Thank you all for your enthusiastic start to the semester. It is always good to be talking about the literature and experience of our own country. A few decades ago you couldn’t study Australian Literature at University- it was not seen academically respectable! How times have changed.
So far we have looked at the broad theme of how writers and artists respond to the landscape; more importantly we have looked at the way this response tells us much about ourselves. If we wish to dig up, plunder, denude – all for the benefit of financial gain- then we are perhaps not treating the earth as it should be treated. This is where the idea “The Mountain has its own meaning” becomes an important counterweight to the dominant way in which European colonizers have thought about our country. Judith Wright, along with many other artists and writers, Indigenous, European, Asian are pointing a way to a different relationship to the landscape, to the environment, one that challenges the status quo.
So here are a few juicy Blog topics that might get your imaginations going:
- (Creative) Describe a landscape that you love- it could be your own backyard. What does this description show you about your values, your relationship to the landscape?
- (Critical) Of all the poems we have looked at in the last two weeks (either in lectures or tutorials) which struck home most forcibly for you? Can you say why? Give a short synopsis of what it was about the poem that touched your thoughts and/or feelings.
- (Creative) Take the first line of any one of the poems we have looked at in the last two weeks and use it as the first line of a poem of your own. Where possible try to use the shape, the form of the original poem that triggered your attempt.
- (Critical) Find a story in the media in the last two weeks that sheds light on the continuing difficulties faced by Indigenous communities in our country. Write a brief commentary on the story you have chosen. Can you offer any solutions to the dilemma as you see it?