Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Four-Letter Words and Festivals

I feel churlish for grumbling about ANYTHING in regards to the recent literary festival (KLILF) after reading Mr. Raman's v. nicely written rant about the problems faced in making it happen.
Four weeks before the event we have thirty participants and zero sponsors. Only the registration fees paid up. There was no coverage in any of the media. I am wondering if we will have enough money to print fliers. Posters? Too late for that. We must push ahead. "Don't worry, it will fall in place." Right.
If we want events to happen at all, we must support them.

And talking about newspaper coverage, I noticed that the Sunday Times last week didn't have a single feature on the festival. How sad is that? (I blogged some time back about the lack of support from the newspapers for the first festival.)

Raman also picks up on a couple of the most controversial things writers said at the festival. Camilla Gibb had me gasping too when she called Salman Rushdie "a mediocre writer" (sacrilege! declare a fatwa!).


Thoughts about KLILF on other blogs, to give you a vicarious peep.

Lydia has lots of photos and interesting accounts of the sessions she attended with Tash Aw, Randah Abdel-Fattah and Brian Castro. (I am so sad that I could not attend the presentations she describes, particularly Brian Castro's which Mercy and Saras felt was one of the best of the festival.)

I love Dollygirl's take, particularly on the weird questioners and the loveliness of Tash. Karcy give the festival a thumbs up but laments the slice of cake that got away. Owen had to read the first few lines of Lolita in front of everyone in Tash's Session, and then got blown away by Zephaniah.

Kak Teh had a good time. Madcap Machinist gets poetic as he is wont to do. There are more great photos from Adam, and amazing, moody black and whites from Sharil Nizam.

And Tarlia got Tash Aw to pose with her little yellow ducky! Here are her accounts of Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3.

Postscript 2:

Message from Raman:
We are thinking of putting up a slideshow online with photographs taken by participants. A participant's point of view, you could say. Please send us photos of you with your favourite writers, or of your favourite funny pictures (or not), or whatever you think might be of interest to others. Please send them to ikanperak@gmail.com which allows larger attachments (but not more than 10mb). You can also drop off a CDRom with your photos here at Silverfish if you wish. We cannot use all the pictures, of course, but we would like a good spread.


Irman said...

Drat! Now I have to buy Camilla Gibss' books. Woman has taste.

Subashini said...

you know...

i never really got the fuss about rushdie, either. *ducks out of the way*

er. but then, i did only read the moor's last sigh. i gave up mid-way. i was 19 and ignorant. i'm now 26 and ignorant and should probably try again.

sympozium said...

Sweetness in The Belly will definitely NOT be used to describe C. Gibb? :-)

fei said...

I think my most memorable sessions will be the two I went for Eda Kriseova, a Czech Writer which I like very much.

She talked about Vaclav Havel for the first session and the 2nd session she talked about herself.

She said writing save her live. She had been banned after Prague Spring and couldn't publish any of her work. Even her work get published at Germany, they had to smuggle in her book.

She told us, she was depress and had to write in order to maintain her sanity.

She criticized the young czech writer nowadays who writes superficially, and writes mainly for fame and money.

She is a lovely and witty lady.

btw, Sharon, could you send me her photo that you take?

bibliobibuli said...

fei - thanks. the only decent photo i took of her was a few posts ago and i think you can just take it from there.

on rushdie - i've enjoyed midnight's children, shame and the moor's last sigh. but somehow i haven't the enrgy to read more of him at the moment. i love his exuberance and the leap off the edge audacity. and i love the way he influenced so many other writers.

camilla is yin. rushdie is yang.

overall i prefer the quality of yangness in the books i read.

does that make sense?

sympozium said...

Yes, Rushdie has the manic energy (and man-ic as in male!) energy to propel his narrative right off the page - something quite hard to sustain for over 300 pages, and also for the entirety of his writing career. I feel he has toned it down in Shalimar the Clown. Couldn't finish Moor's Last Sigh as I got very bored with it - it read like a rehash of Kanak-Kanak Tengah Malam.

sympozium said...

I haven't read Gibbs but from what you've written, she is as you said the 'yin' ie softer. But for her to say what she did about Rushdie is quite silly. Granted Rushdie comes across like an egomaniac but then he has the talent to back it up. Booker of Bookers, anyone? Bet THAT gave him some sweetness in his belly! :-)

The Visitor said...

i dont know why everyone's so worked up about what Camilla said. she's not the first person to say something like that about Rushdie.

it's true. Rushdie got boring after two or three books and is getting even boringer now.

The Visitor said...

the problem with Rushdie is, he thinks he's a rock star.

Dolly said...

See, this is why Rushdie's a star and we're not - Camilla made an off-handed comment about him and we're all getting our knickers in a twist about it! hehe

The lit fest was so much fun though. I hope it becomes a regular! Have missed discussing lit soooo much.

PS Sharon, I'm dollyGIRL not dollyBIRD! hehehe (although with the way I do things and the way I think, the BIRDbrain part of me is probably more apparent!)

Irman said...

"He thinks he is a rockstar", that about sums it up, Mr Visitor.

I tried reading Midnight's Children again a few years back, and I can't believe how yukky (ooh, how scientific) it felt. (and of course once you read GV Desani...)

(OT: There's a brilliant photo by Anton Corbijn of Bono and Rushdie facing each other; Bono wearing Rushdie's glasses, and Rushdie wearing Bono's shades - man, Anton Corbijn IS a rockstar.)

Madcap Machinist said...

I have some pics up from last week. You're welcome to use them.

bibliobibuli said...

sorry dollygirl. your are a dollybird too haha! green toe nails wasn't it?

Amir said...

B & W pix by Shahril Nizam here.

bibliobibuli said...

tahnks Amir. added.

animah said...

KLIF (or whatever it's called) would have got more participants, earlier too, if it had been over a weekend, and if it was not close to the FYE for a number of major companies in Malaysia.
As for lack of publicity in major newspapers, well perhaps Raman needs to look within.

bibliobibuli said...

animah - i'm not sure about the nst which seems to have little interest in things bookish these days, but the star has been making an effort to get articles in about litfest authors.