The raga, or melody form of classical Indian music, evokes profound emotion and evades tidy resolution. Singers of khayal follow a scale entirely different to Western musical styles, innovating and inventing as they perform. In Finding the Raga, Novelist, critic, and essayist Amit Chaudhuri reflects upon a life devoted to this slippery, surprising art form, as well as its interactions with his other artistic practices, from writing to American folk music. A celebration of the poetry of sound and the power of listening, Finding the Raga is both artistic manifesto and cosmology, a meditation upon music’s capacity to sing to the world, about the world, and from the world. At the Library, he will meditate upon the fusions of these different worlds, as well as the rich and unique history of Indian music, largely unknown to Western audiences.
About the speaker:
Amit Chaudhuri is the author of eight novels, the latest of which is Sojourn. He is also a poet, essayist, short story writer, and musician. His New and Selected Poems is scheduled to published later this year in the NYRB Poets series. His works of non-fiction include, most recently, Finding the Raga, which received the James Tait Black Prize in 2022. Other awards his work has received include the Commonwealth Writers Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction, the Sahitya Akademi Award, the Rabindra Puraskar, and the inaugural Infosys Prize in Literary Studies in the Humanities. He is Professor of Creative Writing and Director of the Centre for the Creative and Critical at Ashoka University. He was Professor of Contemporary Literature at the University of East Anglia from 2006-2021.
Important information: The discussion will be available both online and in person. While the conversation will happen in person (Chaudhuri will appear in the Reading Room), the Library will stream the conversation on Zoom for a live viewing experience. Both in-person and online attendees will be able to pose questions.
This event requires advance registration.
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