Herta Müller

I wanted to make a collage in the style of Romanian-German author Herta Müller for the showcase because I’ve had fun making these with students in the past (when I used to teach at Oxford). It’s fun because it reveals writing and creating art as a hands-on, tactile practices: you can’t feel what it’s like to write like Thomas Mann or make a film like Petzold, but everyone with a pair of scissors and Pritt-Stick can feel like Herta Müller for an hour. You also learn something about how Müller works with language, disassembling and reassembling sentences very carefully and treating each word as a distinct object with its own shape, weight and texture. I could say much more about what I’ve learnt from making collages like this one, but I won’t: I’ll just say that you should ask your tutor if you can read some Müller as part of paper VIII (the novels and/or the poems) and then hand in a collage alongside your essay. You’ll have fun and your tutor will be impressed!

Nicola Thomas, Queen Mary University of London