The end of the first week and heading into week 2: the prow of the ship cutting through exhilarating waves of Kim Scott’s That Deadman Dance with Australian Literature students.
With Twentieth Century Literature students on campus we launched the twentieth century with the impact of the wars on literature and painting and then spent time exploring the ways in which the Beatles and the Rolling Stones (and others) helped to bring some sanity back to a century which seemed headed for total disaster….. what is extraordinary is the extent to which – against this massive background of chaos and destruction- human beings in all walks of life (rock music, theatre, dance, literature) seem to be pulling together to find some inner solution to the psychic chaos that humans seem to love indulging in: John Lennon
William Blake is in one of the great affirmative forces of the 19th Century who provides resources of strength, wisdom and enlightenment to the later 20th Century. In our Blake unit we looked at the way beat poet Allen Ginsberg celebrated the way in which Blake’s poetry helped him to see the world in a totally new way. Here is the great beat novelist William Burroughs reflecting on Ginsberg’s Blake moment:
. And here is Ginsberg singing the first of the Nurse’s Songs from Songs of Innocence
Turning from literature to nature: always my favourite pastime I must record again, amazingly, that Spring is truly here in Sydney and it is still mid-winter! I had a fabulous walk in the blazing sun with wife and grandchildren today through a blushing bushland full of Sydney pink boronias (Boronia Floribunda). I have never seen such an extensive array of flowers interspersed with delicate pink Waxflowers (Eriostomon Australis) which are also just beginning to make their appearance: The radiant surface of creation flushed with pink: it was a joy to point these out to Josh (6) and Alexander (8).
It is so terrific to see some video of William S. Burroughs talking about Ginsberg. Those guys (The Beats) were all too cool for school. I have uploaded a fascinating one minute excerpt of Burroughs talking about Kerouac. The (inactive ) link is well worth a look, just copy and paste into browser.
Great link David: thank you for continuing the conversation. MG