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Culture

Shorts




Liz and Darcy

Britain's Royal Mail is joining in the celebrations to mark the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice with the release of a series of stamps featuring all six of Austen's novels. The Pride and Prejudice stamp has Elizabeth gazing at a portrait of Darcy and reminds one of the following passage from the novel: "As she stood before the canvas on which he was represented, and fixed his eyes upon herself, she thought of his regard with a deeper sentiment of gratitude than it had ever raised before;she remembered its warmth, and softened its impropriety of expression. "

Indian absence in Karachi

The recently concluded Karachi Literary Festival managed to attract several well-known international writers, but a number of Indian authors including Gulzar were unable to attend. Expressing regret at this, Pakistani author, Mohsin Hamid, had said, "I do believe that there is an opening up of India and Pakistan to each other - it is happening almost despite the entrenched right wing lobbies on both sides. I have an Indian publisher, I've collaborated on two movies with Indians, I have readers in India, I've travelled to India and Indian friends came for my wedding in Pakistan eight years ago. I have friends who are musicians and actors and they are all collaborating. I have friends in business and there are a lot of opportunities in business across the border for both sides. For all of us who believe that this ridiculously antagonistically divided sub-continent needs to heal itself, which every writer I can think of feels that way, these are great chances to do it. Not that necessarily suddenly the wall will tumble down because Shobhaa De is reading here, but many of the people here will never have seen an Indian pubic figure talk about anything in real life and if you have 15, 000 people here exposed to that, then that matters. It also matters symbolically that people can see from India that their writer can come here and that they are treated with respect and admiration and they go back. It's a shame if it's not happening. "

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