Australian Literature Week 2: That Dead Man Dance!

Kim Scott is an amazing literary artist: he is able to project a unique life into such an incredible diversity of characters: Chaine, Wabalanginy, Tar… Through the magic of words and music he can bring the differences of these and other characters sharply into focus: His grin became a grimace/ Bobby heard the whales singing. They sang for him./ Son, daughter, wife? Jak Tar had none, not yet.  So today’s tutorials really helped to allow us all to see what makes Kim Scott’s language work so well to evoke the huge differences between the ways of experiencing the world of the white colonizers and of the indigenous tribesmen. This is at the centre of this novel. If you have understood this then you are launched into an understanding of the novel as a whole. And remember Bobby’s extraordinary role as a dancer, a singer, a clown…. picked up beautifully by the Chooky Dancers: check them out at


If you are keen to do a blog topic on That Deadman Dance then here are a few ideas you might like to think about:

1/ Write a letter to Kim Scott telling him how much you appreciate how he has helped to open your ideas to the inner wealth of indigenous people.

2/ Starting with the phrase “a yellow moon appearing in the sky” describe a landscape that you really love using some of the stylistic devices that Kim Scott uses in “painting” Bobby’s vision of the world around him.

3/ Write to a friend explaining to them why they should read That DeadMan Dance.

4/ As each week: make up a topic that expresses what you have benefitted from most in this week’s literature classes.

Remember that you need to post your URL into the space provided in LEO and that you must comment briefly on someone else’s Blog in the group (this is called a peer review). You don’t need to say much, but you need to say something. But be courteous and helpful. All comments you make drive our collaborative effort forward. We are trying to become a literary community! And remember to copy and paste your peer review as a new entry into your own blog. Enjoy the process.


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