Two Tales: Komal Verma

Today is an auspicious day for Annexe as it marks the first prose addition to what was previously the Two Poems series. You can still divide the two if you are that way inclined; Two Tales and Two Poems will still have their own categories, but if you’re an all-encompassing lexiphile you can click on the Two Texts category to get both in one delightful bundle.

The first author to read some prose for you is the exception Komal Verma. We spoke to Komal a little while ago about her upcoming novel The Sword and The Scion. Ever the versatile  writer, Komal also crafts stories in a more bitesize length. Today she is reading her short piece The Warning and an extract from Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities.

Illustration by Nick Murray

The Warning – Komal Verma

Cities & Desire – Italo Calvino

More about both works after the jump

Fantastic! The Warning seems positively otherworldly. How did the piece come about?
Well, originally it came from a creative writing class. I was invited to do a sort of stream-of-consciousness writing using a print by a South African artist who was exhibiting at the time as inspiration. I chose a piece called The Warning and that was the starting point for what you heard today.

Both your work and Calvino’s are wrought with brilliantly colourful descriptions of the scenes presented. What made you pick this particular extract from the book?
The whole book is full of amazingly vivid description of invisible cities, but it’s the idea of a city that presents two different faces to you that appealed to me most. I love that you can have these cities that have such considered approaches to how they are viewed by two sets of travellers. This gives a wondrous and fantastical embellishment to what we now perceive as just places of (mostly) pure function. It’s a romantic notion that we don’t really have of cities so much at the moment.

Originally, it was my sister that gave me the book [Invisible Cities]. Sometime I find myself fighting to describe cities with detail without being too verbose or unnecessary and she thought it would help to offer inspiration when building my own world and what inhabits it. Calvino’s cities all have their own characters, they go beyond just being places. It is this embellishment that really strikes me. The characters have their own eccentricities based on some intriguing history or context.

If you like, you can read our full interview with Komal Verma.

Komal Verma resides in London where she casts a concerned eye over the latest filmic releases, avidly pores over forgotten mythological texts and fights for the abolition of improper uses of English.

To sneak a look at her debut novel The Sword and the Scion have a look here.
Read Komal’s opinions on the world of cinema here.

If you’d like to ask Komal anything at all, jump over to her twitter page @komibear.


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