Famous Quotes & Sayings

Pankaj Mishra Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 100 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Pankaj Mishra.

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Famous Quotes By Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 1762324

The Turkish, Arab and Chinese nationalists who built new nation-states out of the ruins of old empires scorned their old, decrepit rulers as much as they did the foreign imperialists who imposed free trade through gunboats. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 81263

The onslaught of new and complex information, the academic and thinktank cults of expertise, not to mention the impossibility of bohemia in the age of high rents, have conspired to assassinate the public intellectual. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 99201

In 1980, shortly before my 11th birthday, I wrote my first essay in English. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 389909

Most books germinate within you for a long time before they are ready to come out. I wrote several drafts of the novel over many years and when I finally got to the last one, it didn't take much time. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 1665643

I myself, at one time, wanted to be like the explorers of the Himalayas that I used to read about; people intoxicated on the myth of history. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 2221381

There is this idea of history as something you make, as a meaningful narrative with a beginning and an end, the end being a utopia of happiness that we'll reach through socialism or free trade or democracy, and then it will all be wonderful. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 549741

According to the historian Arrian who reported the encounter, the ascetics beat their feet on the ground as Alexander passed them. When asked about the gesture, they said that Alexander occupied, despite his conquests, no more ground than that covered by the soles of his two feet. Like everyone else, he, too, was mortal, 'except that you are ambitious and reckless, traversing such a vast span of land, so remote from your home, enduring troubles and inflicting them upon others'.4 — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 1245072

The idea that human beings can make history, that is something quite unique to the modern West. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 224645

After the oil crisis of 1973, many European countries tightened restrictions on immigrants. By then, millions of Muslims had decided to settle in Europe, preferring the social segregation and racial discrimination they found in the West to political and economic turmoil at home. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 121934

My dominant feeling every day is one of great ignorance. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 571332

Enlightenment values of individual freedom are manifested best in individual acts of criticism and defiance. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 248286

I still prefer going to the classical writers, the modernists and the nineteenth century writers. Much of what has been done since then has just been repetition. A lot of it is marvelous but the forms haven't changed. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 477204

Most writers have very little that's important or valuable to offer; most of them are just repeating each other. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 962744

In 1853, American warships bullied Japan out of centuries of virtual isolation and into the modern world. The threat of force compelled Japan, like India and China before it, to accept trade agreements that were economically ruinous and eroded national sovereignty. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 1767155

People who write about issues like poverty or terrorism are a part of the elite, and the distance between the elite and nonelite is growing very fast. You can move around the world but meet only people who speak your language, who share the same ideas, the same beliefs, and in doing so you can lose sight of the fact that the vast majority of the world does not think or believe in or speak the everyday discourse of the elite. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 278655

In 1919, at the Paris Peace Conference, Japan had put forward a proposal to guarantee racial equality at the League of Nations, but Woodrow Wilson overturned it in the face of majority support. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 1429552

Thomas Friedman's 'The World is Flat' sold more copies in India than in the U.K. The market for go-getting business books or wonkish tomes by corporate moguls posing as philosopher kings has grown dramatically in modernising China and India. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 1946832

If you think of India in the 1980s, there weren't many writers in English around. The ones that were there, Amitav Ghosh or Vikram Seth, were living abroad or publishing from abroad. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 1145366

Unlike his compatriots - many of whom were still, in their mid-twenties, adolescent posturers, doomed to futility - he had an engaging earnestness about him. Unlike them, he realized his incompleteness as a person and strove to overcome that.
One of the ways in which he did that was by reading. He didn't read much, or too widely, but attentively, looking for instruction, hints for self-improvement, and he read serious books. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 656640

In the 1950s and 60s, geopolitical intrigues did not much engage masses in Asia and Africa; it was something for elites to sort out. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 1450477

I grew up in small towns in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra - places like Akola, Betul, Wardha, Jhansi; I thought the rise of provincial India would be an interesting subject to tackle. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 1753726

I am a secularist in the Gandhian sense of the word, not the Nehruvian one. Nehru thought religion was an antique superstition which stood in the way of rational modern politics. I side with Gandhi, who wanted religious figures out of politics but also was suspicious of purely rational politics. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 247321

The whole idea of mindfulness is all about having a second-level monitoring of your thoughts and being able to recognize them as being negative or harmful before they become a part of your being, before they become some kind of action like writing an angry letter to someone or speaking too strongly to someone. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 453434

So much of writing is fed by vanity and the feeling that what you are doing is the most important thing in the world and it has not been done before and only you can do it. Without these feelings, many writers would not be able to write anything at all. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 715672

Tiananmen Square in early 1989 attracted many dreamers like Ma Jian, who returned from Hong Kong to a one-room shack in Beijing in order to join the student protests. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 514102

It turns out that globalisation, while promising sameness through brand-name consumption, was fostering, through uneven economic growth, an intense feeling of difference. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 1998898

Millions of Nepalese have swelled the armies of cheap mobile labour that drive the global economy, serving in Indian brothels, Thai and Malaysian sweatshops, the mansions of oil sheikhs in the Gulf, and, most recently, the war zones of Iraq. Many more have migrated internally, often from the hills to the subtropical Tarai region on the long border with India. The Tarai produces most of the country's food and cash crops and accommodates half of its population. On its flat alluvial land, where malaria was only recently eradicated, the Buddha was born twenty-five hundred years ago; it is also where a generation of displaced Nepalese began to dream of revolution. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 1673488

Most suffering is human-made and avoidable. It's mostly in your head. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 1009985

Political elites look increasingly interchangeable: Blair, Brown, and Cameron have all tried to provide cover for the surrender of sovereignty to foreign investors with invocations of 'British' values, and, more opportunistically, anti-immigrant rhetoric. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 1347540

For almost a century since 1918, the centralised nation-state has been the world's default political form. Its various experiments in industrialisation, urbanisation, mass literacy and consumerism have brought more people into public life. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 2198849

You need to work yourself up into some kind of a state every morning and believe that you are doing something terribly important upon which the future of literature, if not the world, depends. Buddhism tells you that this is just a foolish fantasy. So, I try not to think too much about Buddhism early in the morning. From noon on, I think about it. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 1259887

The American writer is a very pampered figure - by foundations, by fellowships, by publishing advances. Even though I am not American, I have been pampered enough myself to know how it can make your life too frictionless. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 867180

I don't feel any great need to subscribe to a certain notion of Buddhism that says "You have to do this" or "You have to do that." Buddhism does not prescribe rituals or prohibitions in the way many religions do. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 1413851

Contrary to the general picture of the decline of Asia and the rise of the West, the Chinese economy was buoyant in the eighteenth century, developing its own local variations and with trade links across Southeast Asia. Silk, porcelain and tea from China continued to be in great demand in Europe (and in the American colonies) even though in 1760 the Chinese confined all Western traders to the port city of Canton. Tribute-paying neighbours as near as Burma, Nepal and Vietnam (and as far away as Java) upheld Beijing's solipsistic view that the Chinese emperor, presiding over the central kingdom of the world, had the right to rule 'all under heaven. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 1495452

Though there are laws against blasphemy and insult to religion in many European countries, France has institutionalised its anti-clerical past by proscribing religion from public life. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 1561934

Living in a cultural milieu where the foreign writers most widely available and admired were Russian, I came very late to postwar American writers, and I had great trouble with the canonically exalted white male writers I tried first. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 1664547

To Westerners, the students at Tiananmen may have given an impression of a solid and energetic consensus against dictatorship and for democracy, but they were an egotistical and fractious lot, riven by disagreements over tactics and money. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 1655093

It's strange to recall that America animated none of my youthful daydreams. I did not see a Hollywood film until my late teens. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 1651171

'Islamism' itself is such a broad and nearly meaningless word as used by the mainstream Western press, including everything from Turkey's AKP party to al Qaeda. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 1467782

How could, it was felt, people be so opposed to modernity, and all the many goods it had to offer to people around the world: equality, liberty, prosperity, toleration, pluralism and representative government. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 120447

Minorities within nation-states frayed by global capitalism are naturally more resentful of hollowed-out but still heavily centralised systems of political and economic domination. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 1593054

I wrote for many years without showing my writing to anyone, because I was constantly comparing it to what I was reading. You have to compare yourself to the best and feel totally inadequate. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 1864050

The Dalai Lama can claim the sanction of the Buddha, who is said to have altered his teachings in order to reach a diverse audience. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 1629326

The Arab Spring showed that people are not going to wait for an American president to make good on his big talk about democracy and human rights; they are going to fight for those rights themselves and overthrow pro-American dictators who stand in their way. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 1984113

As a young man in South Africa at the beginning of the twentieth century, Gandhi developed satyagraha, a mode of political activism based upon moral persuasion, while mobilizing South Africa's small Indian minority against racial discrimination. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 100729

Decolonisation seems to have dented little the sense of superiority that since 1945 has made American leaders in particular consistently underestimate the intensity of nationalist feeling in Asia and Africa. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 2183342

The British Empire passed quickly and with less humiliation than its French and Dutch counterparts, but decades later, the vicious politics of partition still seems to define India and Pakistan. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 2176425

Islam, however inadequate, was the only source of ethics and stimulus for political mobilization. And al-Afghani also presciently saw that a totally secular society- the dream of nineteenth-century rationalism- was doomed to remain a fantasy in the West as well as in the Muslim world. As he concluded in his response to Renan:
The masses do not like reason, the teachings of which are understood only by a few select minds. Science, however fine it may be, cannot completely satisfy humanity's thirst for the ideal, or the desire to soar in dark and distant regions that philosophers and scholars can neither see nor explore. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 2166370

As an Indian, you feel easily connected with certain histories in places like Indonesia, where one sees, because of the presence of the Hindu-Buddhist past, Hindus still living there or Muslims performing rituals that are instantly familiar. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 2128400

The internet has spawned people for whom knowingness is more important than knowledge. It equips you with the illusion of offering knowledge instantly - and quite easily - so you can read a few articles on a few subjects and feel well informed but not actually know any of those subjects in any depth. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 2090275

Western conception of history has had great consequences over the last two hundred years. You see it in the invasion of Iraq. You see it in almost everything that is said and done. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 2066340

I feel very privileged to get to read and write and not to have to do things that I don't like, and I don't want to give that up. Everything else is just a bonus and often a distraction from the writing, reading, and traveling that gives me the most pleasure. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 2056614

The White House tapes, the recordings that Nixon made of his conversations in office, have long been recognized as a marvel of verbal incontinence. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 2026888

In India, love often follows marriage. I know many people who are still very deeply in love with their wives, who they barely knew before they were married. In America there's this idea that "how could someone get married without being deeply in love with each other?" but in a lot of these cases feelings of love and affection actually grow after they've been legally and formally brought together. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 1697637

My life was made easy - I lived in a village, and by writing for some newspapers and magazines, had enough to live on. I was happy to be there and write. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 1960739

Obama was expected to restore an ethical sheen to post-9/11 foreign policy, but he has intensified drone warfare in Yemen and Pakistan, pursued whistle-blowers, and failed to close down Guantanamo. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 1933000

The '60s was the last time when large groups of people in the West searched for alternative modes of being. In a society like India's, which is not fully modern or totally organized, and has a great deal of tolerance for otherness in general, people find the cultural license to try other things, to be whatever they want to be. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 1907021

Once you empower people and say,' Here you are, now you get to dream the great dream of becoming a full citizen with equal rights and radical improvement in your living situation,' you are creating an illusion which will break one day. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 1872192

Tenured professors are more prone than the rest of us to think that the university is the universe. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 1182871

I feel the responsibility of the novelist is to create a very complex world populated by very complex individuals and to deepen that as much as possible. I don't think the responsibility of the reporter or journalist is fundamentally different. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 1863538

The oldest among Kashmiris often claim that their is nothing new about their condition, that they they have been slaves of foreign rulers since the sixteenth century, when the Moghul emperor Akbar annexed Kashmir and appointed a local governer to rule the state. In the chaos of post-Moghul India, the old empire rapidly disintegrating, Afghani and Sikh invaders plundered Kashmir at will. The peasantry was taxed and taxed into utter wretchedness; the cultural and intellectual life, which under indigenous rulers had produced some of the greatest poetry, music, and philosophy in the subcontinent, dried up. Barbaric rules were imposed in the early nineteenth century, a Sikh who killed a native of Kashmir was fined nothing more than two rupees. Victor Jacquemont, a botanist and friend of Stendahl's who came to the valley in 1831, thought that nowhere else in India were the masses as poor and denuded as they were in Kashmir. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 103297

Gandhi's ideas were rooted in a wide experience of a freshly globalized world. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 1759737

I meditate at airports because those are the places where I'm extremely tense, and I often meditate while I'm walking down the street. I have a thought and become aware of that thought and thereby create another level of awareness. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 1757253

Buddhism doesn't really have much time for political mass-movements. We are so trained to think of politics in terms of acting collectively, acting as part of mass-movements, that it's become hard for us to imagine a form of politics that is based on a high degree of introspection and self-examination. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 374956

National independence, and the preceding political struggles, helped create the space for literary creation in many post-colonial countries. Much of modern Indian or Chinese literature is inconceivable without the political movement for freedom from foreign rule. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 496447

You have to be able to decide, 'Well no, I'm not going to be violent, I'm going to suppress that impulse; I'm not going to be greedy.' Unless you're able to do that you're stuck with adversarial politics that leads nowhere and creates ever greater violence. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 495890

An enlarged global public society, with its many dissenting and corrective voices, can quickly call the bluff of lavishly credentialled and smug intellectual elites. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 476114

The Korean War, which China entered on the side of North Korea, fixed Mao's image in the United States as another unappeasable Communist. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 464217

As a writer, I tend to be drawn to marginal people - writers, poet-prophets, seers, eccentrics - who embody the deeper ambivalences of their societies and bear deeper witness to their world than the famous figures we are used to celebrating, or demonizing, in our histories. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 451786

The Sino-Indian War in 1962 has fundamentally shaped and distorted Indian attitudes towards China. It also obscured a great deal of what has happened in China since 1962. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 397242

Christianity and Islam are concerned with the idea of justice, which can turn into political justice, social justice, economical justice, and so on. Buddhism is not so concerned with the idea of rights. There is more talk of responsibility than of demanding rights. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 380840

The idea that modernisation makes for enhanced national power and rapid progress and helps everyone achieve greater happiness has its origins in the astonishing political, economic and military successes of western Europe in the 19th century. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 375970

As in the early 20th century, the elemental forces of globalisation have unravelled broad solidarities and loyalties. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 674934

As a novelist, your impulse is toward multiplicity: multiple voices, multiple perceptions, multiple nuances, the ambiguity in human communication. Fiction really is the ultimate home for that sense of ambiguity. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 370779

If you think that what you're doing is not all that important in the larger scheme of things and that you're just an insignificant creature in the whole wide world, which is full of six billion people, and that people are born and die every day and it makes no difference to future generations what you write, and that writing and reading are increasingly irrelevant activities, you'd probably never get out of bed. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 302198

As the years passed in my village, I witnessed poorly educated young men leaving to seek the greater comforts and liberations of big cities. I would see them on my visits to Delhi. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 298200

There is a lot of anxiety in India about writers selling out to foreign audiences, but I'm neither flattering the Indian audience nor the American audience. I'm uneasily somewhere in the middle. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 283544

Buddhism resonated very powerfully with a lot of my preoccupations. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 262252

Norbu rejects the Western stereotype of Tibetans as an innately nonviolent people, a romantic notion which he thinks gratifies many Western people discontented with the aggressive selfishness of their societies but obscures the political aspirations of the Tibetan peoples and the variety of means available to them to achieve independence. In 1989, he published a book about one of the Khampa warriors of eastern Tibet, who fought the invading Chinese Army in 1950 and then initiated the bloody revolt against Chinese rule that eventually led to the Dalai Lama's departure for India.
"We are ordinary Tibetans," Norbu told PBS. "We drink; we eat; we feel passion; we love our wives and kids. If someone sort of messes around with them, even if they're an army, you pick up your rifle. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 244702

Britain's unique success as an industrialised nation-state prompted strong imitative endeavours not only across Europe, but also in Asia. Now many people, who were once humiliated into a sense of nationality by British rule, loom larger than their former masters. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 199049

Many writers from the suburbs of history, such as Ireland and Argentina, produced more original work than their counterparts in the United States; they still seem to. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 152116

I am often struck by the anxious inferiority many well-educated British people display towards the U.S., particularly Londoners dazzled by New York, when many postcolonials are accustomed to regarding Britain's old imperial cosmopolis as the true capital of the western world. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 992417

I think the Buddha presents an image of someone who believes in self-control. I think he's offering, perhaps, a critique of the romantic idea of the passions being this wonderful source of life or vitality that define you or your writing. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 1380304

I found it really disturbing to see a novelist writing a diatribe about Islam and Muslim radical extremists, blurring the distinction between the two. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 1321201

In a typically contradictory move, globalisation, while promoting economic integration among elites, has exacerbated sectarianism everywhere else. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 1317673

During the twenty-one year rule of Amir Abdul Rahman (1880-1901), one of Afghanistan's more pro-British rulers, only one school was built in Kabul, and that was a madrassa. Condemned to play a passive part in an imperial Great Game, Afghanistan missed out on the indirect benefits of colonial rule, the creation of an educated class such as would supply the basic infrastructure of the postcolonial states of India, Pakistan and Egypt.

Afghanistan's resolute backwardness in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was appealing to Western romantics. Kipling, who was repelled by the educated Bengali, commended the Pashtun tribesmen- the traditional rulers of Afghanistan and also a majority among Afghans- for their courage, love of freedom, and sense of honour. These cliches about the Afghans, which would be amplified in our own time by American journalists and politicians, also had some effect on Muslims themselves. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 1294412

Indonesia's diversity is formidable: some thirteen and a half thousand islands, two hundred and fifty million people, around three hundred and sixty ethnic groups, and more than seven hundred languages. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 145331

Politics now is really only about self-interest, which means it has violence built into it because your self-interest is going to collide with the self-interest of the rest of the world. That's inevitable. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 1145157

As the 19th century progressed, Europe's innovations, norms and categories came to achieve a truly universal hegemony. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 1132220

In America, you don't even have proper holidays. It's really one of the most prosperous slave societies in history. People work their asses off all year long and get two weeks off! It's incredible. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 1108747

The clash of civilizations or the clash between Islam and the West may be cliches. But there is an even bigger cliche around: that this clash actually goes on within Islam, between reformists and fanatics. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 1449378

It was as if California, specifically the Bay Area, had most of what Nietzsche once defined as the 'precondition' of Buddhism: a very mild climate, very gentle and liberal customs, no militarism; and that it is the higher and even learned classes in which the movement has its home. The supreme goal is cheerfulness, stillness, absence of desire, and this goal is achieved.1 — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 977157

When I moved to London in the 1990s, it had changed a great deal. Racism had become deeply uncool. But there has been a return of racism in the guise of "antiterrorism." People who look like myself are immediately suspect. I've become extremely self-conscious about going into crowded public places. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 904659

I don't think of myself as particularly earnest. I have long bouts of cynicism and skepticism. So much of my early life was full of uncertainties. It still is. My "Buddha book" expresses that. Perhaps that's what created this impression of earnestness. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 818246

Indonesia is hardly immune to catastrophic breakdowns, as the anti-Communist pogrom showed. But, like India, it has been relatively fortunate in evolving a mode of politics that can include many discontinuities - of class, region, ethnicity, and religion. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 785336

The act of writing should not be accompanied by the sense of an audience, someone peering over your shoulder, but in nonfiction I think it's almost imperative that you identify an audience so you can confirm or challenge or undermine whatever ideas or prejudices they might have about your subject. — Pankaj Mishra

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There have been many instances of people combining the political life with the spiritual life, a life of constant self-examination. Gandhi was a great example of that. — Pankaj Mishra

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I've never really felt that being part of a literary community is all that important. It can be extremely detrimental to a writer. It can damage successful writers by giving them an exalted sense of what they've done, and it can crush less successful writers by infecting them with envy and malice at an early stage in their careers. — Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra Quotes 721050

Happily, financial capitalism and free trade have not done away with national languages and literatures, as Marx rather too blithely hoped. — Pankaj Mishra

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There was great political uncertainty in South Asia at the time of the Buddha. The older small tribal societies were cracking up and gave way to bigger states. There was much more trade and travel going on than before. To people in the cities the experience of living in a small place where you knew everyone and governed your affairs by consensual democracy had been lost. — Pankaj Mishra