Emile Zola and Creative Writing at English Extension


We were lucky enough to have Ben Markovits, writer, and teacher of Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, University of London, come and lead a session on Wednesday 8th November discussing the decisions a writer has to make to tell a story. He invited us to think about the craft of writing, and used the question ‘What do you know that I don’t know?’ to encourage creative writing based on some kind of expertise that the reader does not share. He used the poem ‘Home Burial’ by Robert Frost to explore the different decisions the writer makes in presenting a narrative, and drew out some fascinating readings from the audience. It was good to see high level engagement from so many Year 10s.
Next week (Wednesday 15th November) Ms Watts will be leading a session on the poetry of both Emily Bronte and Thomas Hardy. This will be very useful for Years 12 and 13, and all interested Year 10 and 11 students are welcome. E Garth
Last week in English Extension Mr Thorne led an engaging talk on Emile Zola and Naturalism. He discussed some of the works he found most stimulating and introduced us to new ideas about the context of the development of Naturalism as a literary movement. The second French Empire and its eventual collapse led to Zola's popularity as he documented the affairs of everyday people under the oppressive rule of Napoleon III. He also answered questions on Zola's cycle of 20 novels and offered us his insight into why he believed Zola was still relevant to us today.

Violet Mermelstein

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