Towards the Visual
New Genres and Forms of Storytelling in India
This paper examines the new forms and genres of storytelling in India with an emphasis on the visual aspect of the literary narration. It begins with a remark on the literary and performing tradition of India, where stories were told with an accompaniment of visuals: single or sequential images, scroll paintings, acting etc. With time, storytellers and poets started including modern-day, contemporary themes and problems into their narratives, which not only brought changes in the repertoire of stories, but also, quite naturally, caused development in terms of genres and ways of expression. The present study is based on graphic novels by Sarnath Banerjee and Vishwajyoti Ghosh, with reference to contemporary Hindi literature and some examples from visual art. The author seeks to answer the following questions: 1) what is the “new language” of a literary work in relation to the visual, 2) how – and by which means – does the literature reflect the reality of the new generations, 3) how is a story narrated through images. In conclusion, some observations are made on mutual influences between literature and audio-visual arts.
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