Ashok Vajpeyi

Ashok Vajpeyi
Résidents Labex RFIEA+
pas Eurias

dates de séjour

07/06/2010 - 15/07/2010
01/05/2012 - 30/06/2012



Fonction d’origine

Poète, Critique littéraire

Institution d’origine

- (Inde)

pays d'origine


projet de recherche

Each his own fire

Kabir (16th century) and Ghalib (19th century) are two major poets in the Indian tradition. Kabir wrote in an earlier form of Hindi and, while living in the holy city of Banaras, through his poetry critiqued the prevalent ritualism of both Hinduism and Islam. His deep mysticism envisaged a God without features, without human attributes as "Nirguna’. However, the Nirguna could only be apprehended through poetry, through words which are inevitably ‘Saguna’. Ghalib, a great poet who wrote in Urdu and Persian, looked askance at being, had an interrogative spirit much like Kabir but a deeply romantic belief in poetry. Both Kabir and Ghalib seek for home beyond all homes: they finally reside in the indestructible home of their poetry. I have been studying them together with a view to understand and analyse the two masters as to why are they two of many ancients, who still speak to us and what is that they are able to say today. They are connected by an imagination which is, while retaining certain aspects of a celebrative poetics, self-interrogative leading them to address the eternal themes of human condition, human predicament and human destiny in fresh and surprising ways. My study, which really would be a book by a poet about two non-modern ancestral poets, would aim to look, treat the two as contemporaries of mine, speaking to me today beyond time and history. Several common metaphors or motifs like fire, home, angst of being, death etc. would be examined. Already, a series of oral lectures on them have been delivered by me at the Universities of Hyderabad, Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Millia Islamia. I would now like to sit down in a quiet ambiance and write a book. 


Ashok Vajpeyi is a noted Hindi poet, critic, essayist and translator, and a dynamic presence in the Indian cultural scene. Writer, cultural activist and ex-civil servant, he has played a vital role in building numerous arts institutions. He is the author of thirty-eight books of poetry and criticism in Hindi and the founder/editor of eight journals in Hindi and English. His poems have been translated into several Indian languages, as well as French, Spanish, German, Polish, Russian, Hungarian, Norwegian and Arabic. He is the recipient of the Sahitya Akademi Award (1994) for his book Kahin Nahin Vahin, the Agyeya Rashtriya Samman (1997) for his contribution to Hindi literature, the Officer’s Cross of Merit (2004) from the Republic of Poland, and the Officier de L’Ordre des Art et des Lettres (2005) from the Republic of France, among others.​


26/06/2012 - 18:00