Light and Letters @ BYOB Party in April 2017 (Part 7)

Shruti continued with the Jerry Pinto theme, having spoken about  Em and the Big Hoom at one of the previous BYOB Parties. She then found another book on mental health issues compiled by Pinto called A Book of Light: When a Loved One Has a Different Mind. He wrote the foreword for the book as well. What he found difficult about the process was getting the stories right. It’s one thing to tell a story and quite another to put these painful real-life incidents into print. So he kept checking the facts, making sure that the people whose stories were published did not have to compromise with their emotions. So there was a very human side to the making of this book.  Even arriving at the title was extremely difficult. Shruti outlined many painful incidents in the book. Reading the stories of those whose family members faced mental health crises, she was inspired to appreciate her every day as for some people the every day is filled with impossible battles that can not be won, just endured. It is difficult to read this book in a stretch, she says, and also a tad disturbing.

Arup got a book called Letters to a Young Poet by the renown poet, Rainer Maria Rilke. The book comprises ten letters Rilke wrote to Franz Xaver Kappus, a 19-year-old officer cadet at the Theresian Military Academy in Wiener Neustadt. The duo corresponded about all matters poetry and it Kappus who eventually compiled and published the letters three years after Rilke died of leukemia.

Here is the content of one letter:

You ask whether your verses are any good. You ask me. You have asked others before this. You send them to magazines. You compare them with other poems, and you are upset when certain editors reject your work. Now (since you have said you want my advice) I beg you to stop doing that sort of thing. You are looking outside, and that is what you should most avoid right now. No one can advise or help you – no one. There is only one thing you should do. Go into yourself.

More letters here and more books in Part 8.

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