What’s Happening

Expressions done ‘Write’

  • 12 March 2021

Understanding Literature through Creative Practice

As a teacher of Literature, I have often encountered these questions, “How do I write as well as my favourite author does?” or “What can help me understand what goes on in the author’s mind when they create what they do?”. To answer the former, you never write as well as your favourite author because you are a different author! The second question is fairly important in order to understand not just how to write but also how to ‘read’ literature.

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi is a graphic novel and as a part of understanding the genre, the students made their first attempt at creating a graphic novel of their own! Why was this important? As much as reading literature opens up new avenues of thinking, reading as an act in and of itself is not something limited only to its literal meaning. In our class, we try to extend the meaning of reading to the act of creative practice, which means that students practice reading by creating their own literature. Our focus is to challenge the notion of reading as a passive and private activity. When students come together with their own practices of reading and indulge in dialogues, reading becomes an active, political, and communal act, much like the graphic novel we are dealing with. It also helps them to understand how writing something or becoming a writer is as much about reading as it is about writing!

This session was followed up by students writing a letter to the author with their burning questions. As embarrassed as they were about their “naive” or “amateur” attempts at making a graphic novel, I think the results were pretty witty and interesting!

Check this one out by our student Sailesh! Kudos to him

Check out Prakeerthi’s work for a more informative approach!

This lovely and thoughtful letter by Roshni left me with more questions.

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