The Literary society of Hindu College organised a discussion on the pop icon’s win of the Nobel Prize and how it’ll affect the contours of literature and popular culture.

The ground of discussion was the contribution of Dylan in the Counter Culture movement in the US and how his music has had a universal appeal in prompting masses to sing the same lyrics in unison. Dylan’s non affiliation to any political organisation or party gave him the license to address the excesses of the American government, be it the arms race during the cold war or the civil rights movement.

The discussion also investigated the roots of poetry and the oral tradition and the connection between the two. Dylan’s penchant to create a mix of politically critical commentary with folk music was associated with traditional forms of poetry, which employ similar instruments.

In the wake of Belarusian journalist Svetlana Alexievich winning the prize in 2015 and Dylan following suit, the global community’s realisation to go beyond traditional definitions of literature was also discussed. Some participants also raised the fact that close to none of the popular authors have won the prize yet, making the Swedish Academy elitist in its definition of what constitutes literature. The prize given to Dylan ‘for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition’ was acknowledged by the singer – songwriter five days after the announcement, on his official website. But no sooner than the academy heaved a sigh of relief that Dylan removed the mention from his website. The mention read ‘winner of the Nobel prize in literature’. The participants also discussed the delay on the part of Dylan and his perceived unpleasant attitude.

That the prize was symbolic in the sense of giving boost to alternate forms of literature was acknowledged by the participants, who at the end of the discussion contemplated the future of the award and literature.

Featured Image Credits: The Literary Society, Hindu College

Sidharth Yadav

[email protected]

Creative writing
Fancy yourself as a writer? Looking forward to letting those creative juices flow this year? DU is reputed for its versatile and brilliant ECA. Creative writing as an extra curricular activity in DU does get its share of opportunity if not ample attention.
However, this does not imply that there is no scope for budding writers in the varsity. Numerous intra and inter college activities are conducted throughout the year to hone this talent. Literary associations of colleges, some more active than others, have a major role to play in this. Creative writing competitions are part and parcel of almost every Delhi University festival. An opportunity to showcase your writing prowess is offered in inter university festivals like Antaragini and Rendezvous as well.
English departments throughout the varsity also organize departmental literary fests, where writing competitions are often the highlight of the event. One of the most famous writing competitions in DU is Flair, the literary event conducted by Hindu college. It is a short story writing competition for which entries are invited in October and November and the best entries are published in a journal dedicated to Flair that comes out in July.
An emerging trend in creative writing competitions these days is the use of visual and one line prompts. Creative freedom is offered to the participants as the format ranges from free verse, short story , script writing to poetry.

Inter and intra college writing talent is also inculcated through the medium of college magazines. Students often find a mode of self-expression via these magazines and journals. Some colleges like MirandaHouse and JMC even have a separate prize/scholarship for students who have shone exceptionally in this field.
Truly a writer at heart? Keep an eye out for Wordspill, DU Beat’s upcoming creative writing competition.

Every fresher will find to his or her amazement and hopefully excitement that the first week of college means a constant of barrage of society promotions and recruitments.  However don’t let the volley of auditions and college activities confuse and stray you from the path of your destined society, since the society you join ends up defining the circle of people you associate with.

Delhi University societies are not just friendship circles. They rely on hard work, talent and dedication. As a society, you participate in umpteen college, inter-college and inter-university competitions. Every society of every college has its own fest, and you can rely on these to keep your nose to the grind stone all year-long. As you audition for the various societies, the harsh and apparent nit-picking during selections will only be proof of the high standards and professionalism of the societies, making it a good idea not to take them too lightly.

The prominent societies (you might have to start getting used to calling them SOCs) with a presence felt in almost every college are:

  1. THE DEBSOC: Debating ought to come easy to you to not just join but stay in this one. Arguably this society houses Delhi University’s best speakers and hence is definitely worth being a part of.

  2. THE CHOREOSOC: Involving insane amount of rehearsing, the theme-based choreography done by a lot of Delhi university colleges is something you don’t want to miss.

  3. THE DRAMSOC: It’s time you got out of that shell. Trust this society to teach you that and so much more. You might just work with people having years of experience at the NSD.

  4. ENGLISH AND LITERARY SOCIETIES: The hub of intellectual and literary discussions and activities. A must for all aspiring writers out there as well.

  5. FILM AND PHOTOGRAPHY SOCIETY: For all the unconventional, or even so- called taboo movies that you missed watching and discussing, and to hone the photographer in you.

And DU BEAT: for the conscientious and prompt writer. A little bit of self-promotion never hurt.