Welcome on board Mission Australia

I have just started teaching an “Introduction to Literature” Course for Mission Australia. This happens at the Mission Headquarters in Surrey Hills. I have thoroughly enjoyed my two sessions there so far where we have introduced the three core genres of literature (poetry, fiction and drama) and are now busily working away at the poetry…

Shakespeare and Romanticism Week 5

Yesterday we explored Golding’s translation of Ovid’s image of the four ages of the world. How much we need the influence of that vision of the Golden Age! How accurate is that depiction of the Iron Age which seems to be the prevailing condition of human life on this planet… and yet we have someone…

Introduction to Literature Week 4

So we started poetry today and finished fiction – with a bang: Balzac and Poe. Two challenging stories that open the brain corpuscles just a little more. I must admit I do love the intensity of the writing in Balzac. He takes you right inside his characters’ feelings and emotions and there is such a…

Review of a Journal Entry

Hi folks, “59 Elpis” asked me to do a demonstration review of someone’s journal… I have finally got round to doing this…. in haste I may add; but I decided to stop right there with “59 Elpis” himself. Check out the entry for the 12th March which is on a poem by Josh…. I thought…

My Own Private Idaho

We watched this full length feature before our Shakespeare class: an amazing re-working of the Henry IV story set in the context of contemporary American gay and drug culture. It gave a real sense of how we might be missing the true flavour of Shakespeare through our sentimentalization of his world and his imagery. His…

PIG in the Gallery

What a great start to this new venture of Hosting poetry readings in the M. Art Gallery: thank you Ross K for the initative. Thank you students for supporting it with your LiveJournal poems and your attendance… and what a great spread of wines, cheezes, fruits of the forest etc. etc… Thank you Bill F…

Week 3

So week 3 is upon us and all is running smoothly. This week PIG (Poetry in the Gallery) happens at 4.45 in the Gallery. Be there or be square. Watch your peers read from their poetry. This is an opportunity for LiveJournal’s Creativity to migrate from cyberspace into real three dimensional space for the duration…

NIneteenth Century Literature Week 2

Sorry about the mishap yesterday! But we still had a very lively engagement with the ideas of the young Romantics. The film Pandaemonium was true “find”. It captured some of the revolutionary enthusiam (and danger) of being a Romantic at the turn of the 18th/19th Century. It is often hard to imagine authors in books…

Shakespeare Week 2

Thank you all for your enthusiastic participation as we ventured into the subversive Shakespeare. Sonnet 130 “My Mistress’ Eyes” really does show that Shakespeare was out to challenge the accepted paradigms of love in his day -and ours! For him the challenge to the artificial veneers of society was his core concern. He was/is an…

Start of Week 2

Hi all- well we are getting into our stride and the LiveJournal URLs are coming in thick and fast. I didn’t get a chance to say it at the end of last week, but I was very excited by the sea of lively first year faces at the lecture on Friday… another 100 Literature students…

Nineteenth Century Literature

So we are launched into the 19th Century with my mate William Blake steering his way through Enlightenment Pomposities and through the muck and muddle of the early days of the industrial revolution. As you can see from “The Garden of Love” and “London” he enjoyed stirring people into thinking hard about the restrictions they…

Shakespeare Unit- more for Week 1

I was really glad to be able to show you those clips from two versions of Twelfth Night. These scenes give so much insight into the core issues of the play as a whole and here we had two very different interpretations. The Trevor Nunn version (with Ben Kingsley and Helena Bonham Carter) really explores…

Back on Campus

So we are all back on Campus and it is not such a bad place to be. Let me here officially announce that the Winners of the 2005/2006 Poetry and Review Competitions were Young J for his poem “Hyperion” (which you can view in the Creative Community -click on the side bar for this- on…

Look at this

You would not believe what appeared on the tree fern just outside our front door: massive! at least 2 metres long from head to tip of tail. There clinging for its dear life while my two “docile” pups were barking their heads off… Oh the joys of nature. Click on the image if you want…

Shakespeare Unit off to a great start!

It was very satisfying seeing you all back and ready for another Semester of Literature. I’m sorry yesterday was so crowded- both in terms of the room space AND in terms of the content. I always underestimate HOW LONG it takes to get through all the technical stuff before getting down to the content…. you’d…

Prizes for LiveJournal Entries Autumn 2006

Hi All: these are the prizes I have selected for contributors to the Poetry Community and the Review Community over the Summer Break. For Poetry, Les Murrays selection of “The Best Australian Poems 2005” is a great prize. Published by Blackincbooks (www.blackincbooks.com) this contains a fantastic line-up of poets publishing NOW. Whoever wins this prize…

The sparse stage set

As the assistant director explained, they wanted a large, rather empty space to suggest an age in transition… a space that would give each of the characters lots of scope to express their individuality… There was a wonderful effect created by the sun streaming in through doors at the end with the sounds of birds…

The Cherry Orchard- Chekhov

Yesterday a group of us ( see attached pictures) went to see the Sydney Theatre Company production of The Cherry Orchard. The STC had imported the English Director Howard Davies to work with Sydney actors. The result was mind-blowing. Instead of the traditional Chekhov where you have rather listless people gazing into the distance with…

WEbCT 6

Hi all- well I have just finished the basic structure for your English Literature Units on WebCT. This year as you know we have moved “up” to WebCT 6. It has some great new features, but they take getting used to. I hope that you enjoy what you find and that you send me any…

Chaplin and Hitler

I watched a documentary on Charlie Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator” last night. This as an extraordinary case of art attempting to challenge politics. In this case the politics was embodied in “the greatest actor the world has ever seen”. These were Chaplin’swords about Adolf Hitler. So there are huge paradoxes here. Shakespeare was indeed on…

Chekhov and other things

Hi all. If you can get to Chekhov on the 1st of Feb then try to do so… see previous post. There is a free lecture before the show (10.30) followed by interviews with actors…. so contact Barbary Vickery and see if she can secure you a place. I had Teresa and David (year 2…

The Cherry Orchard

Hi all- have just secured a deal for all my students who want to see Chekhov’s the Cherry Orchard at the Wharf Theatre (especially applies to 2nd year students- but Chekhov is a MUST for ALL LIterature students). So here goes: contact Barbara Vickery at either: bvickery@sydneytheatre.com.au OR on 92501778. Tell her that you are…

Hi all- I hope you are finding some time to relax and gather your strength for next semester. Those of you doing Shakespeare with me should know about a book I have just finished reading: “Will in the World” by Stephen Greenblatt. If you can get hold of it it is a great introduction to…

Merry Christmas

Hi all, wishing you a merry Christmas for 2005! Our family has had its traditional Austrian Christmas yesterday (the 24th). We had 20 gathered in our house for lunch and then the sharing of gifts. My son David with his three children, Leeara, Alexandra and Josh came with his wife Renee. I won’t go through…

Poem

Leaves like wet tongues delicately lick the drops of fresh rain falling lightly from summer mist Rainbow Lorrikeets, green and blue and red Wet wings dripping with colour glow Flashing like knives through solid silver downpour High pitched noisy screetch as a flock of five thrash through the neighbourhood Wheeling, whirling in their search for…