Week Five

Well it has been a momentous week in more ways than one. As well as having the joy of working with a group of Aboriginal students on Introduction to Literature (see previous post) I have had to cope with the near extinction of my vocal chords… some may be very grateful for this lull in the torrent of MGisms…..
But we had a feast this week. In second year we explored the ways in which Charlie Chaplin can be considered alongside major literary figures as a subversive artist… as someone who through art dared to take on the Third Reich. If you want to hear the concluding segment of this amazing film (The Great Dictator) just click on http://www.americanrhetoric.com/MovieSpeeches/moviespeechthegreatdictator.html

So my suggestions for a LiveJournal entry for second year is: write an open letter to Chaplin saying why you think his use of creativity is precisely what the world needs in these times…. Or you might like to try a short paragraph in the style of Virginia Woolf… see what your imagination can bring to the surface if you give it the space, the creative freedom…..
In first year we concluded our amazing journey to the Stone Country… the place incidentally where some of my Aboriginal students come from… they may want to tell us more…. This novel is a must read for all because it really challenges us to rethink our values, our way of life… it tries to open us to new ways of thinking and feeling.
For first years – I was struck in our tutorial today how many of you really grooved on Miller’s descriptive power- the way he described water, rock, bushland…. why not try a paragraph of your own describing a scene you know well… or even post a photograph and try to put it into words…..
In third year we began our adventure with William Blake’s poetry after a long 5 week introduction… so this week we were in the world of Innocence and Experience and also in the world of Blake’s radical challenge to the philosophies of his day: All Religions are One.. he declared… and There is No Natural Religion… we wrestled with these ideas… and will continue to do so for a few weeks yet.
For third years… why not try to use a Blake poem to build a poem of your own, based on some experience that seems to you be really important in your life. Examine the simplicity of his style… that yet conveys so much…
Or you might like to bring some of Blake’s images into your journal and write an appraisal of how his art work seems to add rich dimensions to his poetry…..
Have fun with your journals this week… and don’t forget to put the 3 aboriginal students on your friends list… and send them a response if you feel so inclined….

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