Understanding Creativity and Creative Writing

IIT Bombay Course , Prof. Neelima Talwar

Lecture 1: L1-Overview

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Lecture Details :

Understanding Creativity and Creative Writing by Prof. Neelima Talwar, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Bombay. For more details on NPTEL visit http://nptel.iitm.ac.in

Course Description :

Understanding Creativity :The concept of creativity has been debated and discussed through number of critical positions. The historically contextualized definitions of this ubiquitous term will be explored. Csikszentmihalys study of wide range of creative domains will be assessed for new possibilities.
Creativity in any domain entails apprenticeship. Critical reading and experiments in writing are two vitally interconnected processes for a writer. The quest of the young writer is placed within Indias multilingual, plural cultures. In this complex ethos the sense of the self becomes far more complicated.
Important writers have dealt with these issues in regional languages and English. Significant literary experiments will be discussed through English translations and original writing in English. To develop meaningful, original literary work, students are encouraged to break away from fragmentation in knowledge systems as it is a barrier to self-actualization.

To Be A Writer : What does it mean to be a writer? Are there ideal conditions for writing? The debates about writing independently and writing within academic institutions have raged in recent years. With the rising trend of institutionalizing creative writing, the paradoxical relationship between unhampered creativity and institutional facilitation has gained greater significance.
To enable informed decisions, writerly concerns regarding the stages of the writing process have been discussed in comparative perspective. Albert Camus, Chekhov, Atwood, Tagore, Mahasweta Devi and Rushdie provide varied insights.
Wide ranging examples from popular culture have also been examined for their influence on young minds. These ideas will be discussed in generative framework to release fresh energy.

Drama: A Performative Mode : Writers experiment with various literary-cum-performative forms. In this module, drama is foregrounded. Its multilayered features are examined to highlight a range of action-oriented issues. The notions of play, otherness and performance will be introduced through seminal studies.
With focus on playwriting, salient features of dramatic texts such as physical activity, action, dialogue, subtext, conflict, plot, theme, character will be explained.
Keeping in mind postcolonial, intercultural tendencies of drama, classical Western and Indian theories and dramatic texts will be explored. Modern and postmodern examples will be placed within this perspective.
Mime and monologues will be emphasized as entry points for writing and performance. These forms have gained unique significance in the era of globalization. Number of illustrative examples will be shared.

The Short Story : The last module will build on the preceding discussion of various intertextual, comparative perspectives with reference to the short story. The radical difference between mythic, classical tales and the search motifs of modern and postmodern short stories will be examined.
Through various Western and Indian examples the issue of point-of-view; historical location and compressed intensity of the short story genre will be discussed.
Number of generative exercises will be developed to help students compose short stories and discover their own voice.

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