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William Dalrymple Talks About His Next Book, Says Lockdown Gives An Opportunity To Think

William Dalrymple talked to a leading daily about his upcoming work and its theme. He also shared how he is spending his time during the coronavirus lockdown

William Dalrymple

William Dalrymple is all set to write his next best-seller and he shared his excitement in an interview with a leading daily. William Dalrymple is a historian and a non-fiction writer. His last book Anarchy: The East India Company, Corporate Violence, and the Pillage of an Empire has been his most successful one, as per the daily.

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William Dalrymple's thoughts on his next work

“Lockdown has worked for me”

William Dalrymple shared that the lockdown was perfectly timed with his plans and thus he is using it to work on his next book. He shared that he is used to having a lockdown as he used to impose it on himself while writing, so it is not at all unusual for him. He added that everything which can be done at home, he is doing, except the fact that he cannot visit libraries and archives.

“When India influenced the world”

William Dalrymple shared that his next book focuses on India’s influence on the world when it comes through ‘sophistication of ideas, its soft heart, and its scientific prowess’. He shared that four of his books are based on India’s colonisation and narratives of its conquest and thus he plans to pick up the period of early Indian history when India influenced the world.

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"Three phases of the book"

As per the interview, the Nine Lives writer revealed that the book will have three phases:

  • First phase: Buddhism’s journey from India to becoming the state religion of China
  • Second phase: Hinduism’s South Indian variety taking over places like Burma, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia in South East Asia. It will also look at how the epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana were the major influences.
  • Third phase: India going to the West through mathematics and numerical system.

William shared that India’s idea of mathematics and astronomy travelled from Baghdad to Renaissance Europe and then Europe changed alkuraimi to 'algorithm'.

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“Up at half-past 6”

William Dalrymple’s excitement was shared in the interview, as he revealed that he is up and writing by half-past 6 in the morning. He said that he comes out for his supper at 9 PM. He talked about how the story about Indian Science was never shared as one. William Dalrymple compared Indian culture to that of Greece. He said that all classical forms of philosophy, ideas and architecture was shared by the sheer power of its sophistication.

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“I am privileged”

William called himself lucky as he is privileged to have space during the lockdown. He is in his farmhouse in Mehrauli. He shared that his wife and sons are with him and he has everything that he needs. He also called himself ‘very disciplined’ and said that he uses the nooks and crannies in the house to write.

“This time has allowed people to take the opportunity to think”

William Dalrymple is also fulfilling his role of coordinating and hosting Jaipur Literature Festival’s digital shows. At the end of the interview, William shared that the pleasures of being a writer include spending time with oneself, which ultimately makes one disciplined and also used to solitude. He said how the current time has allowed people to take the opportunity to think and not rush for their next appointment or party.

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