Every tradition and system of thought and knowledge belonging to a
par ticular culture and community must begin by ofering its ideas and
thoughts to the other; this welcome and potential indulgence creates op-
portunities to experiment with such oferings, inspiring our walking the
untrodden paths. “Taking” is the openness to accept and assimilate what
others have to ofer and this also initiates a separate level of coordina-
tion and contact. Giving and taking unleash a variety of “circulation”—
the complexity emerging out of constraints and enablings— generating a
host of entanglements in our enunciation and enframing of lit er a ture.
Our life of dialogue, which began about fifteen years ago, was inscribed
in a poetics of taking, a poetics about how close we could get to listen-
ing to lit er a ture and listening to each other’s thinking about lit er a ture
across canons, continents, and cultures. The book, promoting positions
that were conflationary and contrastive, combined an astute and genuine
listening that enabled a patient growth of the other, an encouragement to
get tolerant with the other, in a domain of altogether, a togetherness that
we suppose flourished because we realized our separation in communi-
cation, dislocations in convergences. Our transactional listening to each
other has, hopefully, opened lit er a ture as a demo cratic community where
readers are welcome to install and invest their inputs through a separate
level of listening that may not be docile always.
The book, then, is an out- of-habit proj ect. Streams of thought on an ex-
uberantly wide range of issues will rush onto the reader’s encounter with
the book, a ceaseless across- momentum of thoughts and positions, an
unavoidable yet cheerful obligation to listen to multiple voices and vocab-
ularies made available through a cele bration of literary thoughts and com-
munities. Such acts of listening are a challenge to our habitual encounters
ranjan ghosh
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