Australian Literature Summative Entry

Throughout my studies into Australian Literature over this semester, I have developed a love for Australian writing. This love has evolved through the flexibility of expression I found in blogging about my experience. As an artist, I believe that creative expression is deeply fundamental to the human experience, and through my studies of Australian literature and its deep-rooted relationship with art, I have been able to nurture a self-directed exploration and appreciation of this concept.

Creating critical blog posts allowed me to develop a new perspective towards the texts, understanding their value in forging a national identity. I found I was often inspired to research and critique writers who’s manipulation of language could conjure a vivid experience of imagery, such as Judith Wright and Henry Lawson (the latter of whom you may find a critical blog post here.) I believe as human beings we thrive for creative expression, we use this to control or understand our experiences and the world around us. I was drawn to writers and artists who could capture a moment and place me in the scene, to understand and appreciate the human experience. To understand how the language and landscape of a nation developed.

Through my creative blog posts, I considered the value of Australian Storytelling and how this creative expression reflects the human experience. Drawing from Australian idioms, colloquial language and the landscape, I explored narratives deeply rooted within the culture and context of our Australian history. I thoroughly enjoyed engaging my own experiences with inspiration from my studies of Australian Literature and Art and writing creative blog posts (such as this) felt liberating. Critiquing my peers’ blog posts (like this) also allowed me to be open to a range of opinion and encouraged me to consider improving some inadequacies present in my own writing.

As a returning student, it had been years since I had created a structured piece of writing. I knew I was out of practice, and for the first few weeks, the thought of creating a body of work felt daunting. The freedom of creative and critical expression enabled me to explore my understanding of language, technique, and value through a truly personal process. I believe storytelling is a fundamental vessel for human creativity and through the writers and artists we have studied this semester,  I have been able to understand the value of the Australian narrative.

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Tia Falls Valley

 

Peer Blog Review 7

This week I have added to Brianna’s discussion on Les Murrays poem “The Cool Green”

https://briannamwblog.wordpress.com/2016/05/18/288/

Hi Brianna,
You raised an interesting point, suggesting that the issues argued within the poem are still relevant in our culture despite the poem being written over a decade ago. Poetry often documents the human experience, and I think because of this, many poems we have studied in Australian Literature still feel ‘relevant’ despite their age. Also, a beautiful analogy between Murrays idea that “we are money’s genitals” and reproductive organs. We are the link that creates the unbreakable cycle of money. Great insight!

Peer Blog Review 6

This week I had the pleasure of reading Louise’s post on grief and poetry.

https://louiselyons1.wordpress.com/2016/05/09/week-9-blog-6/

“Hi Louise,
You have a powerful appreciation and interpretation of poetic language.
I agree with your insights on “The Almond-tree in the King James version” by Rosemary Dobson, I thought it was a very interesting expression of loss. Your post is very well written and the only suggestion I might give is to consider including a visual interpretation or link your work to some support material.
Well done!”

Peer Blog Review 5

This week I added to Andrew’s discussion on European destruction in the Australian landscape

https://andrewgiammarco.wordpress.com/2016/03/18/differing-outlooks/comment-page-1/#comment-7

“Hi Andrew
Not only in retrospective history” this suggests that there continues to be a difference between Europeans and indigenous Australians today. Perhaps you could clarify these insights? As your finally statement argues, there is a European greed creating destruction as they purge the Australian landscape. I understand this to be your focus when you discuss ‘differences’. I believe through creating paragraphs and tidying up your initial statements this could be expressed in a stronger way.”

Patrick White, Prodigal Son

To Patrick White

Did you find your roots?
You say Australian life ‘aquired a meaning’ in 1958, but the issues you describe are still present.  Most pockets of our society are infected by a tall poppy syndrome. We cherish the ‘bloke,’ ‘the underdog’ and cast aside the ‘intellectual’. As you believed  ‘in all directions stretched the Great Australian Emptiness,’ you were not talking about empty landscapes, but empty humans. As a writer of conflicted allegiances perhaps at this time, you did not think to scratch past the surface? Even I, an Australian born and bred, can see the ‘exaltation of average,’ but often I understand this to be humility or a surface value, and as you did say, we must strive to find the extraordinary behind the ordinary. You found the extraordinary in the world of plants and music and silence. But did you find the extraordinary in Australian society and in yourself?

Peer Blog Review 4

This week I on commented on Felicity’s creative blog post influenced by the Appin Massacre.

https://felicitymcmanus.wordpress.com/2016/05/06/6th-blog/

“Hi Felicity,
An interesting creative response to the Appin Massacre, I think the perspective of narration you have taken was very clever. Perhaps you could further develop a sense of the cultural climate of 1816. It is possible that this response in the white community during that time would have felt very conflicting to the protagonist. A development of character would be very interesting.
Also, be mindful of your use of language for example ‘feel a strange feeling inside’ is repetitive. There were a few sentences that could be further refined.
Overall, well done!”

Early 20th Century Poetry. Judith Wright

Recently I went on a weekend stay not far from Armidale. It was a long car trip in the ’65 Falcon, and as we hit the New England Highway, I thought of Judith Wrights poem “Niggers Leap, New England” and how close we would be to the location illustrated in the text. The following day we went to the lookout, the deep chasm was cool and windy in the dry heat.

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Our view from the lookout

 

Judith Wright was once called “the conscience of the nation”. I believe her work was intrinsic to the formation of a modern Australian voice through her passionate engagement in the world of poetry, activism and reconciliation. Below you will find a digital kit that explores the life and work of Judith Wright

Biographical
http://www.nla.gov.au/events/doclife/brady.html
http://www.miscelaneajournal.net/images/stories/articulos/vol16/bureu16.pdf
Biographies on Judith Wrights life and writing. Drawn from Wrights’ Autobiography.

Writing and Values
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfwBDnaarmo
One in series of lectures from the wheeler Centre on Australian literature, Chris Wallace-Crabbe discusses the poetry of Judith Wright, her career, character, and consciousness.
Judith Wright found a modern Australian language.

http://aso.gov.au/titles/tv/poetry-australia-judith-wright/notes/
A rare interview with Judith Wright. The discussion draws on Wright’s passion towards major themes that emerge in her work. Interestingly these are often issues we still grapple with in Australia today, such as environmental devastation and the loss of Indigenous culture and belonging.

Interpretation
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCpXd9v-9ag
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jHv1VLt4rY
Katie Noonan and the Brodsky Quartet reimagines the words of Judith’s Wrights poems through song and music. Judith wright once notably commented that she didn’t want her poetry taught in schools as she objected to “being turned into an instrument of torture for school children,” she went on to say that “everybody ought to be introduced to poetry… but I don’t think they should be penalised for not liking it.” This project which sets Judith Wrights poems to music invites everyone to access her writing, even those who aren’t partial to poetry.

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Judith Wright, pictured in the Brisbane Times