First- the announcement:
A performance of selected scenes from Louis Nowra’s The Golden Age, by students of the Clemente Australian Literature Unit
on Wednesday 29th of May at 5pm, at the
Mission Australia Centre (MAC) Surry Hills, 19 Denham Street.
All Welcome: Free of Charge.
Today -at Surry Hills- we begin work on this amazing play about a group of people who were discovered in the wilds of Tasmania in 1939. This group had evolved their own version of English and their own culture and offered a disturbing challenge to the so-called civilized world that exploded into the Second World War.
You can here Louis Nowra speak about his play by clicking on this picture:
Topics you might consider for your blog this week include:
Write a first reaction to what you think The Golden Age is about.
“Literature that walks and talks”- discuss what you think this means in relation to Australian drama.
Say which character you identify with most closely in the play so far.
Make some suggestions on how we might present this play in week 12.
Think of a topic of your own: are there any of your own life experiences that have a bearing on what Louis Nowra is presenting?
From what I understand you Michael to have said about Nowra’s play resonates with a radio program I heard recently aboutFranklin D Roosevelt’s acceptance for political expediency the tolerance if not actual promotion of white supremacist attitude to the black population in the southern states in order to have his New Deal accepted. The southerners objected to the way the Nazis were implementing Hitler’s eugenics program while at the same time hanging, murdering, castrating and burning blacks.
And now, since I looked a little closer at The Golden Age, a second reply. The subject is very close to my heart because as I have already told you one line of my Dad’s family are from Tasmania that is, when the name was changed from VDL ca 1853. He came as a dropout from Trinity College Dublin at the time of the Great Famine. Attracted by the discovery of gold in Ballaarat he was ‘rescued’ by his mother in Ireland who didn’t want him joining the Eureka stockade and despatched to his aunt across the strait who had two unmarried daughters. They had been there since the early 1820s.
When I organized the family reunion in 2004 I remember a stranger who appeared in the Mitchell library. It was not from lack of trying but whether from psychological, linguistic or protocol problem I was never able to connect with him, not without trying. Could he have been from the lost tribe? Henry Wilson disowned his eldest son but then Henry died in the arms of his youngest son believing he had been poisoned.
My cousin celebrated his eightieth birthday recently with representatives from those Van Diemonians. He pointed out to guests that our families had had a continuous relationship since the 1770s! As my great grandmother Louisa was born in Hobarttown in the mid 1820s in order to make sense of her brother’s and father’s account of their visits ‘home’ she wrote a great many letters. They tend to explain the connections to aristocratic families rather than mention of any lost tribe.
That means that I shall have more in common with the young hikers than the lost tribe. What was especially edifying about commemorating the one hundred and fifty years since Henry’s arrival in the colony was the journey that it took me on and the histroy that I learned along the way.
I am looking forward to taking an active part in this section with the insights that the course has already revealed to me.
About a year ago I attended a lecture by an Amercan academic who was researching memorials to the Great Famine in Ireland ca 1845-50. She had found only three, two in America both raised by public subscription. Arguably the best is the one at the Hyde Park Barracks.
The Hyde Park Barracks
The Hyde Park Barracks