Blast from the Past!

Heeey LiveJournal, I'm still alive!!! It has been a very long time since I've last checked up on this site, but it's still heree! Ahhhh, good memories of working hard on my many texts in English/Literature at ACU...goood timesss. I'm gunna go listen to Credence Clearwater Revival or maybe Blink 182 and be nostalgic, If anyone still reads/ looks at this I finished last year with a BA in Media and have been traveling for the last 10 and a bit months across the US and Europe and I got a tattoo, ...pretty sweet. I hope to make it a full year- it has been the best year of my life by far. Anyway..................... Au revoir! To the next 10 bloody years ay!

Mislav B

From Kemptown, Brighton, UK, 2013!!!!!!!!!

...left ACU

[*Just reminding that I have actually changed uni's this year so it looks like i will not be posting anymore entries for this literature course at ACU...cheers for the fun year, cheers


Week 12 Entry

Whilst brainstorming some ideas and beginning to write week twelves entry, to my sudden realisation I discovered that this in fact is the last entry of the semester and hence of the year! This in turn prompted me to look back and recap what my first year of studying Literature was like, and also realising how quickly it has gone and passed.

I can truly say that through our study of a huge range of text and topics, from 'Journey to the Stone Country', to 'The Conversations at Curlow Creek' and everything in between I have learnt a great deal about not only the content of these texts but even more importantly to appreciate their significance and individuality and relevance. In terms of what I enjoyed the most our of this semester, primarily I enjoyed the drama module and even more so our current study of 'Conversations at Curlow Creek.' Both of these text types gave me a much greater knowledge and understanding of the areas of fiction and drama and improved my ability to analyse/ interpret and 'breakdown' the foundations of these texts; in terms of their use of structure, language, Imagery , form, content, etc. It's strange and surreal to think how quickly the semester and the whole year has gone, but I am confident I have learnt much about the subject of Australian Literature in this time. Overall I can proudly say that I enjoyed and learnt much in my first semester of Literature102 and look forward to broadening my horizons and developing my knowledge further and further.

Now to talk particularly about one of my favourite texts that we have studied this semester , 'The Conversations at Curlow Creek', by David Malouf.

After finishing the novel, initially, like many I am sure, I had a problem with the ending/ Epilogue of the novel. I found that it was extremely vague and transparent in its nature as it left many questions open and unanswered as the fate of many of he key characters of the novel are not answered. I found that the ending of the novel was particularly vague in that the fate of both Carney and Fergus and to some extent Adair also, are untold as we are given two sides of the ending of the story; we are left to decide whether Carney escaped from his death as portrayed in the tale that the towns people describe, or if in fact Carney was hung and killed. The lives and deaths of these key characters are extremely important/relevant to the backbone of the story as these characters reflect the position of Adair; if he let Carney free has he become a changed man, free from his 'old fashioned' ways and self consciousness and his inability to be free? or if he in fact allowed Carney to be hung, is he like his old-self- unchanged by his experiences with Carney and the search for Fergus?

Initially I found that Malouf leaving these main dramatic and extremely relevant questions out from the ending of the book extremely frustrating as I found myself putting the book down in disbelief and to some extent even shock. Although this was the case initially as I found myself pondering over/thinking about the ending and the overall nature of the ending of the novel the more I found the endings relevance and I began to realise why Malouf decided to end the novel in that way.

After much thinking, I came to the conclusion that in my opinion, Malouf chose to end 'The Conversation at Curlow Creek' the way he did because the nature of the story forced him to. I believe Malouf ended the novel the way he did because in terms of the history of Australian folk tales and great stories, E.g. Ned Kelly, the truth is always altered to some extent to create the character of the story to fit into the opinion that a society builds that character in. I found Malouf was reflecting the nature of this idea/notion as the information used in the stories of all of the great heroes of Australia's history, particularly in terms of its bush rangers, are to some extent fabricated or changed for the purpose of how people wish to see the story ( a perfect example of this can be seen in the episode of the Simpsons were Lisa discovers that Jebadiah Springfiled, the fouder of the Springfield, was in fact a criminal pirate- a fake, but she decides to not tell anyone because the legend of Jebadiah and what it did for people was more important/relevant than the truth.)

Another primary reason for Malouf ending the novel in the nature he did, can be seen as I found that Malouf was portraying the idea that themes/aspects that the novel portrays, E.g. love, loss, pain, suffering, death, redemption, justice, truth, society, etc (very philosophical questions), are not a simple right or wrong/yes or no answer- it is not a 'Conceptual Shift', as you would say in art history. These questions do not hold a simple answer and hence Malouf could not present a simple answer to these questions as portrayed through the novel.

Once realising these such aspects I found that I understood and appreiciated the novel to a much greater extent as I realised the novel must grown on you for you to understand it properly.

On the subject of 'Conversations at Curlow Creek', although I couldn't make the interview our class had with David Malouf as a result of an injury, I have listened to it on the internet and found it to be extremely insightful and interesting and I found that his description of characters in response to the questions of the class actually helped me understand the ending and overall nature of the novel to a much greater extent. Overall I enjoyed my study of 'The Conversations at Curlow Creek' by David Malouf greatly and can say I got a lot out of it.

I look forward to further work in Literature ( also my fingers hurt from typing to much haha.)

By Mislav.B

Week 11Entry

This week we have continued and delved deeper into the study of 'The Conversations at Curlow Creek', by 'David Malouf'. At this point in time I am roughly two thirds through the novel and can honestly say that I am enjoying the novel quite a lot and am finding it to be a great read, particularly in comparison to the context of our study of 'Journey to the Stone Country.'

I have found that the further I have read into 'The Conversations at Curlow Creek' aspects such as the context/portrayal of the themes, imagery, use of illusion, character build up/description and use of emotion are further used and developed and become central to the core/weight of the novel. Another significant aspect of the novel is that of the theme of relationships that exist between the characters of the novel. Personally I have found that the relationships that exist within the novel are vital in portraying the themes and Ideas that underlie the novel as through the emotion portrayed in these relationships the true intent of the author is displayed, in terms of his portrayal of such ancient philosophical ideas as aspects such as that of justice, love, hate, beauty, and ultimately the true meaning or essence of ones life.

I have found that these such age old philosophical ideas and questions are primarily expressed/portrayed in the novel through the personal views of both Adair and Carney, and are explored through both of their own personal memories of their lives and their past experiences. Personally I think that Malouf has portrayed a very realistic picture here as it seems only logical that for one to gain meaning from their lives it is only natural and normal to look into ones lives and ones past, as these experiences could hold these answers, or in the least will give one a greater understanding.

I think Malouf portrays particularly interesting relationships between Adair, Fergus and Virgilia. He portrays the very essence of ones childhood by portraying all the love, loss, joy, anger, and ultimate knowledge that people experience from their childhood and as they grow. These aspects can be seen in the simple example of the situation in the novel that portrays Adair, a realistic and self aware character, and his love for Virgilia, an outgoing creative individual, whilst Virgilia has feelings for Fergus, Adair's step brother.

This relationship can be seen as a key theme of the novel as both Adair, Fergus and Virgilia effect each other in dramatic ways, in that each of them relies on one another as friends as they grow up and learn about life together, as Adair states in the novel, ' More and more they made up a company of their own...there grew up between them an intimacy of three that had its own changing history, its own moods and uneasy calms, its rivalries, struggles for supremacy, unstable resolutions. Its own language too'(Pg 78.) Overall I think the overall theme of relationships and the relevance of relationships in the novel can be seen through this passage as it portrays the power/influence that Adair, Fergus and Virgilia have over each other and in turn deeply effect each other and hence the central themes/ideas of the overall novel.

I think the novel is extremely successful in its portrayal of characters, use of imagery and descriptive language, use of themes and content of story as Malouf creates an extremely interesting story that explores many factors and questions of life and death and the essence of happiness (personally I enjoy such novels as these as a result of my study in philosophy.)

Overall at this point in the novel I am looking forward to continuing my reading of the novel to find out how each of these characters stories evolve and ultimate end. I am eager to finish as I can confidently say Malouf has successfully lured me into the story as I have found myself wanting to read on.

By Mislav.B

Week 10 Entry

This week we began our study of 'The Conversations at Curlow Creek', by 'David Malouf'. From my overall insight into the background of the novel in terms of context, themes and overall style , I was particularly looking forward to interpreting the themes of the novel, whilst also being interested in the author 'David Malouf' and his perception on the novel in terms of what he is trying to portray/the themes of the novel etc.

In our tutorial this week we covered an overall basis of the novel as we deciphered the initial reading of the novel, in terms of the characters introduced, the themes introduced and just the overall style, feeling and tone of the novel. We also analysed the use/role of language and imagery and the effect that these aspects create. To gain these insights we read the first five pages of the novel.

Initially I found that 'The Conversations at Curlow Creek' began with/displayed a sense of heavy imagery and a use of descriptive language as situations of images described evoke different senses that must be interpreted, as seen in the very first sentence of the first page of the novel, 'The only light in the hut came from the doorway behind him.' I found that this sentence automatically set the mood of the novel as being filled with dark themes/Ideas as alluded by the light in this opening. sentence. I also found that I wanted to read on as I wondered who this character that has just been introduced was and what his story was/ his connection to the story.

Reading on I found that the use of heavy Imagery and descriptive language was used by Malouf further as the scene of the hut is described as being dark, dirty and untidy; further connecting to the symbolic use of darkness. These themes can be seen in this paragraph through the use of the language, 'stifling gloom', 'the choking sense of confinement.'

In these opening chapters of the novel I found that Malouf introduces a distinctly dark yet descriptive style of writing as he portrays the characters of the novel that have been introduced thus far as being in a sense trapped in Australia. In turn I found that Malouf portrayed Australia in a particularly negative tone/light as aspects of its baroness, its huge size, its isolation and its overall starkness/strange quality. Personally I think this is an interesting tone for the novel and I can see how the characters of the novel will develop as a result of their connection to the Australian landscape and Australian way of life in the outback/ the bush.

Overall thus far I have enjoyed my introduction to 'The Conversations at Curlow Creek', by 'David Malouf' and am eagerly looking forward to continue on the novel, I think the novel is interesting and peculiar and above all extremely individual in its style, so I am looking forward to it.

By Mislav.B

Study Break*

Overall I enjoyed my study week greatly and found that I needed the break. Apart from writing essays for both philosophy and science and doing a painting for Art/Painting, and in between relaxing/ reassociating myself with my PS2, I also read over the text that we were to be studying next in Literature, primarily readings reviews of the book to understand the style and primary themes of the novel and also just to get an overall insight into the text.

Overall I enjoyed my study week (particularly not having to travel on the train) and as a result am looking forward to our Literature study of our next text; 'Conversations at Curlow Creek', by David Moaouf.


Week 9 Entry

This week we began our study of Drama and in particular Australian Drama of the 1970's.

Personally, apart from my experience of drama that I gained from roughly year seven to year eight or nine in high school, I have not been involved drama at all (although I do remember enjoying those old classes.)

When I heard that we were to be placed in groups and perform a particular piece of Australian Drama from the 1970's period (my groups play; 'A Hard God') initially I can honestly say I was quite worried. Although this was my first reaction I found that as I read through the text that my group was to be performing I began to enjoy the play as I found the scenario, characters and overall style of the play to be quite interesting and individual.

Personally I found the act that our group was to perform conveyed its story and sense of style and pace primarily through use of dialogue. I found that a strong sense of family is created as the characters of 'Joe', 'Jack', 'Paddy', 'Aggie' and 'Martin'-(as played by me) interact and portray themes of love, loss, suffering (as aspects such as financial struggles, the effects of the depression etc are mentioned) joy and even themes of the sub conscious (Martin's dreams and their relation to his mother) are portrayed. I found the act to be very well written yet subtle as I found my self enjoying the text more the further I read.

Overall in terms of themes I found 'A Hard God' portrays the effects of alienation on the immigrant Family of the play and the difficult life faced by working-class people/families after World War 2. I found the play also portrayed Australia as a harsh and new land as the Family in the play are forced to overcome their past and survive in their new home. These themes also kept me interested in the play as I found my self interested in this context in terms of Australian history and the place/relevance of this family in it.

Although we were a little underprepared in terms of rehearsal time, as well as that one of our group members was missing on the day of the performance, overall I think our performance group to played and portrayed the act/scene successfully. Personaly, I found our groups performance to be an enjoyable and interesting experience that gave me a sense of a reintroduction to the subject of Drama and specifically Australian Drama.

I think we portrayed our characters quite successfully and depicted them realistically and individually, although in terms of aspects of our act that needed improvement; aspects such as use of costume could have been incorporated, although we did not have much as much time to prepare as we would have hoped for and overall I think we did a great job.

In terms of the others groups performing the large range of 1970's Australian Drama, I found each group to be very interesting and individual in their performances and in particular I found their personal portrayal/interpretation of the act to be interesting; E.g. in terms of their use of set, props, costume, character portrayal etc. In particular I found Group Four's use of costume and props to be quite effective.

Overall, I enjoyed the experience greatly and look forward to further studies in the field of Australian Drama of the 1970's.


Week 8 Entry - (Favourite Poem so far...)

This week, in furthering our study of the poetry of Judith Wright, we delved into and interpreted a range of new poems.

I particularly enjoyed the works 'Patterns' and 'Two Dream Times' that we covered in the tutorial this week.

Unlike the poems that we have studied in the past I found that these two poems were distinctly individual in that they were extremely detailed poems that represented a range of very different and very descriptive/deep and philosophical themes/Issues. Although the styles and themes of the poems differ greatly in terms of their substance and individual character each poem is successful in its own right as through a range of techniques the themes and styles of the poems are portrayed and can be analyzed and interpreted.

'Patters' is a poem that deals with a variety of Issues many of which are hard to distinguish or awsner, E.g. aspects of human morality and the human good. In this respect it can be seen that the poem is one that is hard to decipher and one that Initially I found tough although extremely enjoyable. The poem is not very literal and rather relies purely on language to convey the themes of the poem.

Because of this I enjoyed the poem greatly because I enjoy such poems that create an artwork with use of simple yet descriptive language such as this.

Through the use of strong Imagery and poetic style Wright creates a very strange and sombre poem that portrays a feeling of hopelessness and failure in terms of the quest for the good of mankind, particularly through knowledge. The poem describes how the 'goodness' of man or peace in mankind cannot be gained through knowledge as seen when Wright stubbornly criticizes the great ancient Greek philosophers,'Well Greek, we have not found the road to virtue.'

The poem displays the evils of man through developments in technology as allusions to nuclear war whilst, again on the philosophical side of the poem, the poem describes how the world and the spirituality of the world is complicated and unreachable by man, rather than a simple 'yin & yang' style explanation.

The evil and ominous description of the nuclear weapons in the poem describe the evils of man and the evils of technology, 'bombs and warheads crouch waiting their time.The poem is also very spiritual in its reference to aspects such as fire and the universe as the poem questions humanity as a race. The overall negative tone of the poem encapsulated as Wright describes her loss in hope through the metaphor of the fire not warming her in winter,'I shiver by the fire this winters day.'

Also at times the serious and negative tone of the poem is interjected with moments of irony and sarcasm as Wright describes 'Strontium'- a chemical involved in nuclear weapons; significant in terms of Hiroshima, as being "a good conductor of electricity."

Although initially I found the poem difficult to interpret, after a few more reads of the poem I found it to be a great poem and indeed personally one of Judith Wrights best.

In terms of the themes of disillusionment and loss of understanding and hope 'Two Dream Times' is a poem that is similar to that of 'Patterns.'
Personally I found 'Two Dream Times' describes a story similar to that of Alex Miller's 'Journey to the Stone Country' in that it is a poem that describes the realization of the past atrocities committed by westerners to the Aboriginals in Australia.

In the poem the protagonist/ character of the poem describes how he shares great love with his past in terms of the Aboriginals and outback land, but he feels that he cannot erase the horror's of the past and he wants to honor the Aboriginals that he respects so. I found the main themes expressed in the poem were that of love, passion, loss, pain, suffering and ultimately acceptance.

By Mislav.B

Week 7 Entry

This week we delved into the beginning of our study of the poetry of Judith Wright. We analysed and interpreted a number of Judith Wright’s poems which personally gave me quite an in-depth outlook/ perception of Judith Wright’s style and use of themes/ Ideas and the morals that she convyes.

I found her poetry holds many connections to the subject of nature and the power/strength of nature and its ability to affect people and change them. Also I found these themes connect to aspects of spirituality/soul in terms of the connection to nature and ones ability to find this connection and to acknowledge it. Her poetry expresses a wide range of emotions, for example themes of love, hate, passion, desire, environment, hope, freedom, politics, spirituality, joy, romance etc. I think she is a passionate poet that genuinely conveys a wide variety of themes that evoke the reader into new perspectives of life.

Three poems I particularly enjoyed were 'Age of Youth' and 'The Wattle Tree' and 'Birds', the poems primarily covered in the lecture. I found each of these poems were interesting in their individual representation of themes and perceptions.

I found the poem 'Age of Youth' was a poem that described the passions and true loves of Judith Wright. The poem primarily expresses and describes the theme of youth and the innocense of youth. Through their young age the characters in the poem are able to create and understand a relationship with the land and nature.

The themes of love and the connection/ relationship between the couple in the poem and nature are expressed by Wright as being of the utter most beauty and even holding a type of key to the meaning of life, or at least the key to what in life is pure and sacred. Also love is expressed as something that can concour all and that hold great power in truth ' the message we should send from age back to youth is that every kiss and glance is truer than the truth.'

Similarly the poem 'Birds' expresses the beauty and the power of nature as represented through the description of a bird by Wright. The poem describes the bird as perfect in its own way and perfect in its natural surroundings.

The poem takes a turn when the poem utters, 'But I am beleaguered by my own people.' She describes how she hates that she is 'held down' or trapped by her own history which are filled with themes of fighting and domination (an allusion to the white westerner maybe?)

As a result of this she wishes to break free from her background/history/heritage and to be perfect and free like the bird and discover their truths and live in the beauty of nature, 'If I could leave their battleground for the forest of a bird I could melt the past, the present and the future in one and find the workds that lie behind all these languages.'

As a result of this the themes of both poems,'Age of Youth' and 'Birds' both display similar themes and perceptions particulalry display the theme of the beauty and the power of nature and the need for a relationship between man and nature to exist.

By Mislav.B