STEPHEN GILL AS THE GUEST OF HONOR at International Webinar On Literature and Life in the Era of COVID-19 (27th & 28th June, 2020), Organized by the Department of English and Foreign Languages Indira Gandhi National Tribal University, India. Chairman: The Vice-Chancellor Prof Prakash Mani Tripathi, and Convener: Prof Krishna Singh, head Dept. of English.
Two days after celebrating his 87th birthday, Stephen Gill, now a legally blind poet, novelist and essayist, shared that Covid-19 appeared to be an infectious agent that was created by maniac messiahs to strengthen their lust to control the bodies of the world governments. A poet cannot live in an ivory tower forever. What is in human thoughts and actions are reflected in their literature. Take the case of William Shakespeare. If today Shakespeare is alive, it is also because Shakespeare has produced in his plays social, political, economic, moral and scientific ideas of his times. Even in Paradise Lost, which is timeless, John Milton expresses the moral controversies of the Protestants and the Roman Catholics that plagued the time and sent a British king to gallows. At this time, I think of T.S. Eliot. He has said somewhere that “the soul of a nation, true ideals of its civilization, real message of the people's inner self, is expressed in its literature.”
Poets are using their government lockdowns to express their anger, frustrations as well as solutions. The impact of Covid-19 on the vocabulary is obvious. According to one estimate around one thousand new words or neologism and definitions have been added to English language by Covid-19. In other words, old definitions of several terms or expressions have been updated. The long journey of the desire to share confirms that people love to tell and hear experiences. This inherent desire to tell and hear experiences will not die and so novels and movies will not die, though their ways of presentations will keep changing.
I believe that digital technology will play a strong part in shaping new forms of expression. I have also used Covid-19 as a subject in my essays, short stories and also on YouTube. One of my stories is titled “Mask.” Another story is titled “Self-Isolation”. Story in “Mask” is about a Canadian who goes in search of a mask to know how a mask looks like to use it properly in emergency, but …
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StephenGill, a multiple award-winning Indo/Canadian self-exiled poet, fiction writer, and essayist, has authored more than thirty books. He is the subject of doctoral dissertations and thirteen books of critical studies have been released. The focus of his writing is live and let live. Available For: writer or poet in residence.
WEBSITES: www.stephengill.ca & stephengillcriticism.info (firstname.lastname@example.org)