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Literary festival reinforces supremacy of Bard of Avon

Special Correspondent
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alive on stage:Students enacting a play in the city on Thursday.Photo:M.Moorthy.
alive on stage:Students enacting a play in the city on Thursday.Photo:M.Moorthy.

Can there be any better way of embracing literature than by celebrating the life of ‘literary superstar’ Shakespeare?

St. Joseph’s College’s PG and Research department of English was at it with such a celebration spanning two days. The inter-collegiate competitions of Lit-Quest’ 13 attracted over 300 students from 25 colleges, a nearly five-fold increase compared to last year.

Students took part enthusiastically in a plethora of events: soliloquy, drama, literary quiz, essay writing, poetry writing, if they meet…, elocution, news bulletin, book review and panel discussion. The focus of the academic endeavour all through Wednesday and Thursday was to cull out innovative and creative expertise of the younger generation, Department Head S.P. Benjamin Elango said.

The spirit of participation matters the most rather than accuracy of presentation, intonation or pronunciation. Nevertheless, there has been a definite improvement in the on-stage performance of students over the years. Team work, overcoming inhibition to face audience, and hectic preparations for right delivery… all these aspects that the literary festival requires of the participants go into sharpening their communicative finesse, Prof. Elango explained..

For the soliloquy, students were permitted to choose passage from Shakespearean plays, and for drama, they enacted modern and post modern plays with a kind of comfort and in some cases even absolute perfection that warrants abundant practice. For the literary quiz, questions were based only on Shakespearean plays. And for ‘news bulletin’, the participants were permitted to choose five eventful scenes from Shakespeare and Bernardshaw’s plays.

The College Vice-Principal S. Lazar honoured the prize-winners with certificates at the valedictory session.

The panel discussion on Wednesday was on the topic ‘The Supremacy of the Superstar – Shakespeare’. Former Vice-Principal G. Balakrishnan moderated the discussion on the greatest of the great tragedies: Hamlet, Othello, King Lear and Macbeth. Panellists constituted Usha Chandrasekaran of Seethalakshmi Ramaswami College, Catherin Edward of Holy Cross College, A. Mohhamed Ali Jinnah of Jamal Mohamed College, and Komahan Kaviri Nadan of Nehru Memorial College, Puthanampatti.

Insightful talks by Rev. Fr. Anthuvan, Director, Kalaikaviri College of Fine Arts; Ravi Murugaiah, Proprietor, Vasan Estates; and T. Vadivu, Vice-Principal, marked the inaugural session.

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