Log in

No account? Create an account

Week 4 Teaching

About Reflections on Literature, Life and the Imagination

Previous Entry Week 4 Teaching Mar. 24th, 2007 @ 07:39 am Next Entry
One quarter of the way through semester! And we have covered such amazing ground in four weeks. Let's take a quick review:
In first year: a clutch of the world's greatest story tellers: Mena, Kafka, Parker, Cliff, Leyner - and along with this an exploration of how we as readers shape the meaning of the literature we read... and you got your Bartleby essays back!
In second year: a fabulous visit to the NSW Art Gallery at which we connected the literature of the Enlightenment, the Romantics and the Victorians to a real live context of paintings that stretched across these cultural periods. And we saw the continuation of Romanticism into the work of Whitely.
In third year: we concluded our exploration of the the theme of Love and the Court. This week we focused on Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" looking both at the language of l u r v e - as parodied by Shakespeare- and at the subversive language of Feste, the jester or the fool. Shakespeare, there is no doubt, was an anarchist who enjoyed pointing out to the world where they were caught up, or identified with their own inflated self-image.

And so for a few suggestions for LiveJournal for this week (chose any one of these- if you wish- or do your own thing!):
Year 1: complete your Mark Leyner imitations; complete and post the reflective work you did in tuts on what you found most inspiring (and most important- WHY you found it inspiring: Reader Response Theory!); write a letter to one of the characters that you felt some affinity for; write a poem about what it is like sitting in a tutorial; write a poem about autumn rain..... have fun!
Year 2: write a description of one of the paintings that caught your attention (great preparation for your essay!); imagine yourself into the scene of one of the paintings and speak to the audience AS IF YOU WERE INSIDE THE PAINTING; write a poem inspired by one of the characters or by the setting in one of the paintings; describe what it feels like to be dragged along in a group through an art gallery- poem or prose piece.......
Year 3: Write a poem that tells the world why they need the fool; write a soppy love poem that parodies the excesses of modern love; translate a short paragraph of Shakespeare into modern English and say why this idea is still so relevant today; Write a letter to one of the characters in the play; BE one of the characters in the play and write a short monologue describing what it feels like to be fat Sir Toby, or cunning Maria, or hurt Aguecheeck, or witty Fool, or lovestruck Orsino or Olivia, or malevolent Malvolio..... over and out.. have fun... or let any of the suggestions spark of a creative moment....

Leave a comment
[User Picture Icon]
Date:March 24th, 2007 12:04 am (UTC)

Poetry Theme Idea

Just a thought carried on from yesterdays lecture, perhaps our theme could be "A Life of Commodity"

Or something along those lines :)

[User Picture Icon]
Date:March 24th, 2007 08:33 am (UTC)
What about something to do with the fact that our Government sold our blood banks as part of the free trade agreement to the Americans, who have been after it since the late nineties because their medical industry is on the edge of a breakdown due to the risk of infection from even minor operations because their own banks are so contaminated.

I think this is a vital issue that’s being ignored by the media and people should be making themselves aware of, and what better way than through poetry?

It’s emblematic of our times, controversial, symbolic and yet figurative

There’s so much background materiel for budding poets. You've got Menzies selling the blood of our youth in the Vietnam war, our controversial involvement in Korea, the Liberal party rising up out of the United Australia Party and buying American friendships with dodgy politics conjured by the bodies of our dead. And then today you've got our involvement in Iraq, our reduced conscience of the Israel/Lebanon conflict, our increased participation in the occupation of Afghanistan. . .
[User Picture Icon]
Date:March 24th, 2007 09:26 am (UTC)

Positive thinking

Wow. Take a breath. You certainly are very passionate about your beliefs. Good for you. I, personally, would rather stay out of politics and the "bad" elements of society. There is enough heartache in this world (as reflected by your comments) to keep us down. I think we need a little more hope and positive thinking to get us through the next few generations. If more governments, Americans, Liberals, Laborers etc. etc. etc. read a few more positive poems, maybe we would all be much happier individuals.

P.S. Have you read about, or seen footage of, the things that the Taliban did while they were in power in Afghanistan? What then of the people who suffered under this regime? Who will be their champion and defend their basic human rights?
[User Picture Icon]
Date:April 2nd, 2007 09:53 am (UTC)

Turn on your radio, tune in your televison and close your minds. Welcome to 2007

This is what people in general do with politics. They push it out of the way so they don't have to think about it. "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke, I think. . .) People switch off from the world and its atrocities because it's easier than getting involved. Its part of the trend in our culture and in our universities to simplify and commercialise everything, to venerate the stupid and idiotic, and to disregard the intellectual or the rational out of hand.

People have short memories and no where is this more evident than in the History of politics and industry.

What's happening with our Liberal Goverment and the I.R. Laws at the moment, with the disestablishment of our unions is exactly what they did with the guilds at the end of the Elizabethan times by importing cheaply made goods from poorer countries, and destroying the power of the guilds through a succesive serious of laws passed through parliment. Moreover people are ignorant of the rise of the trade union movements in the 1800s, (There’s an interesting account of the massacre of Peterloo by John William Tyas, but also in Australian history the Eureka Stockade, the Battle of Vinegar Hill, several notorious Irish uprisings)

It is because people get switched off and don’t get involved that we are losing touch with the legislative and judicial branches of our political system, and we ‘the people’ are being disenfranchised not so much by crooked politics and the almighty dollar, but our own ignorance and desire to escape from the world into loungeroom torpor. As we speak there’s an entire right wing religious Pentecostal movement which has risen up promoting this unquestioning mind set, and controls large voting blocks of the American system simply because people allow them to.

Why the hell is the media pushing shows like Jackass so much in a culture that venerates the stupid?

Going way back through out our history literature has always been a way of lending the poet or writer a voice for social conscience. Dryden was no stranger to putting political ideas into verse as his Absalom and Achitophel can testify, and the lewd balladry of Lord Willmot, Earl of Rochester stands testament to the liberties a poet can often achieve in expressing taboos and conflicts of their own era, even more contemporarily Walt Whitman, Langston Hughes, and Dylan Thomas. (See this is why it’s a good idea to pay attention in first year)

In regard to the atrocities of the Taliban in Afghanistan and that oh so evil dictator in Iraq, tell me, are the people better off now that they’ve been freed (remembering that more people have been killed as a consequence of the American invasion than in the entire time Saddam reigned in power) with Iran about to invade and Turkey standing on the boarders waiting for a sign of weakness to take over are the people any more free, with American tanks ni every street and gun fire as they sleep at night? And are we that narrow minded we’ve forgotten the Israeli government, who around this very time last year lined up all their missiles along the Lebanon boarder and started bombing civilians asleep in thier beds? Why? Does anyone remember? A few Israeli soldiers were captured doing something they shouldn’t have been somewhere on the boarder. We’re not talking suicide bombers here, we are talking about a Government sanctioned act of terrorism by one of our allies.

if you want to read about human rights abuses and violations you should check out David Rose’s book: ‘Guantanamo: America’s war on Human rights.’ It lists some pretty horrendous incidents and the violation of international agrements and treatise on the treatment of soliders.

Dosn't it scare you that for the first time since the 1100s we've lost one of our most prized and sacred legal rights, the right of Habaes Corpus when Howard brought in those new powers for Asio after nine eleven?

I can't figure out why people are so switched off. Dosn't this bother anyone else? And what's with all the anti-middle esatern stuff in the media latley. The stuff in that Borat movie made me physically ill, I litraly got up out of the cinema and walked out. It reminded me of some of the propaganda the Nazis used on the Jews before World War Two.
Date:March 24th, 2007 11:31 am (UTC)


hi Michael

how about a theme titled "lifes seasons" ..... that way the poet can choose to be political or share their view of what life means to them.... regardless of age, race, politics or religion.....
just a thought.....
[User Picture Icon]
Date:March 27th, 2007 05:00 am (UTC)


A notion I steal from a one-hit-wonder pop ground The New Radicals - coined an intriguing statement –

"Wake up kids / we’ve got the dreamers disease.”

I think an interesting topic might be “The Dreamers Disease” for the poetry competition. Poets can explore what is the dreamer’s disease, does it have a cure, and is it such a dire thing?

This topic doesn’t confine itself to politics or feel-good antics; rather, it can be determined by the writer. Literature seems to be filled with dreams and it is up to readers to act on these ideas, or not.
[User Picture Icon]
Date:March 27th, 2007 06:19 am (UTC)
Heya MG,
My idea for a theme would be: A poetic critique of Australian popular culture (contemporary or historical). Anything represented as Australian could be explored critically in order to find out if the idea of Australia is cohesive or not.

That is all I have thought of thus far....

[User Picture Icon]
Date:March 28th, 2007 01:24 pm (UTC)
I'm a bit early, but happy birthday!

How about age for a theme? ;)
Date:April 5th, 2007 11:40 am (UTC)
you're a gay pedophile!!!!!!!!
go home and kill yourself!
(Leave a comment)
Top of Page Powered by LiveJournal.com