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I wait days, sometimes months for the apt first line
The 8th edition of Dhaka Literary Festival (DLF) ended yesterday at Bangla Academy, promising to uphold values of righteousness in the years to come.
This year, the festival featured some 200 speakers, performers, and thinkers from 15 countries in over 90 sessions. The sessions were open to all, according to the organisers.
Some of the biggest contemporary literary minds from across the globe joined in the three-day fest which started on Thursday.
Speaking at the closing session held at Abdul Karim Sahitya Bisharad auditorium of the academy, British novelist Philip Hensher said the festival has become part of Dhaka city that witnessed many historic events, including the Language Movement of 1952.
Literature nurtures multiplicity of voices and it reflects what's contained by the world. Some of these voices may make us uncomfortable, and some may be inconvenient to hear, he said.
However, literature helps make the world stronger by ensuring freedom of expression, said Hensher, a winner of Ondaatje Prize.
He condemned the detention of internationally acclaimed photographer Shahidul Alam and other free-thinkers.
Restriction of freedom of speech is never in the interest of civilisation, he added.
Oscar-winning British actress Tilda Swinton described DLF as a Òhumane spaceship.
Participants will be scattered after the end of the fest but they will take with them the values gathered from here, she further said.
Speaking as chief guest, Finance Minister AMA Muhith said despite political ups and downs in recent years, the areas of arts, culture and literature remained Òmore or less protected and safe.Ó
He hoped the festival will be back next year with even more enthusiasm.
After the formal closing session, eminent Indian author Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay shared the stage with noted Bangladeshi litterateur Imdadul Haq Milon in a session at the same venue.
Shirshendu said he considers himself an unscientific author who waits for days and sometimes months to find an appropriate line to start a new story.
Once that particular line is found the rest comes easily as I can visualise the characters,Ó he said.
He suggested writers to know their languages well, because language can be used in many ways.