Remembering Intizar Husain
Last Tuesday the great Pakistan writer, Intizar Husain, died. Below is a section from his novel Basti, translated from the Urdu by Frances W. Prichett.
The more the turmoil increases outside, the more I sink into myself. Memories of so many times come to me. Ancient and long-ago stories, lost and scattered thoughts. Memories one after another, entangled in each other, like a forest to walk through. My memories are my forest. So where does the forest begin? No, where do I begin? And again he was in the forest. As if he wanted to reach the edge of the forest; as if he was searching for his own beginning. As he moved along in the darkness and encountered a bright patch, he paused, but again moved on, for he wanted to arrive at the moment when his consciousness had first opened its eyes. But he couldn’t grasp the moment. When he put his finger on a memory, dense crowds of other memories drifted along in its train. Then he moved on to explore what he remembered as the first event in Rupnagar.
At Lithub, Yiyun Li, Aamer Hussein, Kamila Shamsie, and Mohsin Hamid remember Intizar Husain.