Reading used to be an essential part of the daily life of most of the people in Kerala. The day started for most with hot news from a newspaper along with a cup of hot tea or coffee. Today the situation is not the same. The number of readers is on decline. Television has replaced newspaper for many. Very few people read books on a regular basis. If this trend continues, what would be our future? This was the major problem that the conference discussed in depth and in detail.
|Dr. M. V. Pillai|
Why does this happen? Why are there fewer and fewer readers? As soon as we hear the question, most of us tend to point our fingers at the visual media. It is true that visual media has replaced much of print media. But we have only gained by having the visual media in addition to the print media. The two media can work together hand in hand rather than as rivals to create a better life on the planet. Movies and TV serials are an extension of what appears in print, and they let us see with our eyes what we could only see with our mind’s eye.
The writers need to focus on what they can do rather than on what they have no control on. What can they do? They have to make sure that what they produce have quality. They should not worry about how many people read their work, but should focus solely on quality. When the quality improves, quantity will follow.
How can a writer produce quality work?
A writer must be a seer, someone with the ability to see life deeper and wider than most of the people do. If someone does not see life differently from the people around, he/she does not qualify to produce a literary work. He/she wouldn’t want to waste the precious time of the readers in addition to his/her own time.
The literary work produced must be authentic. Neither its content nor its form should be copied from anywhere. One should read widely to acquire the experiences of others and to view life from the perspective of others, but a work produced must be one’s own. A writer is often tempted to imitate a master writer, but by doing so a work becomes inauthentic.
A writer must have the courage and the honesty to translate his vision of life as it is to the readers. Often a writer wouldn't want to project a real picture of oneself for fear of losing his/her image among the readers.
A writer must communicate in a language that is fully comprehensible, and in a form that is appealing to the readers. The primary reason for the decline of readership for poetry in our time is its incomprehensibility of language and its unappealing form. The content must be primary in any literary work, but its language must be comprehensible, and its form must be appealing.