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Kolkata lit fest ends in Norway-India note

Posted on Jan 14, 03:24PM | IBNS

A lazy Sunday evening, a smattering of European literature from a Nobel laureate and some timeless drawings of an Indian creative genius.

On its closing day on Sunday, Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival presented an evening dedicated to Norwegian author and Noble Laureate Knut Hamsun and famous Indian sculptor and printmaker Somnath Hore.

An exhibition of hundred drawings of Hore on 20th century Bengal and its contemporary socio-political crisis was accompanied by a dramatized reading of Knut Hamsun's master piece 'Hunger' by renowned thespian Jayant Kriplani.

Hore's sketches, sculptures and prints were a reaction to major historical crises and events of 20th century Bengal, such as the Bengal Famine of 1943 and the Tebhaga movement.

The Nobel award winning book 'Hunger' on the other hand is a monologue of a struggling artist hoping for success, and is considered one of Hamsun's best work. The book, an autobiographical, is regarded as one of the first examples of psychological literature and the stream-of-consciousness technique.

The week long exhibition was inaugurated by Ambassador of Norway to India, Eivind S. Homme at the Rabindranath Tagore Centre, ICCR.

"It is truly inspiring to visit the city of Tagore. I have already witnessed that Kolkata is a city of history, art and culture. Seeing the unique way in which the literature of Knut has been weaved together with the artistic genius of Somnath Hore, I feel even more convinced with the values", said Homme, who is on his first visit to the city.

The unique juxtaposition of art and literature will also be accompanied by a series of films from across the world including "In search of Famine" by Mrinal Sen.

"It has been a beautiful experience to witness such a show, which not only describes the plight of the developing countries in 20th century but also holds a great relevance in today's world," said Vijay Thevar, a class ten student of Chowringhee High School who was accompanied by several other literati to the show.

(Reporting by Soumyajit Majumder, images by Somnath Roy Chowdhury)