Week 6 has seen Australian Lit students introduced to the delights of the NSW Art Gallery. I trust that you have now discovered how interesting it is to link themes and techniques from paintings with themes in literature. This is always a marvellous way to expand people’s sense of the wider cultural context in which literature occurs. You all do now have your blog topics for this week too: just check the last pages of the Art Gallery hand out that was given at the time of your visit to the gallery. Remember also to keep an eagle eye on your peers. Write, supportive, meaningful peer reviews and make everyone in your group feel acknowledged and respected. Remember also that nearly every painting in the gallery can be viewed in their amazing database. I recommend also that once you have looked up the painting there, that you also do a Google search for more information about the artist and her or his painting.
Week 6 has seen our Twentieth Century Literature students move into the world of The Great Gatsby where the central question of our discussion has been: Does Gatsby, in his yearning for something unattainable, reach higher than the sordid world around him? Is his “incorruptible” quest something that is really praiseworthy in a world that is morally bankrupt.
For your blog question you could try to answer this question, or -if you want to be creative, rather than critical, why not try writing a letter to Gatsby telling him what you really think about him and whether you agree with his best and only friend, Nick Carraway.
Week 6 has seen our Visionary Imagination group move into the amazing world of Patrick White’s Riders in the Chariot. This would have to be one of Australia’s greatest novels in its scale and scope. Its religious questions are profound for our nation and its study of ordinary Australian characters is a powerful reminder of the essential egalitarianism that lies at the root of so many of our artists and writers. It is they who hold this nation close to a redeeming morality… one that transcends so much of what goes by the name of politics in this country. As we all know Patrick White is the only Australian author ever to be awarded the Nobel Prize for literature! Check out this description of the reasons for his award.
For your blog topics this week try writing a letter to Miss Hare. Tell her how much you have enjoyed listening to her conversations, especially those about her love of nature. You could, alternatively, try to put together a digital kit on Patrick White that could provide a number of digital resources for understanding his importance to Australian ideas today.