Category: x Blogging

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…

Nineteenth Century Literature- the Context of the Visual Arts: Enlightenment… Romanticism… Victorianism….

Art Gallery Quiz Questionnaire2019 HI All, we had an amazing experience this Wednesday, exploring the art of the Enlightenment, followed by the art of Romanticism (both in Europe and Australia) and then the art of the Victorian Era. These paintings depict many of the social and historical contexts and obsessions of the late 18th and 19th…

The Shakespeare Room and Shakespeare Resources in the Mitchell Library + Renaissance Art for Shakespeare Plus Students at ACU in 2019

Shakespearean Art in the NSW Gallery 2019 Thank you ALL for your outstanding attendance today- just about 100% – that is a record!!! The State Library with its wonderful Shakespeare statue outside (in one-time Shakespeare Place”) was a delight to be involved with- despite the life-endangering freeway that one has to cross to get there!!!!.…

Australian Art for Clemente Australian Literature Students

Hi All, we have had a wonderful experience this Monday exploring the ways in which Australian art, like Australian literature, tell the story about the Australian experience, OUR experience. We explored paintings from the earliest days of colonisation through to modern times. These paintings included works by Indigenous Aboriginal, Swiss, German, Italian and even some…

Wordsworth, The Romantics and Withering Frights!

I enjoyed very much this morning talking to you about one of my alltime favourite poems “Resolution and Independence” in which William Wordsworth celebrates the way his experience of life was profoundly challenged by meeting with a really old Leech Gatherer. This man had the “Resolution and Independence” which Wordsworth himself felt lacking in his…

Ben Jonson’s Shakespeare and More About Midsummer!

We had a wonderfully dramatic day today with hours spent on Ben Jonson’s extraordinary poem in praise of his rival William Shakespeare, followed by much hilarity watching Egeus challenging Theseus to help him tame his recalcitrant daughter into marrying the man she DOES NOT LURVE!! We then finished with a beautiful poetic rendering of the…

Australian Literature: Late Colonial- Early Federation: Gilmore, Lawson, O’Dowd etc….

So this is the period when Australian Literature and Art began to celebrate its independence from the tyranny of England: notice the fireworks over Sydney Town Hall on Federation day!!! But This was really not good enough for die-hard republicans like Henry Lawson and Mary Gilmore who saw the continuing injustices in Australia society- which…

Some Gems from the first crop of blogs

  Here is a beautiful description of a / Coleridgean apprecation of nature in the Australian context: https://anthonydigges.home.blog/ – Thank you Anthony! Here is a companion piece to Anthony’s: https://julieisajunkie.home.blog/   Thank you Julie for sharing your passion for the stillness of the Australian bush! Here is a wonderful account of a Wordsworthian moment in Nepal:…

Nineteenth Century Romantics Week 3!

Today we explored William Wordsworth’s Preface to the Lyrical Ballads. This is an amazingly revolutionary document in the context of its time, daring to acknowledge the worth of ordinary human being and daring to say that the language of the uneducated contains more essential truth than the language of most academics. Powerful stuff! And his friend Coleridge…

Shakespeare 2019- Week 2

See Judi Dench in the full video right here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSDQjEJTPzg Hi All, well we made it finally into A Midsummer Night’s Dream through the gateway of  The Sonnets and Shakespeare’s many-sided sexuality! And we also learned about his deep and passionate belief in the power of art, of literature, of poetry to transcend the ravaging effects…

Budjwa Bay Again

Back to my old haunt the wonderful Bay just West of Cowan. This an amazing spot to experience total silence- and yet so close to the city. Spiders were all the way down the track and ducking and weaving was the only way of ensuring that their food supply mechanism was not destroyed!

Shakespeare Week 1 2019

Hello All: a great start! Thank you all for your keen participation in our introduction to the world of Shakespeare and to the theme of love as it played out in two of Shakespeare’s contemporaries, Christopher Marlow and Sir Walter Raleigh. Here are the recordings for our class this week: enjoy. And here a few…

Wonderful New York Blogs from the Class of 2019: The Literature and Drama of New York.

The Best of the Bunch – those who earned a High Distinction in this assessment item are the top in the list: Emily Eicke Abbey Zito Mathilda Meader  Carina Field  Lauren Tribe Melody Carroll  Jessica Smith  Helen Citroni    AND  The rest were not far behind: NAOMI ZAKI:  Kristen Nicola  Adam Jones  Darcy Lucid  K’DOR: …

Day 9: Wrap up of the course/ discussion on Book of Mormon/ Harlem/ Central Park/Group Meal out/ Carnegie Hall: Sounds of the American Century

Wow! What an amazing day! And we are still standing- because of inclement weather we had to squeeze a number of items into this, our last day in New York: First here is our wrap up discussion and our reflections o the Book Of Mormon -Go James! Then we had a number of tour stops…

Class given to African American Clemente Students In the Centre of Harlem

What a gift this was to be to share my insights on and understanding of Australian Indigenous literature with this passionate, switched-on group of Harlem Clemente students. They were so keen to hear and know about their less well -off brothers and sisters down-under. I shared with them the way that our university supports Indigenous…

Wonderful James Baldwin Exhibition in Down-Town Manhattan

Don’t miss this one if you are staying on in NY. At 533 West 19th is this commemoration of America’s greatest contemporary African American writer. Photographs, art works, videos, stories and letters give a rare, more private insight into how this man transformed his life and helped profoundly to shift fixed attitudes toward African Americans.

Moma -NY 2019

A goodly handful of us had a wonderful treat today: not only did we see and discuss some of the more controversial Post WW2 American artists, but we had hour long wanderings among the most well known 20th Century modernists: Such a happy team 🤣👍🎶 Inside we started with iconic Rothko and Picasso: It is…

Day 7- Brooklyn & Brooklyn Bridge: Walt Whitman and Hart Crane

Hi All, here is the wonderful discussion we had this morning – about “Pies” then about Walt Whitman’s “epiphanic” (thank you Naomi!) depiction of New York in “Mannahatta”, followed by Hart Crane’s ecstatic description of Brooklyn Bridge. We also briefly compared Joseph Stella’s 1939 painting The Brooklyn Bridge (at The Whitney) with Hart Crane. So enjoy…

Day 5 Gospel Service in Harlem

Today Sunday we had the extraordinary good fortune to be part (again- last time in 2017) of the Gospel Service at the Canaan Baptist Church in Harlem: Personally I found this service incredibly powerful and moving, but I can also understand why some people might find it confronting and challenging. To this end I have…

The MET in New York

This post includes the morning tutorial on To Kill a MockingBird and on the insights gained from the literary tours. Go to the end of the blog for these…. We had a great tour through the Modern and Contemporary Gallery today looking at early 20th Century Regional Art – in the form of Thomas Hart…