Category: x Blogging

Cream of the Crop for Australian Literature 2019!

Thank you all for some fabulous blogging this semester. It has been a real feast to trawl through your many rich and creative insights into the literature of Australia. So many of you were able to express yourselves freely and openly, giving voice to what concerned you the most and finding ways of expressing your…

William Blake- Grand Finale

Today was the day that our illustrious group of students put their bodies, hearts and souls into dramatizing aspects of William Blake’s life and work. It was a wonderful display of how Blake’s ideas and life stories have touched the hearts of these young students. Their environmentalism, their concern for social justice and their care…

Robert Frost and Robert Lowell 2019

Two Roberts- Frost and Lowell This week we are exploring the contrasting worlds of Robert Frost and Robert Lowell, two iconic poets of North America who have done so much to “Sing America” in the Twentieth Century. Robert Frost, inheritor of the transcendentalists and of the energy of Walt Whitman, powerfully expresses his deep love for the American landscape…

The Beats & Postmodernism

I hope you have enjoyed exploring, interrogating this group of poets and artists. Perhaps top of the list, in my estimation, comes Patti Smith who gigantically carries forward the subversive, passionate impulse of Ginsberg, Kerouac, O’Hara and Ashberry. Here she is singing her heart out, challenging all the heartless stereotypes that infect contemporary America: https://youtu.be/LNnC8hYOmlw Blog…

Sacred Silence in Literature and the Arts

ACU students are welcome to attend this event for free on presentation of their student ID on the day. Come and be enlightened as never before and enjoy the company and the good food.  You can find the full program details right here: Sacred Literature Conference Program Final

American Modernism and Manifestos

Please find the audio lecture followed by the slides used and then the audio tutorial followed by the whiteboard image discussed. Modernism American 2019 Hi All, today we had a saunter through the highways and byways of American Modernism, beginning with William Carlos Williams and ending with Charlie Chaplin. Chaplin’s parody of Adolf Hitler in The…

William Faulkner – Week 8- As I Lay Dying

This week Jess ventured into the amazing territory of William Faulkner’s re-creation of the world from the inside. He takes us right into the centre of the consciousness of each of his characters Addie Bundren, Anse Bundren and their children (Cash, Darl, Dewey Dell, Vardaman and Jewel [fathered by Whitfield]. Each character has their own way…

Spring has Sprung 2019

A Spring morning walk around Cowan brought hundreds of new colours to life: red waratahs, purple comespermum (pink matcheads), purple boronias (both the ledifolia and the pinnata, yellow hakea salicafolio, bright blue dampiera, brilliant yellow ispogon and the powerfully pink eriostomon Australiensis. Add to this the amazing sight of rare night-jar spotted just before dawn…

Visionary Patrick White 2019: Riders in the Chariot

Patrick White: Riders in the Chariot What a wonderful world Patrick White takes us into in this remaking of the Australian social landscape in line with his own prophetic ambition to re-sacralize a spiritually desolate land. As he says in his essay “The Prodigal Son”: Because the void I had to fill was so immense, I…

William Blake’s Job Series juxtaposed against Brett Whiteley’s “Alchemy”

  What an amazing morning and early afternoon was had by us all today, starting in the Print Room in the NSW Art Gallery where we saw the actual, original prints from William Blake’s The Book of Job series. In this transformation Blake tells Job’s story in order to show how religion needs to move…

Patrick White 2019

Patrick White- Australia’s only Literature Nobel Laureate. “In all directions stretched the Great Australia Emptiness, in which the mind is the least of possessions, in which the rich man is the important man… in which beautiful youths and girls stare at life through blind blue eyes… the buttocks of cars grow hourly glassier, food means cake…

African American Literature- Since The Civil War

Images from Today’s Lecture:  African American Writing Recordings from today’s classes: Today we strode through a host of key writers, men and women, who were powerfully proclaiming the need for free expression and total acceptance as humans. Underpinned by Martin Luther King Jr, all these writers expressed passionately their sense of injustice and their need for healing.…

The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

I have also: The Bible of Hell: which the world shall have whether they will or no. For Blake The Marriage of Heaven and Hell occurs when the sanctimonious, commandment-loving Angel finally gives up his/her smug sense of superiority and happily embraces the flames of fire and joins the Devil’s party, a party which believes in the presence…

William Blake Songs of Innocence and Experience- Catch-Up-Week

Please find here the images and the wonderful audio discussions that wove around our exploration of some of Blake’s key songs, especially “London”, “The Divine Image” and “The Human Abstract”. Blog topics arising for this week include the following: CREATIVE: Use the first line of any of Blake’s poems and write your own poem, based…

Later Colonial Australian Literature – around the 1890s!

Tom Roberts Bailed Up: https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/833/ Hi All, Building on last week’s excursion into the literature of the first half of the 19th Century in Australia, here is a quick survey of some of the material I will be exploring with you this week: Colonial Literature 1890s 2019 This is the period when the Australian idiom in both…

William Blake The Songs of Innocence- 2 – With The Doors and Patti Smith…

Today we launched into The Doors‘ “Break on Through” and spoke about how this was a Blakean 20thC explosion manifesting musically Blake’s core idea of “cleansing the doors of perception” (from The Marriage of Heaven and Hell). We then plunged right on into Patti Smith’s wonderful “My Blakean Year” in which she sings about her heartfelt sense…

Early Colonial Australian Literature (2019)

Hi All, this week we begin our exploration of Nineteenth Century Literature in Colonial Australia. It begins with the voices of convicts, aboriginals, the first “native” born colonial poets (such as Charles Harpur and Henry Kendall) and some of the first women writers in the colony: Louisa Anne Meredith and Catherine Helen Spence. Browse through…

William Blake The Songs of Innocence and Experience 1

HI All, We had a fabulous morning (despite the sound system glitches) on William Blake’s “Contrary States” and then the way this idea is embedded and dramatized in The Songs of Innocence and Experience.  We talked about the ways in which these ideas have been taken up by Allen Ginsberg, by the Rock Group The Doors…

William Blake Visionary Imagination 1

Hi All, this is where I will be posting up a great deal about William Blake and Visionary Imagination… stay tuned: William Blake’s Death Mask: what a powerful face! In today’s lecture we looked at what is meant by “Visionary” imagination, with a special reference to Allen Ginsberg’s epiphany in reading the poem “Ah! Sunflower”. …

American Literature 2019 Session 1

  Today we romped through an historical and cultural survey of American Literature, beginning with the early 17th Century and ending up with Tupak today! We also had a wonderful tutorial exploring Thoreau’s decision to live “deliberately” and not to die feeling that he hadn’t really lived. This paragraph provoked some powerful deep self-questioning by…

Australian Literature Mid-Winter Spring 2019- Week 1: The Mountain has its own Meaning.

In Australian Literature today we explored the themes that arise from the line from Judith Wright’s poem “Rockface” in which she declares “the remnant of a mountain has its own meaning”. This image from Russel Drysdale’s Desert Landscape captures similar resonances to Judith Wright’s poem: https://m.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/OA15.1959/ Drysdale, like Judith Wright seems to honour the dignity of…

A Pome- from a recently discovered Manuscript of a play by W. Shakespeare

Spring is come The grass is riz Oi wonder where the flowers iz But Shakespeare was wrong this time: the flowers are blooming, exploding around Sydney now in the dead of winter!!. This is the amazing aspect of living on the 33rd parallel: the seasons cannot make up their minds: is it winter? is it…

Best Shakespeare Blogs 2019

Thank you all for some wonderful Shakespeare Blogs. This has indeed been a feast. Please check out some of the wonderful contributions listed below Shakespeare in a Rainbow! Best Summative Entry- with a focus on why Shakespeare continues to be important in our own time: https://georgiahoulihan.wordpress.com/2019/05/06/summative-entry-shakespeare-and-renaissance-literature/ Thank you Georgia! Honest Summative Entry reflecting on the…

The Importance of Being E(a)rnest- and Oscar Wilde as a driving force in the Fin de Siécle….

This week we explored the world of Oscar Wilde, especially his trenchant, satiric, criticism of the Victorian Age. We had the great good fortune to watch David Suchet play the role of Lady Bracknell in this play. He transforms Lady Bracknell into the grotesque image of the upper middle class that Oscar Wilde was so…

Week 10: Shakespeare- The Merchant of Venice.

This week we started exploring the world of Shakespeare’s mid career play The Merchant of Venice. We also looked at episodes from the Globe Theatre’s amazing recent production: Here is the link for the play: https://globeplayer.tv/videos/the-merchant-of-venice-english and here is the audio for our lecture in Week 10. Slides for this lecture you will find in LEO!  

Some fabulous Blogs coming out of The Clemente Mount Druitt class! Please comment on their blogs!

Hi All, I am just working my way through the blogs produced by our Mount Druitt, Clemente contingent. Many of these students are coming to study for the first time, or are returning to study from many years ago. They will love any comments you will give them, and there are some fabulous entries there.…

Tolstoy!

Please find the slides for this week posted into Leo Module 9. Here is the audio for this week. This contains vital information for your final assessment!   BLOG TOPICS for WEEK 9: CREATIVE 1. Write a short paragraph describing a family conversation in which it is clear that all parties in the conversation are…

Matthew Arnold’s Scholar Gypsy and the Victorian Context…

Today we explored the wider context of educational ideas in the Victorian era, focussing on John Stuart Mill, Cardinal Newman, Charles Dickens and finally Matthew Arnold. His poem about the student who absconded from Oxford University to find a deeper truth to life’s questions still sits with us today as a powerfully relevant poem. The…

Hard Times Continued…..

We had great fun this morning exploring the way Thomas Gradgrind (Sir!) introduces himself in his own mind to the classroom full of little pitchers. Here he accosts Sissy Jupe for her lack of factual knowledge about horses and praises wonderful Bitzer for his “bitzy” factual knowledge of a horse. Thank you Angelina and Steph…

Shakespeare’s The Tempest 1

Today we broached Shakespeare’s last great masterpiece The Tempest, the play which presents some of his greatest poetry within a story that can stand as a model for humanity’s quest for harmony within a world of chaos. We watched the opening act of the play in The London Globe Theatre’s latest performance. The link for this performance is…