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Hi all- I hope you are finding some time to relax and gather your…

About Reflections on Literature, Life and the Imagination

Previous Entry Jan. 6th, 2006 @ 12:02 pm Next Entry
Hi all- I hope you are finding some time to relax and gather your strength for next semester. Those of you doing Shakespeare with me should know about a book I have just finished reading: "Will in the World" by Stephen Greenblatt. If you can get hold of it it is a great introduction to Shakespeare's life and times. It is one of the best biographies I have read on WS. It shows some amazing insights into the underlying concerns of his plays and poems. The subtitle of the book is "How Shakespeare became Shakespeare"... and that is a real question because he never went to university, had a relatively sheltered life in childhood, married a local girl at 18 (she was 8 years older than him)... then left her and went to London for umpteen years... and became the greatest playwright that has every lived... How indeed did he become William Shakespeare????? the book comes up with some very interesting answers... The author, incidentally, is the editor of our core text (The Norton Anthology of English Literature.
On another note... I think you should all go and see Chekhov's "The Cherry Orchard" which is on at the Wharf Theatre till February 4th (I think). If you are doing 19th Century Literature with me, then definately see it... because it is one of our texts this coming semester.... if you are not doing 19th Century Lit... still see it... Chekhov is a dramatist that we all need to understand more deeply... he is one of the great dramatic thinkers of the last 150 years....
I am off to Wagga-Wagga to take me 15 year old daughter to a music camp... and have just spent 10 great days (on my own) looking after my Dad's dogs (and mine) in the wilds of the Southern Highlands in Robertson... I can recommend it!
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Date:January 7th, 2006 06:39 am (UTC)

such pleasant ways to invest the hours...

Hi MG. I enjoyed your pictorial account of the Cossington-Smith exhibition , technology these days huh. Soon perhaps we will all be doing e-lectures. I hope not though. There is value (and fun) in human interaction and corporeal display – however this does fine in times such as now, in the holidays when we are all over the place. Which brings me to your trip to Wagga Wagga – I grew up in Junee (just 15 minutes from Wagga) and was devested to see the recent bushfires ravage the country area.

I actually wrote a piece on the area and am curious to see if my descriptions conjure a sense of what you actually witness down there. It is a beautifully unique place and I think a music camp is a fitting activity to indulge in (despite the distance from our parochial haven that is Sydney). My new LJ is www.livejournal.com/~tillermans_tea. I hope you enjoy the piece (and peace of mind). Writing is such a soothing experience in difficult hardships. I find it richly meditative and personal, healing and rewarding. I don’t think anything else in the world taps so deeply into the veins of the human soul. After reading something’s I write I almost fail to recognise it is me. My cheeks redden as my mother cries over a past world that I try to reconstruct with a pen as though I become a builder of words in a world far realer than this.

Also just quickly I was recently in London and saw some Blake etchings in the flesh. They were really cool. I also read an amazing book (which has shot into my favourites list) and I would recommend as a future text for us students do to its literary depth, style and sheer value to explorers young and old across the world. It is a couple of years old now and you may well have heard of it – “Shantaram” by Gregory David Roberts. It became something I never thought a book could become. Anyway, I recommend you check it out. Don’t be put off by its length – it’s a real page-turner trust me. Also you could practise your Indian accent out to the death as you did with the doctor character in Alexis Wrights “Plains of Promise”.

See you in a couple of months.

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Date:January 23rd, 2006 08:19 pm (UTC)

Re: such pleasant ways to invest the hours...

Hi Dave- thanks for your thoughts. I really found the Riverina District and the upper Snowy Mountains fascinating. The early history there is really worth exploring - both Aboriginal and early settler. I am really pleased that you saw the Blake etchings in London. The Tate I presume. I know the collection myself. My daughter is reading Shantaram as we speak so I will get it from her when she is finished. And I will have a look at your new LJ.... look forward to getting back on board with our literary activities in (cripes!) one month
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