Today we explored the world of this amazing novel focussing on the nature and purpose of story telling. As David Malouf has so powerfully said in a lecture to Macquarie University students:
Story telling is a kind of public dreaming. But before a story can be public- be published- it has to find a place in some individual mind. Some writer or painter or maker of images has to take the real mucky world of experience, or the real place or plant, into his consciousness and find a form for it there that we all recognise, and through which we can make it ours. That too is a kind of pioneering, of exploring and mapping and settling and will have to go for as long as we are around. It is part of the work of possession I spoke of, and needs a particular sort of nature to do it, a certain kind of concentration and dedication; it is also, I think, even in the most egotistical of us, intended in a quite humble way as a contribution and gift.
So why, in this story, has David Malouf created a narrative that has no clear and neat closure? Is he wanting this story to take fire in our imaginations in a way that doesn’t give us any easy security?
Here are some questions that you might like to try for your David Malouf Blog this week:
1/ Describe in your own words the conflict in Michael Adair between his outer and inner world.
2/ Write a paragraph in which you imagine yourself on death’s row with a few hours left before you are executed.
3/ Write a paragraph in which you describe the Light. What impact is it having on your body, your mind and your feelings.
4/ Write a letter to David Malouf telling him how his poetic language impacts your understanding.
5/ Create your own topic drawing on this novel and weaving in aspects of your own experience. This can be either Creative or Critical.