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August 2012

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Aug. 4th, 2012

First Assignment....

Australian Literature: 
Critical: Give your personal response to the opening pages of Dead Man DanceWhat do think about this writer's ability after our intensive session on it today?
  • The opening pages of Deadman Dance by Kim Scott speak of nature, characters, and the beginnings of the plot which have something to do with Bobby's fascination with whales. On the surface, this novel is about a young boy who feels a sense of comfort with nature and loves the freedom that the ocean in particular provides for himself and the whales. However, Scott is hinting at something more than just a child who identifies himself with the whales. The author conveys through the first couple of paragraphs in Dance just how perhaps restrained Bobby feels in his reality. Bobby must escape his own reality in order to feel comfort and his escape happens to be an ocean with whales. Whales by themselves are massive creatures, unaggressive, who parade the oceans in grandeur. Bobby would like to be like a whale---massive and majestic able to swim through the ocean (which symbolizes life. The ocean is water and without water we die). So in theory, Bobby would like his freedom from whatever is tying him down. Bobby desires not only the freedom to just "be" but also the freedom to learn and be productive. The first few lines illustrate him trying to learn how to write even though he knows he is not good at it. This suggests innovation. Bobby has an innovative and curious nature that pushes him to want more than what he has. So far, not bad for Australian Literature. 
  • As far as Scott's ability to portray all of this I'd say that it's a good 8/10. The author conveys his ideas through a plethora of metaphors and symbolism and such. Scott illustrates most of these through sense (touch, taste, see) because I suppose that senses are most primitive/ most instinctual and Bobby happens to be relying on instinct because he is not "civilized" yet. (Or as Huck Finn/Twain would say, "civilised". This reminds me a lot of the American novel Huckleberry Finn...a boy on a journey towards self discovery) However, I would not say that is the best author I've read. I'm just not a huge fan of contemporary literature...but so far so good. :D 

Creative: The Mountain Has Its Own Meaning. What did this idea make you think about your own relationship to the Australian landscape? Do you have any thoughts about how you/ we should be relating to the landscape around us?
  • To be quite honest, I don't have a relationship with the Australian landscape. Partially because I've lived in new York my entire life. I arrived in Australia a couple of weeks ago and noticed how much like the American "South" this country looks like. It really is astounding. Australia looks on the outside extremely relaxed. The wildlife is absolutely gorgeous. It reminds me a lot of North Carolina, USA which has a ton of wide open spaces   with the only difference that Australia is the home of gorgeous birds. BUDGIES! In America, we call them Parakeets. I can't believe those just fly around on a regular basis. AMAZING. 
Critical: Write a brief appraisal of some of the paintings you saw today: David Boyd's Mad Hatter in the Australian Landscape; John Glover's "My House and Garden" orEugene Von Guerard's "Weatherboard Falls". What did any of these paintings make you think about the artist's attitude to the landscape. 
  • David Boyd's Mad Hatter: Abstract. I couldn't see it clearly but I could tell there was a white man of some sort, most likely British (top hat) and men of color (Aboriginals?). I feel as though they are being colonized perhaps? The landscape is described in a way that isn't only abstract but also aggressive and controlling. In reference to the Mad Hatter, that is obviously a Lewis Carroll allusion (Through the Looking Glass, Alice in Wonderland) and symbolic of the British man. This man is "Mad" with power and overall has a crazy look to him as well. The artist was taking a historical perspective, doing a critique against the treatment of the aboriginals during the times of colonization. 
  • John Glover's House and Garden: I absolutely adore the lighting in this piece. It is a dim, yellow/orange light which falls upon the landscape. This from a farmer's perspective, I would think, living the calm life. There is wildlife in abundance along with water as a source of life. Beautiful. The artist seems to believe that the Australian Landscape is plentiful and littered with promise. 
  • Von Guerard's Weatherboard Falls: Looking at this painting I love the view of the misty distance. It symbolizes an ambiguity towards the future. It is apparent that the present of the land is cemented (or rocky), however, the future is misty. The little man towards the bottom is cognizant of the fact that the Australian lands hold promise as he is pointing into the distance. The terrain is show off into the distance which is symbolic of how large this continent is. Guerard's perspective is much like Glover's showing the land full of potential. 
PART ONE OF THE ASSIGNMENT COMPLETE!


Introduction to a new Blog

This is my 40th attempt at consistent blogging. I have tried livejournal, wordpress, blogger, tumblr----to no avail and yet I continue to come back to it. Why? Well, it is quite simple really--I love to write. That is all. I just love writing and I continue to write because I would like to be consistent.

My current blog is on Tumblr: dailycupofliterterature.tumblr.com


We'll see how this turns out. 

Stay golden,
E