David Malouf's Visit to Campus

David’s visit to both first and third years was a wonderful experience for us all. David’s generosity in sharing his ideas about his novel RANSOM with third years and REMEMBERING BABYLON with first years brought new insights into both novels and into the writing experience itself. Students were somewhat amazed by David’s declaration that “I have never read my own novels” by which he was announcing that he did not really want to be part of the process of analysis that goes with the study of, rather than the creation of literature. Nevertheless he did give powerful insights into what was in his mind as he set out to write both of these novels and provided new strategies for appreciation and understanding. Another rather challenging comment he made was that essentially “I am not interested in publication”.  So where does that put all the aspiring young writers seeking publication??? Malouf clearly sees his art as very personal, even private, a means of exploring and understanding aspects of his own and of other’s experience. Certainly for us as readers his novels provide an extraordinary means of deepening our own understanding of what we need as human beings and what we lack. Whether it is Jock McIvor in BABYLON or Priam in RANSOM, these characters discover -through David’s illuminating, exploratory prose- ways of Being that are entirely new to them… and maybe to us as well.

David Malouf has only just won the 2010 Australian Literary Society’s Gold Medal for Ransom http://anzlitlovers.wordpress.com/2010/07/29/david-malouf-wins-the-als-gold-medal/and he is now off to Greece where he is about to pick up a major prize for this novel handed out (I think) by the Greek Government, in honour of an author who has added such a new dimension to an ancient Greek poem (The Iliad). We all wish David well in his travels.

Thank you David.

Students lining up for signatures….. David signed his name 211 times on his visit this time…. and incidentally this is the 6th time he has visited ACU campus to lecture to students.


  3 comments for “David Malouf's Visit to Campus

  1. September 13, 2010 at 12:14 am

    Hello MG,

    I just wanted to thank you for the opportunity to meet David Malouf. He is a true inspiration. I was, like many, surprised to hear that he himself look at his work as personal, something he creates for himself, rather than writing with the intent and purpose of satisfying an audience or the readers.

    The one thing I really learned from the session was his interest in observing human behavior. I also liked the comparison he drew between the relation of Priam and Somax to the relationship between Don Quixote and Sancho Panza as well as King Lear and the Fool in King Lear – the archetype of the Protagonist and the faithful and loyal sidekick. My favorite character in ‘Ransom’ is Somax, I think that deep in Priam’s heart he is a bit envious of what Somax possessed, a simple life without ceremonial duties and facade. A life wherein it is not as difficult to find one’s true self.

    I am glad to have seized the chance to meet with Mr Malouf.

  2. September 16, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    Thanks A: so pleased that you made such good use out of the visit and your question was awesome. It really helped to put the core themes of the novel into a very wide context. Well done!

  3. September 16, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    Thanks Ailenette… glad to hear that you made such good use of the visit. And your asking of such an awesome question really opened up the widest context for this book. Well done

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