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The waves

As the Wind Blows

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Location: Chennai, Tamilnadu, India

06 August 2003

Do writers' affluence change the face of Literature?

Swaminathan S Anklesaria Iyer – the Times of India group economist – thinks so in his Swaminomics column. He has made an interesting observation. He draws a direct correlation between the increasing trend of novels and TV serials revolving around the rich, famous and the business class, and the increasing trend of writers getting rich themselves. Iyer’s news peg for this theory is Vikram Seth’s 1.3 million pounds contract for his new book.

Iyer argues that writers’ affluence has changed the face of literature. While he cites authors like Harold Robinson who weaved their stories around rich businessmen, Iyer compares TV serials like Nukkad and Buniyad telecast on the DD in the late eighties before the advent of the satellite channels ( stories revolving around lower middle class and middle class neighbourhood and families) with the current ones, where the households and the characters reflect affluence where they wear gleaming attires and always looking “party-dressed” even at middle of night.

Well anyone likes to join issue with Iyer? Do writers reflect the reality of the society? Or do they portray the society from their own perception from a high socio economic pedestal? I am curious to explore also.

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