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Writing radical, seditious stuff

When is art crime?

I was in the middle of writing a story when I realized that it might be controversial, even seditious.

I am not sure what passes for art and fiction, and what would be considered deliberately provocative.

I wonder where the boundaries lie. Because the right side of the brain, the creative side, is not limited by rules, expectations, or bothersome criteria like right or wrong. It is merely interested in blowing fuses, creating short circuits, and bringing into being something that did not exist before.

I’m sure it is okay to write stuff that offend religious or any other sensitive notions, as long as they remain parts of my daily writing exercises, safe within my notebook.

But then, keeping creativity in shackles is only going to be counter-productive. A lot of work which is radical in one age is tame in the next.

Balance is the key, perhaps.

Whereas the right side of the brain may not be allowed to create a Frankenstein, (Was the right brain used to create Frankenstein? Think not.) it also needs to have enough freedom to speak of those things which are not easily spoken.

Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her literary crime thriller series, the Blue Mumbai, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency. Both The Blue Bar and The Blue Monsoon were published in 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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No Comments

  • indigobunting says:

    Scariness is everywhere.

    This is thought provoking.

  • DarcKnyt says:

    Interesting thoughts, Damyanti. Most artists who want the attention won’t hesitate to destroy those sensitivities and capitalize on the furor it creates.

    More thoughtful people might consider the impact it would have on the unsuspecting.

    Very intriguing ideas.

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