Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


IAS Book Launch: The Origins of Dislike

26 November 2018, 6:00 pm–8:00 pm

The Origins of Dislike

An evening with Amit Chaudhuri, award-winning novelist, poet, literary critic, and musician.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Prof Matthew Beaumont


IAS Common Ground
Ground Floor, South Wing, UCL
United Kingdom

A fascinating and thought-provoking selection of essays from an award-winning novelist, poet, literary critic, and musician - Amit Chaudhuri.

'Strategic thinking for a writer articulates itself as dislike and as allegiance.' In this wonderfully rich and diverse collection of essays, Amit Chaudhuri explores the way in which writers understand and promote their own work in antithesis to writers and movements that have gone before. Chaudhuri's criticism disproves and questions several assumptions—that a serious and original artist cannot think critically in a way that matters; that criticism can't be imaginative, and creative work contain radical argumentation; that a writer reflecting on their own position and practice cannot be more than a testimony of their work, but open up how we think of literary history and reading.

Illuminating new ways of thinking about Western and non-Western traditions, prejudices, and preconceptions, Chaudhuri shows us again that he takes nothing as a given: literary tradition, the prevalent definitions of writing and culture; and the way the market determines the way culture and language express themselves. He asks us to look again at what we mean by the modern, and how it might be possible to think of the literary today.

"These essays testify to a formidable intelligence at work. Chaudhuri's engaging yet exacting reflections range widely across literature and the arts. Puncturing intellectual pieties and lazy thinking, they challenge us to rethink how art and the world connect." - Rita Felski, William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of English, University of Virginia