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.)