Visual Friday: Write and Wrong – To Write Autofiction or Not to Write Autofiction

September 21, 2018 by Neelima | 0 comments

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By InstaScribe

September 20, 2018
by Neelima

It’s Not To Be, Shakespeare @ Link Wanderlust

Changing a few words in your conversation could change the way you think, says Mel Schwartz in his article Change a Word, Change Your Life. The words we need to change are not big words in the vocabulary- not nouns or adjectives but verbs like are, am, is, was, be, been, being – small extremely powerful words as they affirm thought and freeze statements into fact. How?

So if you say to yourself over and over again, “I am shy”, there is something unchangeable about this statement. It shows that the speaker can not be anything but shy.

Alfred Korzybsky promoted the idea of writing and speaking without these ‘to-be’ words in his book called Science and Sanity. He quashed the Newtonian idea of objectivity and mined quantum physics ideas of subjectivity. The resulting language he created was called E-Prime. As a psychotherapist, Mel Schwartz believes that huge barriers can be overcome by simply de-verbing it.

Try it the next time you speak.

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Visual Friday: 9/11 Inspired Books

September 14, 2018 by Neelima | 0 comments

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By InstaScribe

September 13, 2018
by Neelima

Freedom of Speech @ Link Wanderlust

I stumbled on an essay by Prasanta Chakravarty that deals with a relevant topic today — that of freedom of expression. Philosophers understood that persecution of free speech was a given and Leo Strauss published a book titled Persecution and the Art of Writing explaining to the readership that it is possible to maintain creative integrity even if governments clamp down on free thinking. How?, you may ask.

By writing between the lines.

He talks about two kinds of writing- esoteric and exoteric, of which exoteric is the more desirable. However, Chakravarty sees a flaw in the argument in times such as these when free speech tools are available to all and sundry.

“The special problem of our times, for those who deal with specialised knowledge, is a certain kind of populist levelling down in public discourse and human interaction……

Consequently, political mobilisations of persecution are often happening, owing to these changed equations in social lives. Suddenly the lines between the democratic and the populist are completely broken. Unlike Strauss, there are ample reasons to believe that such a climate of retribution and moral turpitude has developed owing to multiple historical reasons, exacerbated in the last few decades.”

Navigating through such times requires patience and intelligence, qualities that most creatives have in spades.

Read The Writer’s Dilemma in Times of Persecution  and try to get a hold of Levi Strauss’s book as well.

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September 10, 2018
by Neelima

Roots, Ruins and Song @ BYOB Party at JustBooks, Sahakarnagar in July 2018 (Part 6)

Image result for roots alex haley amazonCelina who co-hosted the BYOB Party with us spoke about a book that made an imprint on her. Roots by Alex Hailey starts with the story of Kunta Kinte, a man who was brought to the slave markets of the New World. It was interesting that she mentioned a story that stressed on the perspective of the oppressed as the book that Jaya talked about-From the Ruins of Empire: The Revolt Against the West and the Remaking of Asia– also focused on new perspectives.

Image result for pankaj mishra empire amazonPankaj Mishra’s work is arresting and a must-read as it tells the story of how the non-Western world rose to the challenge of western oppression and rethought alternative ways of governance. Mishra navigates through the Asian intellectual perspective and is refreshing for readers who would like a perspective closer to home. Mishra represents important thinkers like Al-Afghani. 

“What strikes me is that democracy was perceived to be created by people who did not themselves believe int he ideals that they preached. This is where reactionary elements came from,” Jaya said.

The book has been written in a chronological manner and it’s a collection of Mishra’s commentaries: a story of thought or a history of ideas around certain broad themes. It was shortlisted for Orwell Prize, 2013.

You may want to read Edmund Wilson in Benares by Pankaj Mishra to get a taste of his effortless writing style.

Image result for gaata rahe mera dil : 50 classic amazonAditya’s choice of book was the sole light book in the discussion. He got a book called Gaata Rahe Mera Dil  by Balaji Vittal (Author), Anirudha Bhattacharjee. For lovers of old Bollywood music, this book is a collector’s item. The composition of classics and the anecdotes of the making of these songs make this book a delightful read. Aditya particularly enjoyed the part where Sharmila Tagore forgets her lines when she meets Shashi Kapoor.

On that light note, we come to an end of the BYOB Party at JustBooks, Sahakarnagar.


September 6, 2018
by Neelima

Reading Self-help and Writing About it @ Link Wanderlust

I guess I’m late to the party but here’s a book deal that everyone’s talking about. It’s for a book called Help Me! by Marriane Power. Her proposition is unique – she has a weakness for self-help books and so spends a month living the precepts of one book and shares her experiences on her blog, so if you are a self-help aficionado, I would suggest that you hit the subscribe button.  Incidentally, at our BYOB Parties, we have seen readers bring in a bevy of self-help books; there are always the naysayers who think that self-help is a contradictory term of sorts vs those who swear by the incremental changes that such books promote.

Read this interesting review of Power’s book.

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Have any self-help books helped you?

September 4, 2018
by Neelima

Readers can’t Digest-Week 197 (29-Aug to 4-Sep)

1. Amazon removes blueprint for a 3-D-printed gun that was uploaded in book form

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2. Jurassic Park screenwriter David Koepp sells publishing, film rights for first book

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3. Libraries in Kerala devastated by floods

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4. J.R.R. Tolkien’s final posthumous book published

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5. Three new Harry Potter books are hitting shelves

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