Happy Birthday, Vikram Seth, born 20 June 1952
- People very often have a picture of themselves that’s about five years out of date — and not just in terms of their impression of their profession, but also in how they see themselves physically, how they view themselves mentally, and so on. The public might be right in how it sees me. On the other hand, it doesn’t matter whether they’re right or wrong.
- Pushkin is very close to my heart because I like his mixture of levity and deep seriousness. He refused to be pompous, and to become a venerable man of letters.
- I certainly aim to be readable because those are the kind (of books) I like to read. I like to make things as clear as possible within the limits of the complexities of human relations and the structure of language. I don’t try to make things simplistic, though.
- I rarely listen to music while writing. If I don’t like it, it bothers me, and if I like it, it absorbs me so much I can’t write.
- And the process of reading is such a private one. I once came into a room where a friend of mine was reading one of my books, and he clicked his tongue impatiently and shooed me off.
- I am a very erratic and lazy person. I write in bed.
- The problem with too beautiful a view is that it’s alright for the mulling stage. But for the writing stage, you want to be somewhere without a view, especially if it is very different from what you’re writing.
Seth is an Indian novelist and poet. He is best known for A Suitable Boy. He has received several awards including the Commonwealth Poetry Prize, the WH Smith Literary Award and the Crossword Book Award.
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