You are viewing michaelgriffith



About Recent Entries

My tweets Oct. 12th, 2012 @ 11:31 pm

Additional Blog Topics for Week 10 Oct. 12th, 2012 @ 05:59 pm
Here are some additional topics if you have run out of ideas.

Australian Lit: Francis Webb: How does Webb manage to champion the life of the outcast in the last stanza of "Harry" in his Ward Two sequence? What strengths does Harry have that we in the world of so called "common-sense" seem to lack?

*Try to write a few stanzas in the style of Judith Beveridge. Chose a simple focus subject (like "Yachts" and see how your imagination sets to work on this idea). 

Twentieth Century Literature:

* Write a paragraph describing our own modern world (in the style of Huxley) that shows how far we have gone down the road to this "Brave New World".

*What one idea in Pinter's Nobel Prize Speech struck you as most relevant for our own times. Use this as starting point for a short review of Pinter's speech

Visionary Imagination:
*Do you think there really are ordinary/extraordinary people like White's Riders in the world around us. Create one in your own mind and write a brief description of their characteristics.

***Remember for your final ePortfolio entries you are going to have a number of peer reviews to include to demonstrate the quality of your interaction with your peers this semester. 

Enjoy your weekend..... get your toboggans out!

My tweets Oct. 10th, 2012 @ 11:16 pm

Journal Topics for Weeks 9,10 and 11- more to come! Oct. 10th, 2012 @ 08:41 am
Hi all, we have all been incredibly hectic in the last few weeks (what with conferences and visits from David Malouf). So it is now time to catch up with some ideas for the last few entries of your literature journal for this semester. Here is a selection of offerings- enjoy! There are many things you could talk about in your Literature Journal entries for last week, this week and next week. And remember –as many of you have- that you can always create your own topic: you don’t have to wait for the topics that I post up here.

Australian Literature:
1/ Write a short review of Fly Away Peter.  Say what you found most appealing in the novel and why you think the novel is relevant to our society today.
2/ Write a letter to David Malouf thanking him for his visits. Say what struck you particularly about the way he answered people's questions.
3/ If you came to the Conference Writing the Sacred say what were for you the most important ideas and experiences to come from the conference as a whole. Could you say, simply, what you understand the title of the conference: what does "Writing the Sacred" mean?

Twentieth Century Literature.

1/The last question above would be a good one for you to answer as well. In particular could you say what Prof Barry Spurr added to your understanding of the role and place of T.S. Eliot in 20th Century Literature?

2/We have also been exploring Huxley and Orwell. From your understanding of either or both of these authors could you say briefly why these authors still might be worth reading in today's society? Do any of the themes that you have come into contact with so far, ring a chord with the concerns of our own times (particularly your own times).For example did you take it on the chin when, with reference to Lenina, Huxley says that people can’t survive without having a constant din of noise going on between their two ears! Is that your life? 

3/Does Twentieth Century drama (the play you are working on in your group) still have “bite” for a 21st Century audience? That is to say, is their relevance in its themes and ideas to your own experience?

4/Write a letter to either Huxley, Orwell OR your playwright and discuss with them an aspect of today’s experience that shows they have been wrong in their assessment of what would happen in the future. 

The Visionary Imagination.
1/Could you say how your special seminar with David Malouf amplified your understanding of both the meaning of Ransom and of the function of imagination in a broader sense?

2/If you came to the Conference Writing the Sacred could you say what you learnt about the creative imagination and its relationship to the Sacred?
What questions, did the conference leave you with?  
3/Has your understanding of the nature and purpose of David Malouf's writing changed since you heard him speak (either at the Conference or at the special seminar, or both). 

4/Write a letter to David Malouf continuing the conversation that we started with him. Maybe you would like to deepen the questions that were asked about his religion?

5/What is your sense of the central message that comes through Ransom? What is David Malouf trying to tell his contemporary audience about what really matters in life?


Blog Topics for Visionary Imagination for Week 8: Ransom Sep. 17th, 2012 @ 06:38 pm
So how did David Malouf's Ransom stand up to scrutiny in today's classes? I was impressed by what seemed to be an unusual attentivenessa and an unusual receptivity to his ideas. This bodes well for David Malouf's visit later this week and in the week we get back from our semester break. Please think of questions you might like to ask him about his work and about William Blake. 

Questions for this week: Can you remember any moment in your life where you have been deeply challenged to change the way you go about your normal affairs? Does this help you to understand what takes place in Priam as he confronts the need to reclaim his son's body?

What is it about David Malouf's style that enables him to bring so vividly to life the inner feelings and experiences of his characters? Select one short passage where you think he achieves this and see if you can talk about the creative strategies he uses to make his language so alive. 

Hopefully I will see many many of you at the conference on Sunday. Please register at this address so that you guarantee yourself lunch:

Also- if you have not yet heard- my ebook on Francis Webb is being sold for a short time (before the conference) for $2.99. The ebook can be read on any mac, pc or ipad (even iphone) with the free downloadable kindle app. 

Blog Topics for Week 7 Sep. 17th, 2012 @ 08:20 am
Hi all, we are moving rapidly towards our conference "Writing the Sacred" this coming Sunday, so please if you have not registered then do so immediately.
Don't miss out! You will gain a great deal of understanding about literature and you will also end up with a free feed! So don't delay. Go to: and simply sign up.

We are also calling for more volunteers, so if you have an interest then please email me today:

Blog topics for the week past.
(Remember always that you are at liberty to create your own.)
Your blogs are already showing the shape that they will take in your final eportfolio so keep them coming.
And don't forget to do regular peer reviews, because you will be asked to include these in your ePortofolio.
But please be courteous with these.
We have had an isolated incident where students have got into a very heated argument.
This is not necessary and is certainly not what we are about in this exercse.

Specific topics for this week:

Australian Literature: Take a single stanza from Francis Webb's "Five Days Old" and explain in your own words what you think it is saying and how it is using creative language to communicate this meaning. Or: take a single line from this poem and construct your own poem around this line you have chosen. 

Twentieth Century Literature: Say what it is you really like about Dylan Thomas's creative use of language. Take a stanza from a poem or a fragement of the play and explore its linguistic virtuosity. Or: take a single line from a Thomas poem and build your own Thomas-like poem from this. Utilize the kinds of techniques he uses in your own verse. Or: prepare a short on-line kit of resources for Thomas. Remember this week you will have to sign up for an art gallery visit. Check LEO sign up sheets. 

Visionary Imagination: from your reading of Riders in the Chariot so far, say what it is that attracts you to White's mode of creative expression. Take a short paragraph to analyse for this purpose. Or: try to write a short paragraph in the style of Patrick White. What makes his style so distinctive? Work this out by trying to imitate his style. 
[Did you know that in days gone past one of the best ways to induct people into writing was to get them to imitate the styles of achieved writers!}

My tweets Sep. 7th, 2012 @ 10:16 pm

Week 6: Art Gallery Visit for Aust Lit Students! Modernisms and the Sacred for 20th C Lit. Sep. 7th, 2012 @ 07:11 pm
Hi all, a friendly reminder to all, that if you wish to come to the "Writing the Sacred" Conference on Sunday 23rd September (free lunch and lots of creative and intellectual stimulation!) then you MUST register by Monday 10th September. Simply click on here and it will take you to the registration page:

Blog topics for this week. 

If you are in the Aust Lit group then please take any one of the paintings that really struck a chord with you and describe it in as much detail and also say what you think it is trying to represent about the Australian experience. If you want to make a link between this painting and any aspect of Australian literature that would be wonderful. Include an image of the painting if you can {hint: nearly all the paintings in the gallery are also on the gallery web site:

f you are lucky enough to be doing 2othC literature (Modernism and the Sacred) then please try to write a paragraph in the style of Virginia Woolf. Be as creative and as outrage as you wish to be. Take Woolf's suggestions on how to break the linear narrative into your stride. Enjoy the process! Discover what stream of consciousness can actually reach. Remember: phenomena/ noumena


My tweets Sep. 4th, 2012 @ 10:01 pm

Great Day at the NSW Art Gallery with the Blake Group Sep. 4th, 2012 @ 06:13 am

It was a privilege yet again to be in the presence of these original Blake prints in this magnficent gallery space. And the level of interest amongst all who came was astonishingly high. Mr Blake was very thrilled by this continuing engagement with the engravings he produced at the end of his long creative life. And the Book of Job, more than anything else, provided Blake with a deep answer to the questions he had about the meaning and purpose of his own existence. Job's sense of isolation and his intense suffering found their most powerful outlet in the poetry he -Job- expressed as he sang from his heart about the incomprehensible magnificence of the created universe. Read Job 38 and 39 to hear a taste of Job's sense of awe at the mystery of the universe. You find this again and again in Blake's own work, especially "The Tyger". 

Blog topics for this week can include a range of possibilities: reflect on what you gained from your visit to the gallery this week; chose any one of the Blake Job prints and describe it in some detail and say how you see it fitting in to the series as a whole; chose any painting that caught your attention in the Australia section and say how this gives some idea of an Australian artist's attitude to people (this will stand you in good stead as you enter the world of Patrick White). And remember you can create topics of your own: poems, stories, journal entries and images..... enjoy. 

Thank you David for the great images that record our visit. Maybe you can post some onto your site and leave a link here!

Here is the amazing water colour version of  plate 14 above "When the Morning Stars Sang Together". This is the first of three visions that Job receives where God reveals his powers to Job: 

Top of Page Powered by