24 November, 2020

The Art Of Memory

Women as women, and as artists - the two coalesce

The Art Of Memory
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
At about the same time C.S. Lakshmi must have been putting together The Singer and the Song, Shashi Deshpande must have been working on her novel Small Remedies. The two works do not really overlap, but there is a quote in Deshpande's book that might have been written for C.S. Lakshmi (better known to Tamil readers as Ambai): "In this story I see the artist, the woman in search of her genius, of her destiny. But the artist was born of the woman. First there was the woman and then the artist. Is it possible to cut the umbilical cord, to sever the connection between the two?"

The 16 conversations here answer that question but also transcend it. Ambai is clear that she does not want to confine the musicians, dancers and artists represented here within the narrow limits of "women's art", though their responses to and breaks away from "normal" life for women is naturally an important part of their stories.

It was not easy for Ambai to bring these stories to us, and this book should be seen as part of a larger undertaking - the recovery of the history of...

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