“It is generally believed that literature knows no boundaries. It is for everyone – a person sitting with Man-Friday or a celebrity enjoying in Hollywood valley or someone just struggling to find the pencil in the ruins of a school destructed by the missile of ISIS… truly so. However, the country in which a work of literature is produced is not the world. And therefore, there are many concepts, ideas, thoughts and emotions that appeal more to the fellow countrymen of the author compared to the impact that these things might have upon the readers of other countries. For example, we can understand the pain of Vidyapati because we worship Mother Ganga and Bhagwan Shiva. However, a reader sitting in Spain cannot interpret Vidyapati’s work the same way we do and therefore, in Spain, many readers might have many interpretations and it should purely be in the hands of the readers. Likewise, in India, Indian readers should have free will whether they accept Shakespeare as the greatest dramatist or not. It should not be imposed!”
Tells Alok Mishra, founder of English Literature Education, a free platform that offers notes, study materials, interpretations and guides for the students, professors, teachers and enthusiasts of English literature. The very idea of English Literature Education is about offering a free dimension to the students who study English literature in India. A free play of ideas, interpretations and criticism that does not bar anyone from criticising Shakespeare, Wordsworth or Bacon if the person offering opinions has logical points to make.
In India, or anywhere else in the world, students of literature seldom enjoy the freedom that they are promised while signing up for a subject that is the base of the whole humanities studies. There is a very popular flaw that Alok Mishra, also a noted Indian English poet and author, highlights in the following words:
“In your graduation class, you must have heard ‘the poet says that’ and this is, utterly rubbish because it’s not interpreting a poem but it’s hijacking or finalising the interpretation with a version that cannot be refuted by the students. Who knows what the poet actually says until the poet reveals himself or herself? Well, if the poet is a teacher’s spouse, child, parent… then it’s alright if the teacher or professor claims something like this. Otherwise, it’s a moral crime!”
By establishing English Literature Education, Alok wants to help the students of literature realise not only the beauty of literature but also the fruitful, productive and the best possible ways to study it. The factor that distinguishes this platform from many other study-guide type platforms on the internet is that ELE is totally free! It does not charge a single paisa, it doesn’t compel the readers to subscribe to it, it does not force advertisements… you get the content you want to read and that’s it! Also, the readers get to read the analysis, interpretations, ideas and thoughts upon literary works that will be helpful, communicative and also very close to their thoughts. It is not essential that one has to admit the prowess of Shakespeare just because many others do it. As a student, professor or teacher of literature, you have the right to show an alternative which is logical, persuasive and validated by references, ideas or thoughts. Literature is free and freedom is absolute with a disciplined manner of finding facts and offer them to the readers.
You can access ELE by following the link: https://englishliterature.education/
By Ashish for Indian Book Lovers