Welcome to Literature 2008

Hello all -many of you again! We are in for a fabulous semester of Literature whether you are in first, second or third year. What a feast we have in store: Literature an Introduction; the amazing 19th Century and the awe-inspiring Age of Shakespeare. I hope you all like the new, more free and easy requirements for LiveJournal this semester (all described in your Unit Outlines): this should help those who like more space for creative freedom AND those who like a more structured approach. And remember (if you haven’t checked already in your WebCT Mail) I am calling for volunteers to help in setting up the first years with their LiveJournals. Meanwhile I have had a rich time exploring resources for all three units and have also just finished teaching a group of Aboriginals for their Bachelor of Secondary Ed. I was teaching them Australian Literature which they will teach in their local schools when they get back home. Needless to say we looked closely at much Aboriginal poetry and fiction and had a fabulous day in the Art Gallery where they taught me so much about Aboriginal Art.
On my way to the Gallery I walked past the Captain Arthur Philip fountain in the Botanic Gardens (just opposite the State Library). What an icon of imperialism that is with its grandiose European Gods (Neptune, God of the Ocean for example), superimposed above the diminutive images of Aboriginal spear fishermen.

Incidentally, for those of you doing 19th Century Literature, this fountain is built on the exact spot where the famous “Palace” was built in the Botanic Gardens in the last decades of the 19thC for an international exhibition. This was the time of the construction of the Eiffel Tower in Paris… the world was on tiptoe to see what 19thC technology could achieve. Sadly, the Sydney “Palace” burnt down within a few years of its construction… and there are some amazing images to show this event.

But I haven’t spent all my time wallowing in literature and art. I have been doing some fantastic bushwalking around near where I live… and yesterday I spent the day in the bush with my son and my two grandsons who were dead keen to try out their new rock-climbing boots on some real Sydney sandstone…. see you all this week!

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