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Mission Australia Fiction (Week 8)

About Reflections on Literature, Life and the Imagination

Previous Entry Mission Australia Fiction (Week 8) May. 4th, 2006 @ 03:13 pm Next Entry
Yesterday we tackled three stories about people who were either living on the margins or living under circumstances of extreme stress: Patrick White's "Down at the Dump", Olga Masters "On the Train" and Tim Winton's "The Turning". With the exception of Olga Masters all authors- we decided- were also capable of finding and expressing huge resources of hope in the most difficult of circumstances. Patrick White finds it in the younger generation, their indifference to the shackles of the status quo and their amazing "holy" imagination. Tim Winton finds it in a moment in which his central character Raelene has an epiphany as she walks onto the beach, under the stars (pages 149-150). This story leaves us with the question at the end: has she "turned" away from the sources of her pain? Or has she "turned" INSIDE so that the sources of pain no longer touch her. Reza made a wonderful comment when we were discussing this suggesting that in some ways, despite the difficulties of her life, she really had so much to be thankful for... her children, her life.... Tom, Tania and Leeza helped to shape up a powerful sense of how Tim Winton's story was taking us deep inside this woman's new experience of the world... I look forward to hearing your discussion comments on these stories and your short writing tasks.... Now here are a few shots of the some of our cohort enjoying the break in the sun from our "heavy" discussion:
So here is Leesa from Spain who provides us with many passionate insights:

And here are Tom, from Scotland- filled with literary insights (thomasthetankengine - in LJ) - yours truly- and Reeza. Please visit Reeza's LJ... he is of Persian origin and has an amazing insight into Persian mystical poetry... he is also an artist to be reckoned with!

Last but not least here is our fearless co-ordinator John G sitting with Tom and moi!

Cheers till next week.
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Date:May 4th, 2006 11:31 am (UTC)

Clint Eastwood

For some reason I'm reminded of that Clint Eastwood Movie, the Good, The Bad and the Ugly.

I don't know what order though :)

On the flip side, what's the mission Austrilia thing all about? I'm really intrested.
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Date:May 6th, 2006 06:57 am (UTC)

William Blake - your new site


Have been reading your Blakean site and your deep interest in William Blake. Some thirty years ago I saw some drawings of his which I did not understand, however I feel I’m ready to check them out again. His poetry is wonderful and thank you for introducing us to his work in our Mission Australia class.

Interested to know more about Thomas Merton as well. A few years ago the Aquinas Academy ran a course on his writings, however I could not go at the time. I have somewhere a couple of pages of info on some of his quotes, etc. which I found deeply meaningful and fascinating.

Read also with interest your involvement with the Quakers – I know a couple of them. I have been thinking about checking them out myself, I believe they meet up in Surry Hills on Sunday mornings at 9.30 approx.

The Gurdjieff (Rose Bay) Group have sometimes presented lectures and discussion at the Theosophical Society but at the time I think I was a little overwhelmed. They seemed to be at a pretty high intellectual level. One old friend of mine often spoke about Guidjieff and his books. He is someone I need to read a little later on.


Tania Hilder
Mission Australia student

PS: I tried to send you this comment via your blake online address but I could not see how to send it, so I copied and pasted it here.
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Date:May 6th, 2006 07:23 am (UTC)




It's good to read the recap from the last class. Thank you for going to the trouble to do this - it really helps us.

Why in the younger generation in "Down at the Dump" - their imagination termed "holy?" I'm not sure why. They both had imagination - Meg was highly intuitive and Lummy had a clear imagination - were both only imagining or was it prophetic?

I need to read through it again. And I need to discuss Daisy with you -
when she speaks from the grave - she is trying to teach them something, to help them to see themselves from another perspective - but they were not listening, or were unable to pick up her thought communications.

Meg probably could have, however she was pre-occupied that day. You'd think Aunt Daisy would have reminded her of her hat she lost!


ps: It's great to see the photos but can't see myself here - so maybe next week I'll wear red!

It's great to see the photos.
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Date:May 9th, 2006 04:39 am (UTC)

Re: Tania!

I look forward to discussing Daisie some more with you... she is one of White's iconic characters...
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