Intellectuals who live in Hungary, or who wish to work or lecture there, are extremely circumspect in their criticism.— Hari Kunzru
The most proven Hari Kunzru quotes to discover and learn by heart
There are still some terrible cliches in the presentation of Indian fiction.
The lotus flower. The hennaed hands. In mainland Europe, people still slap these images on my books and I go bananas.
In my early teens, science fiction and fantasy had an almost-total hold over my imagination. Their outcast status was part of their appeal.
Say there are three identical-looking pizza joints on a street.
Two of those will always be empty. The third will have a line of people patiently waiting, checking their phones. There's always one place that's the place. That's how it works.
I'm fascinated by the emergence of a global class.
They're highly mobile; they reject the idea of place.
I suffer from vertigo. It's paralyzing in extreme situations. The most scared I've been as an adult was trying to conquer that fear by going climbing in Wales.
I'm interested in complexity, in the mathematical sense, as well as the idiomatic sense. The idea of emergence - that it's possible for complex patterns to arise out of many simple interactions - is fascinating.
I like moral judgment to emerge from the reader.
We are being sold a very simplistic morality by our leaders at a time when nuance and understanding are at a premium.
Some books I've kept because the binding is beautiful - I'm unlikely ever to read my grandmother's copy of 'The Life of Lord Nelson.' I'm addicted to secondhand bookshops.
Critchley and Webster’s fierce, witty exploration of Hamlet makes most other writing about Shakespeare seem simpleminded.
But it's the particularity of a place, the physical experience of being in a place, that makes it onto the page. That's why I don't just do library research. I very rarely write about somewhere I haven't been.
As I got older I became a kind of sub cultural junkie, foraging around in music, street fashion and eventually art, politics and the freakier reaches of the Internet, hunting the next discovery, the next seam of underground gold.
I tried to take seriously the idea that if you tortured language you might arrive at some new truth. Later it became clear to me that I was retreading ground by fighting the literary battles of the 1950s and 1960s, and that I was actually a bit bored by some of the books I professed to love.
Being in Harlem on the night of Barack Obama's election was extraordinary.
It was the best street party I have ever gone to, and it felt like the period of American history which began with slavery had ended that evening.
I realized I had a novel on my hands, but didn't know where it was going to go.
So I thought, 'I'm going to do everything that you're not supposed to do when you plan a novel; I'm going to step back and let this thing take itself wherever it wants to go, and I'm not going to worry about how things connect until later on.
When I try to understand somebody, create a character, I fall into them.
When I think writers are telling me what to think, I get harrumphy.
There are things about our world that almost by their nature defy our ability to comprehend them. Some people use a religious register to deal with that - they call it God and that's a way of domesticating it.
There's an explosion of Indian fiction of all kinds, from military thrillers to chicklit. I think that's exciting.
I can see a version of my life where it all becomes meaningless.
On a good day, writing seems noble. Other times, it's narcissistic and pointless.
These days we're all hyper-aware of the canonical way in which stories are supposed to play out - people are taught all about three-act scripting and where to put the reversal and all of that - and I think we can do more interesting narratives.
Suburbia is all about private ownership and not having to share, and it leads to a paranoid, defensive mindset. I know this, having grown up in Essex.
In good novelistic fashion, the discovery I’ve made is that it’s complicated. I think that’s one of good things about exploring these questions in a non-polemic, fictional way: you get to feel out territory rather than take positions. Through writing this, I can understand the impulse to faith, how people make meaning, how people make community, without having to say, do this, don’t do that, or I believe, I don’t believe.
Several times in my life I've gone through long periods without sex or any other kind of physical contact. The hunger it produces is deep and low; it's possible to lose track of it, to forget or fail to perceive how it's emptied everything out of you and made the world papery and thin. Touch starved, you brush against existence like a stick against dry leaves. You become insubstantial yourself, a hungry ghost.
There's nothing New York likes more than a thing.
Or a place. Or a place that's a thing. Or a thing that happens to be a place.
I stand on my public record as a defender of the human rights of Muslims, notably my work for Moazzam Begg and other British Muslims detained without trial in Guantanamo Bay.
I think it's important for all culturally literate people to understand the technological substrate of new developments.
I enjoy thinking myself into other times and places.
I don't like some of the conventions of the 'historical novel', but I think there's a way of doing it that has a lot of merit.