News & Events

Retelling Stories with Angela Carter

On Friday 19th June, Lower Sixth Literature students virtually met with Robert Eaglestone, Professor of Contemporary Literature and Thought at Royal Holloway, University of London, to discuss all things related to Angela Carter, the author of one of their coursework pieces.

This provided an excellent opportunity to stretch and challenge their thinking and to extend their critical ideas. It also created the chance to simulate the conditions of a typical undergraduate seminar and to expose the students to the expectations their Professors will have at University.  The pace was fast and there was the unequivocal expectation that the students would have prepared. They did not let themselves down, and engaged thoughtfully and critically in discussions ranging from Carter’s ‘magic-realism’ to the reinvention of ‘the gothic’ as a literary genre.

To finish, Robert Eaglestone shared his top tips for success in English and for essay writing. We feel these are relevant for all of us:

  1. Read as widely as possible and talk to others about your reading. English is like a conversation which is constantly growing and evolving. It’s okay to not know everything about every text – it’s good to talk about difference and to constantly learn more.
  2. Try to be concise: communication is powerful when brief, specific yet still suggestive.
  3. Avoid formulaic answers and structures when committing your ideas to paper or screen – it’s far better to write about what personally interests you with verve: make clear, individual and interesting points.
  4. If you’re frightened of a blank page, then consider starting from the middle or analysing a favourite part of text and growing out from there. Also, don’t forget to plan!

The English department would like to offer their sincere thanks and gratitude to Bob Eaglestone for this fantastic opportunity.

Miss Howie

Teacher of English

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