I have been a teacher of English Literature and therefore have been unduly influenced by Shakespeare and Dickens. I learned how to write from #Shakespeare and #Dickens. From Shakespeare, because I have taught his plays to postgraduates. From #Dickens, as he impacted my childhood imagination. Dickens had his own share of learning from Shakespeare and, through him, Shakespeare returned to me in another form.
Shakespeare’s #metaphors, #symbols, and #images are difficult to escape; they sink into the mind gradually. They emerge in varied forms when I write.
Dickens impacted me differently, through his style. His intriguing exaggeration stuck to my imagination. Besides, his huge ability to manoeuvre plots, putting together social evil and the inescapable patterns of human nature, gripped me.
My #novel, THE TAILOR’S NEEDLE, grew out of this two-pronged influence of Shakespeare and Dickens . My #Indian sensibility was the little original me. As an Indian it was difficult for one writing in the English Language not to be affected by its greatest masters. In my case, being a university professor of English, I could not help being affected by these and a few other novelists, dramatists, and poets.
My #short #stories, collected in #Intriguing #Women and #Marriages #are #Made #in #India, are always either affected by these writers or are a sub-conscious attempt to be different. I sometimes feel that my imagination is pinned to these two stalwarts, and no amount of effort can save me from writing like them. When I do manage to write a few pages that have no connection with these two, it seems a rare achievement. I experience freedom then. It is a bliss and delight that I am almost myself at last. But those moments of selfhood are short lived and back I go sliding towards one of these, even before I am fully born into my own avatar. I may be unique in having to depend on two writers; Shakespeare and Dickens. I often wonder whether other writers have complete independence.