Hi all… what a great week it has been! Alex Miller’s Journey to the Stone Country- an extraordinary read which I can recommend to all years. First years are doing this in Australian Literature. It is a wonderfully hopeful novel about the way towards reconciliation in this country.
In second year we were exploring the worlds of Joseph Conrad and W.B. Yeats, both champions for freedom in a world of imperial domination and both powerful artists declaring the importance of the artist’s way of seeing the world in a world dominated by science and economics.
In third year we continued and completed our exploration of David Malouf’s novel Remembering Babylon which is our way into the world of William Blake- strange connection? You will have to find out in third year how these two authors come together.
Now here are some topics that might wet your appetites… as a way of continuing and deepening your reflections in class this week:
First year: the character Arne may seem to some as a “drop kick”, but Annabelle sees him as “golden in the wash of sunlight; modest, serene, enigmatic and beautiful, as if he possessed a thousand years and more and might await the moment of his destiny without the anxiety of time”. Page 54. Imagine yourself either as Annabelle or as Arne. If you are Annabelle either write a short poem depicting Arne as you- Annabelle- see him, or describe Arne to a friend. If you are Arne, describe the thoughts that are going through your head as you sit in the van listening to all that music…..
Second year: Conrad has just discovered Yeats’ essay “A General Introduction for My Work” and he has come across the sentence ” I must seek, not as Wordsworth thought words in common use, but a powerful and passionate syntax…. ” Conrad says to himself… “hey that is extarodinary…. that is exactly my thoughts about language too!” Conrad is so excited by this common sentiment that he sits down and writes a letter to Yeats explaining why he choses the kind of language he does……
Third year: Can you find any moments in your own life experience that are in the direction of the epiphany experience by Jock McIvor that we studied in class? Your first reaction might be “no way”… but I challenge you to stay with one or two fleeting memories you might have about some extraordinary events in your life… stay with them and let your thoughts and feelings expand with the details of that memory… it is in fact extraordinary what the mind can create from fragments of memory… and this is exactly how Malouf took Jock McIvor to where he found himself… give it a try… nothing to lose……