Literature (2019 | Issue 2)

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Whats Up, Ambassador?

Literature enriches our lives. It informs, gives us a sense of belonging and a deeper understanding of life. Whether fiction or non-fiction, poetry or prose, it expands our knowledge and nudges us to think. It even has the power to transport us to a different world from the comfort of our couch!

Pleasure. Escape. Education. Introspection. Self-improvement. Reading offers all this—and more. We get a glimpse of history, politics, culture, economics, science, religion and psychology in books. They make way for enquiry, influence our belief system and show us how society has evolved. It is through literature that we are able to make sense of our past, peep into its dark crevices and let in some light.

Germany has a rich literary tradition. It has contributed prolifically to philosophy, music, art and culture. No wonder it is known as the land of poets and thinkers! It has had its fair share of towering minds who have shaped independent thought and captured the zeitgeist. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Thomas Mann, Franz Kafka, Hermann Hesse, Karl Marx and Friedrich Nietzsche come to mind.

India, too, has a long and vibrant literary history. Its great epics and myths have imparted universal lessons that have endured and remain relevant today. From orally transmitted verses to modern-day writings, the Indian imagination has been expressed in a multiplicity of regional languages, apart from English.

Throughout the centuries, India and Germany’s relationship has been strong, marked by mutual respect. Germans have studied India’s literary treasures with great enthusiasm. Get ready to explore the world of literature and its cultural richness through an Indo-German prism. Happy reading!

— Ambassador Walter J Lindner