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W.B. YEATS AND THE INDIA CONNECTION

November 28, 2015 @ 6:00 pm

As we celebrate W. B. Yeats’ 150th birth anniversary, it is time to reconsider the continued significance of his life and works for India and the world at large. The two-day event would focus Yeats, the influence of Indian spiritual, intellectual and creative traditions upon his work, and his own impact upon the Indian cultural and literary scene.  Through academic lectures and discussions, film screenings, readings and music, the programme would highlight Yeats’ continued importance for the world we inhabit today. Participants from India and Ireland would come together to commemorate the significance of this literary giant for the 21st century
 Inaugural Lecture – The Island Dreams Under the Dawn: W.B. Yeats, India and Ireland
Saturday, November 28 , 2015 
FESTIVAL: C D DESHMUKH AUDITORIUM  FROM  11:00 A.M.
W.B. Yeats and the India connection –  A Seminar
Key note Speaker: Prof  Indra Nath Choudhuri: A distinguished academician, cultural administrator, cultural diplomat, Former First Tagore Chair at the Edinburgh Napier University and  Chair of Indian studies at Bucharest University. Former Secretary National Academy of Letters and Director of The Nehru Centre, London and author of distinction
Panelists:  Dr Keith Hopper; Prof. Anisur Rahman, Professor of English and Honorary Director Centre for Coaching and Career Planning, Jamia Millia Islamia;  and Professor R.W. Desai, noted Professor of English of Delhi University (retd.)
15:00:  Documentary  Films
1.      Affairs of the Heart:  Yeats and the Women in His Life (16 min)
2.      Players and the Painted Stage: Yeats and the Theatre ( 25 min)
3.      The Other World: Yeats and the Theatre (15 min)
4.      The Mask: Yeats, the Public Man (25 min)
17:30: Readings and Performance
Readings from ten poems by Yeats and the contemporary artists like Kathleen Watking; Theo Dorgan; Sinead O’Conner;  Seamus Heaney; Donna Dent; Paula Meehan Ulick O’Conner; and Katherine Wade
Introduction: Dr. Santosh Pall, retired teacher of English from Delhi University is a Yeats scholar, Odissi dancer, freelance writer
Followed by
Readings by Sunit Tandon, Director General, Indian Institute of Mass Communication and Bhaskar Ghose, Formerly Director General, Doordarshan, Secretary, Department of Culture, Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Both are members of Yatrik Theatre Group
19.00:  Purgatory
 A play by W.B. Yeats presented by Shaw’s Corner
Courtesy Dr Vinod Bala Sharma, Former Faculty member Mata Sundari College, University of Delhi
First presented in at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, on 19 August 1938 (a few months before Yeats’ death), the play is about decline and fall of a family through its two remaining members: an Old Man (the father) and a Boy (his sixteen-year-old son). It is set outside the former family home, which the Old Man’s father had drunkenly burned down, leading him to kill his father as the building perished. The Boy is skeptical about tales of his family’s former grandeur, and is repelled by the Old Man’s story of losing his own mother as she gave birth to him, and the decline subsequent events wrought on the family. Tonight, the Old Man tells the Boy, is the anniversary of his mother’s wedding night. This was the night on which he was conceived after a bout of drunken carousing by his father, and thus when his mother’s fate was sealed. At this point a ghostly figure appears illuminated in a window of the wrecked house. In an attempt to wrest his mother’s soul from Purgatory, he suddenly stabs and kills the Boy. However it appears to be in vain: approaching hoof beats of his ghostly father returning to the bridal bed signal that no spirits have left the place, and the grim cycle begins again…
Yeats had been strongly influenced by the Noh theatre of Japan in the later years of his life and is seen through Yeats’ use of the spirits of the Old Man’s parents as a metaphor for the family’s decline and of death and rebirth. Similarly, the sparseness of the setting, the use of only two characters and the play’s relative brevity