Continental Drift (Columbia Magazine)
What does an increasingly globalized world mean for Indian writers?
—by Paul LeClerc ’69GSAS, director of Columbia Global Centers | Europe (Paris)
In September 2013, something extraordinary happened in Paris: the Columbia Global Center in Paris and the Bibliotheque nationale de France joined together to convene a group of writers from around the world for public conversations about the effects of globalization on culture. It was a great success, with even the Louvre celebrating the event by saying, “Happily, we have the Americans to remind us that Paris is a great literary capital.”
For the Columbia-BnF World Writers’ Festival’s second incarnation this past fall, again under the direction of Caro Llewellyn, we narrowed our focus to a specific region: India, a literary superpower whose writers have achieved immense artistic success in the Anglophone world, though have yet to gain the same kind of recognition across the European Union. For five days in September, fourteen Indian writers gathered with 2,500 members of the public for lectures, readings, and other events designed to encourage debate about the impact of our increasingly interconnected world on cultural production and consumption. In order to continue the conversation, we invited those writers to submit original essays, four of which are printed here.