What Am I Reading: Asim Waqif

STIR looks into the reading habits of leading creatives – Artist Asim Waqif traverses the dystopian adventures of English writer Anthony Burgess’ 1962 novel, ‘The Wanting Seed’.

by STIRworld Published on : Apr 13, 2020

This book is an adventure set in a dystopian world controlled by an anti-fertility ideology. It made me think about how any strong ideology can be justified if the right means are available, morality and equality don't matter.

- Asim Waqif, Artist, India

‘The Wanting Seed’ by author Anthony Burgess | What Am I Reading | Asim Waqif | STIRworld
The Wanting Seed by author Anthony Burgess Image Credit: Courtesy of Asim Waqif

Edited excerpts:

What is the name of the book?

Asim Waqif (AW): The Wanting Seed

Who is the author?

AW: Anthony Burgess.

What is the genre?

AW: Dystopian science fiction.

Why this book - could you please highlight its most notable aspects?

AW: I read a lot of science fiction, not so much Asimov and the popular stuff. Though I have read the Dune series often. Last year, while working on a project in Kolkata, I re-read five of the books from Dune. I also read The End of World News by Burgess during that project.

Tough to quantify anything tangible that I gained from the book. For me, the assimilation of reading is a slow process. – Asim Waqif

Did you get any significant insights? Did you gain knowledge or did it help you unwind?

AW: This is the second time I read this book, first was about eight to ten years back. It is a tough read as it is difficult to keep up with the story. Almost a drag in the beginning and then towards the end it seems to rush through. Still I liked the book.

Is there any one thing that you would take home from the read?

AW: Tough to quantify anything tangible that I gained from the book. For me, the assimilation of reading is a slow process. Ideas develop in the back of the head at times. But most times nothing that can be attributed directly to a text. This book is an adventure set in a dystopian world controlled by an anti-fertility ideology. It made me think about how any strong ideology can be justified if the right means are available, morality and equality don't matter. And some comparisons with the current times we live in.

What is your favourite quote from the book? Why?

AW: I rarely remember quotations from a text I read, except when I recite to my kids. I am more interested in ideas and concepts that the text deals with rather than the specific configuration of words.

What is your take on the book? Would you recommend it?

AW: It is a great book. First few dozen pages took me some effort.

When do you read?

AW: Often in the evening before sleeping, but at other times as well.

Look up more such interesting reads from the series ‘What Am I Reading’ here.

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STIRworld

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