Summative Entry

“Australian Literature helps me to expand the boundaries of my own experience.”

This semester I completed my second last literature unit, Reading Australia, and what a delight it has been. We studied many authors including Judith Wright, Patrick White, Francis Webb, David Malouf and Sally Morgan. Each one of these amazing authors have written about personal experiences or experiences that they believe occur within Australia, and it is surprising, but they have some parallels to my own life experiences. I think that is what is so astounding about their writing and what makes it so special to each person.

Judith Wright was wonderful and her poems were something special. Although a white Australian coming from a pioneering white family, her experience in Australia was not so stereotypical. She fought for Aboriginal rights and wrote poetry that reflected this. Of all her poems my personal favourite was The Wattle Tree as it symbolised growth, discovery and life. This piece of literature helped me to expand my boundaries in a unique way, and in a way that I didn’t think I could. For my first blog post I wrote a poem using the first line of this poem. When writing my own piece I learnt about my personal feelings and demons, and what seems to be holding me back in life. I was able to delve into my inner life and extrapolate a lot of meaning. By opening up to myself I believe this boundary has been expanded and that I can live my life to the fullest, without any fear or hesitation. Overall, her poems described a different experience but The Wattle Tree was my personal favourite in mirroring my own experiences.

jw

Patrick White and his text “The Tree of Man” was complex and somewhat difficult to read. As an author he put so much effort and detail into every chapter, which isn’t a criticism, but it took me much longer to take in. From my reading I think that my boundaries and experiences were not necessarily expanded but more contradicted. White’s text discussed the issues that people in Australia were prone to, as well as the natural disasters that affected them, and so what I got from the text was a ‘real’ Australian experience. Personally, I don’t know much about the Australian outback so I don’t have many experiences to expand upon. My main point that I did take away was that everyone has the right to be something else and to be something they want to be. It also taught me about religion and that my experience of religion is only what I have been taught at school. Perhaps this is the boundary that was expanded upon. What do I believe in and how do I represent it? (I talk about religion and representation in blog 3.)

pw

Francis Webb was also interesting to study, especially due to his mental state in which he wrote many of his poems. My experience from his literature was that nothing can stop you, no matter what circumstances you may be facing or what stands in your way. He had a powerful impact on me because I often believe that I am not capable of something or that other people can do it better than I can. Thus, his literature really expanded my boundaries and taught me that I am capable of doing great things, such as in blog 5.

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David Malouf’s text was my favourite novel to read. It taught me that experiences, whether internal or external, are going to cause chaos for yourself and people around you. The internal chaos of Michael Adair was represented throughout the text and constantly reminded me of experiences I have had. What do I think of myself and the situation I am in? What will people around me think of my decision? My boundaries were expanded after reading because I now know that whatever I decide upon will fall back on me, and I am the person in control of my own decisions, despite it being a scary thing.

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Finally, Sally Morgan taught me about identity and personal discovery. It is so important to be proud of who you are and what you stand for, whether or not you are obstructed by prejudice. Experiences can be scary, but also eye-opening and if you have boundaries it is important to expand them and go above and beyond.

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Judith Wright- http://libguides.wesley.wa.edu.au/englishlit/judithwright

Patrick White- https://cityoftongues.com/non-fiction/me-and-patrick-white/

Francis Webb- https://michaelgriffith1.com/2015/09/09/francis-webb-commemorative-reading-of-his-poetry-this-saturday-12-september-2015/

David Malouf- https://www.museumofbrisbane.com.au/whats-on/david-malouf-and-friends/

Sally Morgan- https://jennquick.wordpress.com/tag/sally-morgan/

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Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Peer Review 8

https://lauranema1.wordpress.com/2017/10/11/blog-7-critical/comment-page-1/#comment-97

Hi Laura!
I enjoyed reading this blog post about your experience with David Malouf, mostly because I believe everyone would have taken away something different from his visit. Like you, I think that Malouf had great insight into the world around him and has so many values and experiences that his text clearly explored. It is good that you got a chance to meet with him at least once, especially when he talked about such an intense text. Lucky for me I met him last year when I studied Fly Away Peter as well. The only small thing I can say about your post is that a few words are written in the wrong tense or misplaced, so a quick re-read before posting would be helpful. Overall, I enjoyed your blog and your insights into David Malouf.

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Peer Review 7

https://ngaireale1.wordpress.com/2017/09/27/the-waste-land/comment-page-1/#comment-375

Hi Ngaire!
I thought for one of my peer reviews I will choose someone from another unit, and American Literature seemed interesting. I think I did this poem in a unit last year however I couldn’t recall the context of it and so your description at the beginning of your blog about its relevance to WW1 made me remember. I liked your description of the poem and in particular the block quote you chose to include. Perhaps you could explore the quote in more detail for people who don’t know the poem at all, however, I liked your post and I think it was a nice summation of the chosen text.
Enjoy the last few weeks of semester! 🙂

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Blog 8- Interactions with David Malouf

My blog post from week 9 is yet again about David Malouf and the ideas he presented to us when he came to visit. My question is “What do you learn most from the interactive seminar that we had with David Malouf last week?”

I am not going to relate everything I learnt last week directly to the studied text, however it will assist me and guide me in what I did learn. The text will be a point of reference. The way in which I am going to answer this question will be in dot point form, stating the main idea and then expanding off it.

How the role of an English teacher is important?

I learnt from Malouf that the role of an English teacher, which I am studying to be, should be to guide and inspire rather than to give tedious tasks which can hinder imagination and restrict students from wanting to learn. I also learnt that you can’t force someone to enjoy something, especially english. It is extremely important to recognise the abilities of the students in your classroom and gather whether or not they are engaged in the topic. He also said that a body, when it comes to reading, can be in two places at once- storytelling and imagination. This was very important and taught me that reading as a part of learning shouldn’t be forced but rather something that students can decide to do themselves. I think that if a student is forced to do something it becomes less and less enjoyable and more of a dislike.

Reading and writing style.

What I found interesting was that Malouf said that he writes for slow readers, readers who want to take in every aspect of the text and imagine the characters for who they want them to be. I really took this piece of information away with me after that session, especially when he said that today lots of people skim read. I can relate to this as well and I feel guilty about it. At uni you are forced to read texts to ensure you can complete assignments and exams but what you’re not doing is engaging or truly “reading” the text. I think this is an important element that avid readers and upcoming readers should ensure they are doing, and that is to slow read.

A process of discovery.

Another thing which Malouf mentioned was that he didn’t really have any idea of how he wanted the novel to go. He said that once the text is complete it should be a process of discovery for both reader and writer. Although Malouf did write down events that he could see happening in the novel he didn’t necessarily pinpoint where they would go until he felt it was the right time. There was always an element of surprise when Malouf was writing the novel and I found that very interesting. I think if I was writing a full novel I would need to know the beginning, middle and end before I began. I understand writers don’t always stick to a plan but it is interesting to see how far off track the writing may go.

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Image retrieved from https://au.pinterest.com/pin/572168327632720730/?lp=true October 14, 2017.

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Peer Review 6

https://barefootfairy42.wordpress.com/2017/10/07/david-malouf-and-the-wild-landscape-of-the-mind/comment-page-1/#comment-233

Hi Audrey,
I have to say that this entry was wonderful to read. I think you truly captured the essence of the wilderness, both the internal and the external. The way that you associated Fergus with the wilderness is something that I didn’t necessarily find myself within the text but now that you have pointed it out explicitly with quotes and explanations it begins to make a lot more sense. Finally, there is nothing I can fault you on here however if you wanted to add a layer of personal touch perhaps you could explore a time (if you’ve had one) that being in the bushland or the wilderness has spoken to you and showed you something you never once had noticed.
Enjoy the last few weeks of semester! 🙂

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Blog 7- My Death Sentence

The topic I will write about today is still in reference to David Malouf and his text “Conversations at Curlow Creek.” The creative topic I have decided to write about is: “Write a paragraph in which you imagine yourself on death’s row with a few hours left before you are executed.”

I believe that my life has been lived but not to the full extent that it should have been. I am only just 20 and have so much ahead of me. I know that what I did was wrong, unforgivable and something that can’t be changed but please, I will try anything to help the family I hurt. What they want they can never have back and that it is entirely my fault, but is there any sort of sorrow or forgiveness that they can find within their heart? If I could take back what I did then in an instant I would- but life isn’t that nice. Life is cruel.

I continue to think of my parents who now only have hours left before my execution and I think knowing when my death will come is the hardest thing they ever have to come to terms with. I wanted to travel and have a family of my own. I wanted to do and see things that I never got around to doing. Why, oh why, does this penalty of death still hover above me, so guiltily. I am sure that my execution is the easy way out. Spare my life and I will do anything I can for the victim’s family. They can watch me struggle and know that I am paying for what I did rather than taking the easy way out.

The authorities have no harm in taking me out in the flick of a switch. Once it’s done there is no going back. Please, think if this is the right way to go about things. Will it achieve anything? Will it cure the hurt and pain? I am sorry and I will be forever in pain and grief just like the family today.

 

Just some countries who still have the death penalty- interesting stats:

 

 

Image retrieved from http://www.deathpenalty.rs/en-gb/en-gb/news/current.aspx October 14, 2017.

 

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Peer Review 5

https://emilydickblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/16/blog-5-3/comment-page-1/#comment-92

Hi Emily!
I really enjoyed reading your blog and your take on the poem itself. Your inclusion of quotes was very helpful and backed up the information you were talking about which was good. Like you, i found it interesting that Webb, a man out of a mental hospital, could see such beauty in the world after being trapped for so long. What you have done is captured the poem in another lighter and in a way that gives it clarity. Also, your picture is cute and fits the world of purity and innocence well. Overall, well done and keep up the insightful blogs! 🙂

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