Jamshoro, February 13, 2020 (PPI-OT):Decoding ‘self’, demystifying human condition, offsetting technology banes form three prime premises of literature. Death of literature ushers death of culture. For man to survive and thrive on planet earth, reflection provoked by imagination is seminal. Literature is what triggers this contemplation.
This said noted fiction writer, critic and translator Asif Farrukhi in a talk on the topic “Literature in the Changing World” organized by SU Institute of English Language and Literature in collaboration with Bureau of Students Tutorial Guidance / Counseling Services and Co-curricular Activities (STAGS) under the aegis of Prof. Amena Khamisani lecture series at Shaikh Ayaz auditorium of Faculty of Arts.
Farrukhi, dilating upon key parts of the theme, elaborated that change had essentially occurred in the domain of science and technology, especially in the field of information technology. And that the velocity of that change was all but spectacularly bewildering; pitching man in complex web of questions as regarded his fundamental human self, purpose of life, quest for meaning and rationale to live.
“Technological transformation has, on one hand brought man all conceivable comforts; wherein on the other, it has subjected him to ever-increasing alienation, dread, nausea and loss of balance. Literature serves as an antidote to such human debacle”, Mr. Farrukhi said.
Elucidating another thematic part of his talk i.e. ‘Literature’ and citing eminent writer David Wallace Wells and his equally prodigal work ‘The Uninhabitable Earth’, Farrukhi asserted that man had come to be so callous to the world he lived in that the prospect of sixth extinction (in continuation to five the world had earlier experienced) had become conspicuously imminent; that could only be averted through engaging with literature.
Defining a ‘classic’ in literature, the learned speaker said, “A classic is what stands the test of time-that brings reader new meanings each time it is negotiated”, adding that a classic was equivalent to universe; containing in itself a microcosm of the cosmos.
Drawing parallel between literature as an open resource and literature as employed in curriculum, Farrukhi said the first ideologically empowered; whereas the latter indoctrinated man. “Literature, by virtue of the moral objective it entails, enlightens man to understand complexity and resist to obstruct manipulation of truth”, Farrukhi stressed.
Driving the point home that literature and science were not in fact opposed to each other rather both worked in juxtaposition to better human lot. To validate the above view, he quoted example that in China, each scientists got asked as to how many books of science fiction he or she had read to ascertain the strength of his or her imagination. “This is why Albert Einstein too, rated imagination superior to science”; he added.
Earlier, Director IELL Prof. Dr. Tariq Hassan Umrani presented welcome note, wherein Incharge IELL lecture series Dr. Ghulam Ali Buriro introduced the Speaker to the audience. Dr. Mubarak Ali Lashari presented his book to the guest speaker. IELL student Ms. Roshni Anwar moderated the talk.
Later, Speaker Mr. Farrukhi called on SU Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Fateh Muhammad Burfat and exchanged views. SU Registrar Dr. Ameer Ali Abro and Director STAGS Dr. Sumera Umrani were also present on the occasion.
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Centre for Pure and Applied Geology
University of Sindh
University of Sindh, Jamshoro, Pakistan