I work in empty spaces

Last week I wrote about Umberto Eco. I wanted to follow it up with this interesting interview that Hindu published. Some interesting snippets…

And then I have a secret. Did you know what will happen if you eliminate the empty spaces from the universe, eliminate the empty spaces in all the atoms? The universe will become as big as my fist.Similarly, we have a lot of empty spaces in our lives. I call them interstices. Say you are coming over to my place. You are in an elevator and while you are coming up, I am waiting for you. This is an interstice, an empty space. I work in empty spaces. While waiting for your elevator to come up from the first to the third floor, I have already written an article! (Laughs).

I guess most people more or less use those empty spaces, but punctual people typically end up getting larger empty spaces, at least in India. How many times it has happened to me that I reached some appointment on time just to find out that the other party obviously doesn’t have the same concern for my time as I have (for their or mine). But in a way, the moment I waste that time waiting and getting upset over it, I value my time less too. Not surprising that I don’t have a thing to show, even leaving aside the proverbial creativity business…

Yes. A film cannot select all the layers. It has to make do with jambon or cheese… I didn’t react like authors who, immediately after the film is made, say it is not at all like my book. But after that experience, I asked my publisher not to sell the rights of the novel to cinema. I did this because I discovered that 80 per cent of readers read the book after the movie. And that is very painful for a novelist.

Shyam Benegal wrote a interesting piece in last Sunday’s TOI on the same subject. Worth reading…

Eco on the other hand dismisses the issue with a characteristic style:

The only enviable position is that of Homer’s who had the film made more than 2000 years after the book

The man wouldn’t stop fascinating me, would he?

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