Summative Entry: Reading Australia

Australian Literature helps me to expand the boundaries of my own experience.

Another semester has come to an end, yet again leaving me with a deeper insight into Australian literature and how these authors have, in turn, broadened the boundaries of my own experience. This has been evident through our close analysis and discussion of the works of Judith Wright, Patrick White, David Malouf, Francis Webb, and Sally Morgan. In their own unique way these authors have made me realise experiences within my life, made me make sense of them, and relate to them all through words I could never express myself.

I enjoyed the chance to get creative and having my own landscape to express some ideas that are close to me. Shaped by the ideas of these brilliant authors, I especially took on David Malouf’s theme of what is our purpose in life and what this all comes down to in our last moments of life. I explored this idea through a creative piece of discussing what I would do if I found myself in Adair’s circumstances. This can be viewed in  Blog 6: David Malouf of my Creative entries. This blog topic sparked more than I thought it would and made me realise consciously, what I deem most important in my life. Being able to express yourself is such a powerful opportunity. I found that one thought would spark the next, which is exactly what David discussed with us in our interactive seminar. Yet another great opportunity we were given to university students to meet with a successful author. He too said that when he was infused with literary ideas he would stop and let them stew, and finally cement them into what became the back to back packed novel of Conversations at Curlow Creek. These ideas and more can also be seen in Blog 8: David Malouf. Needless to say, I most enjoyed Malouf’s section of the unit as it related to my ideas of this world.

Another creative piece that I am proud of is Blog 4: In The Bush where I wrote about a time when I was in the bush and experienced more than just the material reality surrounding me. Here I felt a connection to authors such as Wright and Morgan and how their relationship to the land is always this intense and beyond reality. This helped to understand their poems and novel and how this earth we live in is so much more just our jobs, and house, and the worries we let ourselves build up in our heads. For moments like this, I realised I can always do what these authors express in their works and find clarity in nature.

As for my critical blog entries, I would say the one I found most depth and really pushed the boundaries of my experiences was Blog 2: Critical: Patrick White, Religious or not? In composing this blog I researched literary views on what critics believe about Patrick White and his stance on religion. I believe this will be a never-ending debate in which both sides seem plausible. I found this pushed the boundaries of my own experiences as I found myself more and more relating to White, in the sense that I identify a non-religious, yet all my big questions in life seem to always come down to faith, god, and religion. Yes, religion needs to a part of our world, for believers and non-believers. Perhaps this is also what White felt and tried to express through Stan Parker’s end of life experience.

Overall, the semester was beautifully filled with literature, art, authors, ideas, and discussions that continued this idea of constantly challenging and expanding the boundaries of my peers’ experiences and mine. Yet again I’m grateful for another semester of learning, exploring and expanding my own internal library of knowledge.

Till next year,

Sarah 🙂

Posted in Reading Australia, SUMMATIVE ENTRY, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Peer Review 8: Reading Australia

Hi Daniel,
I enjoy your spin on the time we spent with David Malouf. It is interesting how everyone has different highlights from the tutorial. I guess this is the beauty of literature. We always relate certain elements to ourself and find certain things more relevant.

I like your inclusion of a video, as it adds depth to your blog post. I think adding the weblink here would be beneficial as it gives your readers a place to go for more information and keeps your posts clear of any copyright issues.

Great job, Sarah

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Peer Review 7: Reading Australia

Hello Patricia,
Thank you for this insightful blog. I can see through this creative expression that you have thought about the impact that light has on our life. I like that you are incorporated all aspects of how light is good for us and how you have personified light in his entry. I would have loved to see more on how light made you feel and perhaps look into expanding each idea little more as the transitions between ideas could be smoother.
Good work 🙂

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Peer Review 6: Reading Australia

Wow, Nigel, I wish I had kept up to date with your blogs previous to this week! I thoroughly enjoyed this entry as your concisely express both a critical and creative aspect of the novel. Your ideas a rich and relevant and written with such a creative twist of language. I especially loved your opinion when you say.

“The dichotomy in Michael Adair’s psyche must have been torture! The fact that he spent the night respectfully conversing with the man he would eventually have to kill is testament to a benevolence and courage I doubt I would be able to muster. I am certain I would be seated with the gruff and seemingly uncaring men around the fire, trying to distance ourselves from the humanity of Daniel Carney and the abhorrent task we must perform in the morning.”

You have a wonderful ability to engage readers and develop strong ideas. Linking to another text is also highly relevant and beneficial in allowing others to understand the ideas through linking to another text.

My only critique is to do a final check over your work, as I found an error, “…eventually have to kill is testament to a benevolence and courage I…” Did you mean ‘a’ testament”?

Overall, I loved your blog! Good luck with the end of semester 🙂

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Blog 8: David Malouf

What do you learn most from the interactive seminar that we had with David Malouf last week?

First of all, I would like to say how much of a beneficial and enjoyable experience we shared with David Malouf. for myself, I believe this interactive seminar came at a crucial time in the semester to keep me motivated and focused at this time of the semester. The aspect that I think taught me most during this lesson was David’sconstructionn of his novel Conversations at Curlow Creek and how he developed his characters, settings, and storyline. Being the first time actually meeting a successful author I found all his discussion highly relevant and useful in terms of analysing his novel and picking up tips for my own creative and critical writing.

I learned most from David in how he said he always stops writing when he has an idea so he has something to go off the next time he sits down to compose. This way he said he has 24 hours to stew over his ideas and allow them to develop. During this seminar, I was shocked by this unveiling yet as he expressed himself more it clarified why this approach is so much more effective. Instead of being stuck in a certain section, this allowed me to see how he was able to develop and expand on his ideas and characters.

The next aspect of David’s seminar that intrigues me was how he pointed out that his novels are for slow readers. This is something I find very important in the act of reading especially in an educational setting. Although our society has shifted to fast-paced reading or scan reading, this is not appropriate for truly analysing a text. David addressed the need to engage with the characters. With this thought, he then said it is because of this deep engagement that the reader is able to discover his story in the same way he discovered it as he was writing it. I think this is very important as it allows the reader to comprehend a stronger understanding of the characters and voices.

Overall, this interactive seminar was a fantastic way to have a deeper understanding of David as a writer and his novel as a set text for our unit. This experience gave me a huge insight in the novel and very much assisted me in exploring more ideas and characters in the novel.



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Blog 7: David Malouf

Create your own topic drawing on this novel and weaving in aspects of your own experience. This can be either Creative or Critical.

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Blog 6: David Malouf

Write a paragraph in which you imagine yourself on death’s row with a few hours left before you are executed.

I’ve only got a few hours before they will end my life and I will cease to exist in this world as I have for the past 21 years. For this experience is exactly how so many poems, novels, and films have explained. All the material wealth in my life irrelevant, all the quarrels with unimportant people irrelevant, all the stress put into creating the facade we show the world… irrelevant. And for all these things, the only thing that does seem relevant is what makes us feel alive. In this moment, I know this is the only thing that keeps me wanting more and more time on this earth. The things that make one feel alive can come from bountiful areas, yet all stem from the one place. Energy. The world’s energy is given to us through love and the thought that this is about to end for me is the most terrifying fact of death. With death standing right in front of me I am brutally informed that I will never love again, never share a touch with a loved one, never laugh or cry with a friend, never again share an intimate memory. For these situations shared with a special person are what make humans feel alive, what makes them exist happily and most importantly, it is love that every human aims to achieve before they die. With death only moments away for me, it gives me this realisation and the hope that those who I truly loved, know it.

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