Hello world!

January 10, 2010

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

Welcome to my e-Portfolio!

October 27, 2009

I hope you enjoy exploring

my thoughts about literature

and related art

forms as much as I enjoyed gathering them!

Have fun and feel free to comment on my work!

“Climbing” the structure


The portfolio contains several pages, all accessible in accordance to your interest via the right sidebar.

The pages:

Introduction – My reflection on my learning progress

Words mediate (hi)story – My thoughts about how literature tells stories and meanwhile explains history

Why art ensues nature – An atempt to explain why nature is the source of creativity

Henry Lawson’s art – My reflections on Lawson’s large impact on my understanding of Australia

Malouf’s Ransom – Reflections and further thoughts about the novel that shifted me most

art and culture@my life – Deals with my engagement with art and culture in Sydney

Creative bits and pieces – Contains my own writing

…beloved – Offers two poems I deeply like

David Shea

September 8, 2009

There is a second one I liked by David Shea: I think this one shows his criticism on European settlers – depicting the rabbit-as plague, they brought to AUS and a naked women – Irish females shipped here due to the famine and poor conditions in Ireland to please the men. They are sitting on the Australian flag, showing that in their minds, they are the ones owing this soil and having created the nation.

david shead

Comment on Emma

September 8, 2009

08.09 comment on Emma http://studentblogs.acu.edu.au/s00092567/2009/08/19/week-four-post-bondi-1968/

Hey Emma! I agree with your interpretation of the picture. I really liked it, too. The bright red was it that caught my eyes most. Yet I am not quite sure with what Marie mentioned earlier, that these women might hide themselves as they don’t want to face something, and this could be something evil and cruel (->blood). On one hand this could be his intention, but on the other it could also resemble, that these women don’t face the possibilities and chances they have in the modern world. He dramatizes this probably on account of his newly gained impressions on his journeys to Europe after 1967.

Maybe his eccentric use of colors results out of his occupation in creating cartoons and popular art before focusing on rather complex, figurative ones due to his inspiration by Lawrence.

Comment on Luke

September 3, 2009

Due to his interpretation of James Gleeson’s “Italy” I posted the following comment on Luke’s page:

Hey Luke, I like the way you interpret Gleeson’s surrealist image. As I saw Italy in the Art Gallery my first impression was that it was far too florid maybe kitschy with is dramatic, dark colours and the ancient symbols in it. First of all I couln’t identify a deeper meaning in this painting as the Romans usually used art for representative purpose.

However, being exhibited in the AG, I thought that there should be some relation to Australian history. I came to a similar conclusion as you did, regarding the context of the painting’s origin, I regard it as a symbol for the damage and destruction after WW2, too. Whereas the obvious deconstruction in terms of infrastructure took place in Europe (might refer to the title: Italy), it’s the social damage all over the world. Related to AUS this includes the wounded ANZAC soldiers and the problems their relatives and all Australian inhabitants were faced with.

Drysdale – The rabbiter and his family

September 2, 2009

people2-russel drysdale

I like this painting by Drysdale as I think it shows a settler’s family “the rabbits” visualised also by the tiny rabbit next to the family. Its underlying meaning might be a referrence to the Whites how brought many rabbits to Australia as the didn’t want to give up hunting them. However, due to this they damaged large parts of the landscape as the rabbits turned out to be a plague. In an overall meaning this is also what the invasion of the settlers ment for the Aboriginal people. European animals and plant erased Australian landscape whereas the European humans wiped out the Indigenous people. Interpreting his painting like this, it criticizes the White’s behaviour. By letting them  appear very self-confident (bodylanguage) I shows their ignorance towards their behaviour. In contrast to the painting “Sunday” the settlers have “settled down”, grown in terms of family members, belongings and powerful appearance, however not appearing to be lucky. I interpret this as following:
1. They could make a good living in the bush by exploiding the Aboriginals

2. but they didn’t achieve complete satisfaction (perhaps a typical European thing- the ever lasting lurking for more…)

To these pieces of art I am drawn to

September 1, 2009

Hello world!

September 1, 2009

Welcome to Student Blogs. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

… it's much clearer now

August 13, 2009

lawson bushAfter the lecture and the tutorial on Tuesday, it all became much clearer… Lawson uses his immediate wordings to help the reader in exploring the inner conditions of Australians. “The bush undertaker” hereby wants us to get to know how individuals attempt to find a way towards themselves and their identity. “The loaded dog” is an example of the author’s black humor and maybe also a glimpse on the humor of other Australians. However, what fascinated me is how quickly (after the incident of the dog carrying dynamite) people got back to routine and behaved normal towards Andy. Other cultures are often a bit more vengeful…
In “Brighten’s sister in law” Lawson several items Lawson tends to deal with can be observed. For instance he mentions the inherent strength of a human being, gives a glance at relationships between individuals and deeper insight in the father-child constellation of Jim and his dad. Although using little descriptive elements Lawson renders a broad insight and good understanding possible. Humans are well represented within a universal story nearly every reader can be hooked with. For the same reason he,” the man of the people”, uses idiomatic expressions (e.g. 103) and explicit wordings (e.g. 104).

Lawson is able to stimulate my imagination within little text, so that I grasp a picture of the bush, the concrete setting and its poor living conditions, rendering me a new insight into Australian everyday life. He appeals to my senses, rising emotions to a greater understanding of the harshness the outback offers and hence minimizes the romantic view on this part of the country.

In relation to the poems we read (e.g. Dunlop) and by reading  the book “The secret river” by Kate Grenville, I became even more aware of the inequity Australian Aboriginals were faced with and how wrong it actually is to complain as non-Aboriginal about the bush’s harshness, as it was to some extend the free will or ambition of Europeans to settle down in this area and to earn a good living.

Literature Journal Week 2:What I got while reading Lawson

August 8, 2009

The early days and Henry Lawson

Before enrolling in this course my knowledge about Australian history was pretty basic. Yet, while attending the course it got deepened. Therefore, reading the first short stories of Henry Lawson’s was quite difficult. Due to lacking knowledge about the author it was hard to read between the lines.

However, now being aware of him being a son of Scandinavian invaders and being brought up in the bush, it became clear what he is dealing with in his short stories. What made the understanding of his work very hard was the usage of vernacular English, which makes him “the man of the people” (http://www.cultureandrecreation.gov.au/articles/lawson/; 14.10.09). Moreover, he does this at a very stripped back level, yet you can get an essence understanding of his descriptions as well as of his odd view on things happening.

Being referred to the Australian “realism” ( http://www.nzetc.org/tm/scholarly/tei-StaMaor-t1-body-d3.html; 14.08.200), he tends to show how things in the bush are and to avoid delivering a romantic view on the outback (as Banjo Paterson for example did). However, the harshness as its depicted is a bit striking to all the connotations I have with this part of Australia, as I  imagine its peace and silence being very relieving and inspiring for me, yet I have to admit that I haven’t been there yet and it feels kind of strange to think of spend ing one’s whole life there – outside in no where’s emptiness…

The short stories I read deliver a certain point of view on the Australian outback. It seems to me that Lawson always refers to former times and sometimes approaching these times  with a positive attitude, yet sometimes very judicial. Nearly all take place in the context of digging, as this is where Lawson was brought up.

In “Drifted Back” the Drifter is connected to a time where communities among neighbors have been very strong, in contrast to modern tendencies of living in social isolation in large cities. Likewise “In a dry season” shows the monotonous but harsh life in a rural village, where only death might bring some variety.”Death is about the only cheerful thing in the bush” (Kinsella 2009, pg. 38). In contrast, he claims the social injustice people are exposed to and therefore being obliged to live in the bush under certain circumstances. “An old mate of your father’s” shows that individuality might not have been important as all the people are not mentioned by name. From my point of view this story wants to raise awareness that friendships in former times might have been different in terms of being more close-knit, “[…]afterwards we got thinking […] whether those ancient friends of ours were, or were not, better and kinder to their mates than we of the rising generation are to our fathers […]” (Kinsella 2009, pg. 57).

Some of his short stories are called “sketch” (http://gutenberg.net.au/dictbiog/0-dict-biogL.html#lawson2; 14.10.2009) as they hardly convey any plot, instead mainly describe people and hereby leave more imagination for the readers.
“Hungerford” is not just the name of a short story, but also a place at the boarder of NSW and Queensland, where not much happens, so that is why Lawson uses this village to describe the drought in that area and locals’ monotonous life. He was exposed to this town while walking 200km from Bourke through the peaceful bush (http://gutenberg.net.au/dictbiog/0-dict-biogL.html#lawson2; 14.101.2009).
“Rats” shows the normal life of ordinary people, strongly shown by using their dialect and offering their typical rough social behavior to the reader “It’s a funny lookin’ feller […]. He don’t seem to have no head. [… ] They must ha’ clinched on the ground.”.
“On the edge of a plain” the main character Mitchell is a recurring figure Lawson uses in his stories, who travels (mainly on his own) through Australia. This appeals to me as I experience myself that the wideness of this country really inspires you to travel around and try to explore as much as possible.
On the other hand Mrs Spicer, a major character in “Water them Geraniums” grows geraniums in her garden, symbolizing some beauty in the otherwise lonely and monotonous life in the bush. The title is the last sentence she says to her daughter while dying, showing that this is the only thing she was really concerned about.

However there have been some stories that I couldn’t grasp. Such as “The bush undertaker” – is it just about Australian weirdness? Or “The loaded dog” – is it that Australians can get back to routine very soon? “Brighten’s sister in law”- is it about raising awareness for more important things like caring about social life (family) more than economical status and worrying about money?