“Discover a treasure trove of wisdom with 100+ thought-provoking Vikram Seth quotes. Each quote is a window into the profound reflections of this renowned author and poet, spanning themes of love, identity, society, and human connection. Seth’s eloquent words offer insights that resonate with the complexities of life, inspiring contemplation and sparking meaningful conversations. Immerse yourself in his literary brilliance and let these quotes enrich your perspective on the diverse tapestry of human existence.”
I need my natural laziness to be counteracted by obsession in order to do anything.
In spite of all temptations of belonging to many nations, I’ve remained an Indian.
I don’t read as much as people may expect. In fact, sometimes I feel that I should probably read more, but then I do believe that one of the big problems of our times is that there’s too much reading and not enough thinking.
The point really is that a writer tends to write a book that he or she tends to write. It’s as simple as that. Of course, it’s important to make a living and all that, but the main impulse as far as I’m concerned – and I’m sure as other writers are concerned – is to tell a story that I feel impelled by.
I think if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing well. And worth thinking about it as well.
When I realised that I had feelings for men as well as women, at first I was worried and frightened, and there was a certain amount of ‘Who am I? Am I a criminal?’ and so on. It took me a long time to come to terms with myself. Those were painful years – painful then and painful to look back on.
You know, I can imagine not writing a novel and writing poetry only.
Revision has its own peculiar pleasures and its own peculiar frustrations. The ground rules are already established; the characters already exist. You don’t have to bring the characters to life, but you do have to make them more convincing.
You have to learn a few things, which you do along the way, but basically, poetry is a matter of the ear. Iambic pentameters or what constitutes a stanza comes naturally – your ears will know.
If I’m compelled to do something, I don’t shy away from it simply because I haven’t tackled it before.
Do not write if there is no tremendous urge to do so. At the heart, there must be an inspiration or muse or one of those old-fashioned things. Else, why bore yourself, destroy other people’s interest and kill trees?
I have a reputation for being hermitlike. I’m not. I’m just obsessed with my work.
As for what I listen to after writing, it could be anything – but I’ve noticed that if the current book contains music from one tradition, it is music from another tradition that most relaxes me.
I don’t want to talk too much about the nitty-gritty of writing. It’s rather like a pressure cooker with a certain amount of pressure in it – the more you let out, the less you cook.
I love speculating about solutions to problems in mathematics. I have no interest whatever in sudoku. But I do look at chess and bridge problems in newspapers. I find that relaxing.
I just love music – by no stretch of the imagination am I professionally competent.
The trick to being a novelist is to act like an iceberg. Make it seem as if you’re displaying only one-tenth of what you know, and the other nine-tenths isn’t visible and never mind if that part is pure styrofoam!
I don’t think anyone should be banned. If you don’t like a book, set it aside.
I don’t pick and choose subjects or settings; they pick and choose me.
The thing about inspiration is that it takes your mind off everything else.
If somebody writes clearly, you can pretty much tell immediately if something is shallow or deep, whereas if they write with all this duckweed on the surface, you can’t tell if the stream is one inch deep or a hundred fathoms.
You get your inspiration – suggestions – wherever you have to, even from your mother.
I often feel newspapers are just filling up space. Of course, I also know people who write really long books.
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.
I want my books to sell, to be read. I’m not interested in being obscure.
Of course, I have to consider that I’ve written a lot of prose, but I do in my heart think of myself as being originally, and still primarily, a poet.
I think it’s possible to be multi-rooted, rather like a banyan tree, without being deracinated.
I am certainly not allergic to causes – particularly on subjects such as religious intolerance.
I’m not sure anyone can understand a whole life, even their own.
Dear though the reader might be, I’d be silly to cater to what the reader wanted.
If you were to ask me to pick my favourite author, well, there are so many of them, I’d really just have to say the first names that came to mind, and I’m sure that I’ll later think ‘Oh, I should have mentioned that one.’
Why do writers, say, give up a job in economics and decide to write poetry? Or, why do they give up a job in a bank and decide to paint, like Krishan Khanna? They want to convey something.
I am careful about fiction. A novel is not a tract or an essay. If I want to write about land reforms, or Hindu-Muslim relations, or position of women, I can do it as it affects my characters as in ‘A Suitable Boy.’ I could only write about issues specifically through essays. But I’ll do that only if I have something worthwhile to say.
Of course, a law that is selectively used is in one aspect even worse than a law that is generally used because it puts a lot of power in individuals’ hands and makes government a rule, not of laws, but of people.
I know from an editor’s point of view or a publisher’s point of view it’s easier to slot me into a particular niche. But I know that I’d be bored unless I wrote a book that in some senses was a challenge.
I’m actually a very lazy person. Most of the time, I’m happy to sit around and stare. Or watch bad TV soaps. It’s quite rare for me to get inspired by anything, but it could be something small. A view of the Serpentine. A snatch of music. Or a little shred of conversation overheard on a bus, such as, ‘You also will marry someone of my choice.’
In general, questions are fine; you can always seize upon the parts of them that interest you and concentrate on answering those. And one has to remember when answering questions that asking questions isn’t easy either, and for someone who’s quite shy to stand up in an audience to speak takes some courage.
There are plenty of good Indian writers in English, and none of us feel we are carrying the burden of being a poster boy.
I tend to follow a scattershot approach to reading a lot of very diverse subjects interest me, and I’m quite happy to read stuff on any of them.
Poetry, I think, intensifies the reader’s experience. If it’s a humorous facet of the story, poetry makes it more exuberant. If it’s a sad facet, poetry can make it more poignant.
It is exciting to write about the present once one gets beyond the trivia of the moment. As a time to live in, as a time to think about, the present is intriguing.
After ‘A Suitable Boy,’ I didn’t write anything, not even a short story. I thought to myself: ‘I ought to start writing.’ But I can never force myself to write.
I certainly think it’s very important that writers as citizens – not necessarily as writers, but just as ordinary citizens – should talk about things that matter to them.
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.
I simply seem to drift. But I sort of allow the drift, because it has a kind of check – it forces me to work harder at what I’m interested in.
My main motivation is not to get bored. I’m just hoping I get a vaguely maverick reputation.
On the whole, I don’t like reading long books. I’m not a fan of ‘Ulysses.’ And I haven’t quite finished ‘War and Peace.’