian (or misread Kantian) sense. Wasn't it that ideology that led to the holocaust. These metaphors of organicity - aren't they dangerous politically and even as grounds for literary evaluation.

Veronica (Sat Feb 5 19100 6:47 IST)
Mr Mishra,what inspired you to write this book?

Seneca (Sat Feb 5 19100 6:50 IST)
Are you influenced by any of the other arts. I find a subterranean current of western classical music in your work - the composer it most reminds me of is Mozart. Is there any basis to my reading or am I over interpreting?

Ingenue (Sat Feb 5 19100 6:52 IST)
What is your advice to a budding writer?

Zeus (Sat Feb 5 19100 6:56 IST)
Would you say that you share with Rushdie the inability to write about sexual experience in any meaningful way?

singer (Sat Feb 5 19100 6:58 IST)
Do you think the community of Indian writers will evolve its own distinct identity in the years to come?

jennifer (Sat Feb 5 19100 6:59 IST)
oh, thank you! wishing you all the best for your next novel.

Veronica (Sat Feb 5 19100 7:0 IST)
Sudipto,Ms.Shobha De can hold a candle to anyone.

sudipto (Sat Feb 5 19100 7:2 IST)
Does that mean when you write you do it for a particular market-- the West, despite English being alien to you?

sudipto (Sat Feb 5 19100 7:3 IST)
veronica, i am sure Ms De can hold a handle...she may be better at that than writing fiction!

singer (Sat Feb 5 19100 7:3 IST)
Someone mentioned Shobha De. You know I've met so many reviewers who say her work is third rate. yet they all shy from panning it in papers becasue they are scared that it could affect their careers. Says something about the lot of reviewers around doesn't it?????

Veronica (Sat Feb 5 19100 7:5 IST)
There are too many Shobha De hate clubs around...

kirti (Sat Feb 5 19100 7:5 IST)
Mr Mishra, why are you not answering my or rupa's question about the Arundhati Roy episode?

Veronica (Sat Feb 5 19100 7:6 IST)
it IS true that her columns in the New Indian Express have a feminist overtone...

Veronica (Sat Feb 5 19100 7:8 IST)

hero (Sat Feb 5 19100 7:10 IST)

Veronica (Sat Feb 5 19100 7:10 IST)

gita (Sat Feb 5 19100 7:10 IST)
veronica, lay off! we are discussing pankaj mishra and not shoba de here...

Veronica (Sat Feb 5 19100 7:10 IST)

Veronica (Sat Feb 5 19100 7:11 IST)

daytripper (Sat Feb 5 19100 7:12 IST)

Sapna (Sat Feb 5 19100 7:15 IST)
Good evening people

Sapna (Sat Feb 5 19100 7:17 IST)
If u don't read everything,u are not well read

hero (Sat Feb 5 19100 7:17 IST)
Umm, are you sure you don't like it at all are being politically correct????

Rami (Sat Feb 5 19100 7:18 IST)
Ciao Mr Mishra nice talking to you, catch ya later alligator.

Salman Rushdie (Sat Feb 5 19100 7:18 IST)
why are you embarrassed about butter chicken in ludhiana... it was a great book, honest and funny

Sapna (Sat Feb 5 19100 7:18 IST)

hero (Sat Feb 5 19100 7:19 IST)
What do you think of categories like "women's writing", "postcolonial writing" etc

hero (Sat Feb 5 19100 7:21 IST)
Okay bye Mr Mishra gottta go catch a few zzzzzzs Was a pleasure talking to you sire

Radhika (Sat Feb 5 19100 7:21 IST)
do you feel that someone who reads well is necessarily someone who writes well? all that came across in romantics is a well read young man desperately trying to be a writer...

Salman Rushdie (Sat Feb 5 19100 7:21 IST)
ta... ta...

Radhika (Sat Feb 5 19100 7:21 IST)
chee you...

sachin (Sat Feb 5 19100 8:22 IST)
hi sir

sachin (Sat Feb 5 19100 8:23 IST)
i am sachin nimbargi from solapur in mahashtra

bala (Sun Feb 6 19100 0:32 IST)
hi pankaj, i am an aspiring writer. my favourite is PG Wodehouse. do give me some tips on how i should get my writing going>

guest (Sun Feb 6 19100 3:27 IST)
this sarika from mumbai

Chandra (Sun Feb 6 19100 8:3 IST)
Hi !!!I am Chandra. Why are Indian authors not popular in the West. Is it because of bad marketing