Category Archives: American Writing

Pacifist?

(written after my course ended but still relevant to the course, so I have included it under the subject of American Writing in the menu,)

Recently I studied Allen Ginsberg, Kerouac and other beatnik poems. Ginsberg called himself a pacifist. I questioned this. I believe I have the same protesting spirit as Ginsberg and others, however I do not call myself a pacifist.

a person who believes in pacifism or is opposed to war or to violence of any kind. 2. a person whose personal belief in pacifism causes him or her to refuse being drafted into military service. Compare conscientious objector.

A passivist is something quite different. It means being submissive in nature, particularly in a sexual situation.

I am not sure which Allen Ginsberg was referring to, I don’t want to think about the second. I do believe he was a lover of peace, however was not a true pacifist in the sense of the word.

My words, writing my mind can be a weapon against an oppressive, corrupt or unjust government, rulers or laws. As a protest poet, I shoot my literary arrow deep into the hearts of leaders, and others who can make a difference, until their hearts bleed empathy. I do not stop until I wound. I am not to kill with my words (as a famous song does), but to heal. Where one was running into battle as an oppressor, he now limps away, with his heart changed and fights for the opposition to the oppressive.A-1678614-1321804331.jpeg

My words, my art and my photos are not meant to leave you comfortable if I am working on a social justice or human rights issue. They will not give you warm and fuzzy feelings. They are meant to make it feel like you are sitting on granite, something hard and uncomfortable enough to make you want to move.

 

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Filed under American Writing, creative posts, literature, Uncategorized

Summative Post American Writing

 

This semester, I have studied two subjects; American writing and Reading Australia. It is the last semester that I am an undergraduate. It has also been the toughest for me in terms of Mental and Physical health, and some major stresses including having to move home and forking out a lot of money to repair a car, which I later had to replace.

I thank all of my followers around the world, and at ACU for staying with me, believing in me, and reading some of my rantings. It’s been fun, but it ain’t over yet. Hold onto your hats as I take you on a journey of discovery while I study honours and masters over the coming years.

American writing helped expand my thinking not only in literature but in life. I guess I always knew there were injustices in the world. We see the pictures on TV all the time. We here about the Dakota Pipeline, Martin Luther King Jnr, massacres and murders, violence and…violence. I thought I could make a difference to my part of the world by writing about the atrocities and exposing them, bringing the blood into people’s loungerooms and get it on their bedside tables. Now I see that there have been many who have written before me, many who have tried to fight injustices, to expose them so that maybe some people will cry SHAME, and help to ensure that it never happens again.

Violence, bigotry, racism misogyny and other hate speech and actions have no place in the world in 2017. Yet it’s still part of the world. And so, as those who wrote before me, chipped away, little by little, I will continue to do the same. Thanks for reading.

Dave

American Writing started by looking at the writings of the Indigenous people group of America. I decided to do a blog about the importance of dance in cultures around the world, including in the Native American culture. Dance helps connect the people with the land. Dance was the early literature to many races around the world, including the indigenous people groups of America and Australia.

 https://s00156364.wordpress.com/2017/08/27/spiritual-importance-of-dance/

American Writing dealt with the perceived need by writers to create an American Voice, something uniquely American. The desire firstly was to remove itself from the classic romantic writers of Britain. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thoreau and others formed a movement called  ‘The Transcendentalists’. These writers were anti-establishment, anti-organised religion (after Swedenborg) and all for creating new paths in previously unexplored areas of literature.

https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/8743068/posts/1564487387

We then looked at Huckleberry Finn, perhaps as a transcendentalist story. I did some in depth blog posts about Mark Twain firstly as a prose writer and protester, and then as a person who suffered a lot of hardship and grief in his life.

https://s00156364.wordpress.com/2017/09/03/mark-twain-prose-writer-and-protester/

https://s00156364.wordpress.com/2017/09/04/mark-twain-the-somber-side/

I made a link between the writings and philosophy of Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Patrick white. I entered this in both American Literature and Reading Australia.

https://s00156364.wordpress.com/2017/08/09/patrick-white-and-ralph-waldo-emerson/

We then studied some Negro writers. I found James Baldwin to be a very inspirational writer. He was a leading protester of his time, but used his intellect instead of religion as a tool for protest. This sets him apart from Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jnr, however he was friends with both. The movie I am not your Negro highlights portions of his life and protests, and was written by Baldwin himself.

https://s00156364.wordpress.com/2017/10/08/white-is-a-metaphor-for-power-james-baldwin/

I then wrote a creative piece in response to “As I Lay Dying” by William Faulkner. On the book, which has also been made into a movie. Each character has an internalised dialogue, which is synonymous with modernist writers. I chose to have an internalised dialogue of a dying writer.

https://s00156364.wordpress.com/2017/10/11/as-i-lay-dying-falkner/

I related closely to the Beatnik poets, in particular Allen Ginsberg. He raises a lot of questions, and protests many of the same things that I still do some 60 years or so later. I chose to do a blog, which which I later chose as my Best Critical Blog outlining a link between Allen Ginsberg and the transcendentalists that came before him.

https://s00156364.wordpress.com/2017/10/20/alan-ginsbergtranscendentalist/

I also composed a poem after Ginsberg which I gave the title of Hierachy of Power.

https://s00156364.wordpress.com/2017/10/25/a-poem-after-ginsberg/

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Peer Review Elleni: DuBois

https://elleniboutsikakisblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/13/american-writing-blog-5/

Colonisation on all levels is bad for the natives. It is the natives of a land who feel a connection to it. The black people of America did not choose to be there. They were not only colonised but relocated. Forced to live in a culture, which was not theirs. They could identify with the native population, because the whites were despised by both. Black people formed a social construction , or culture of their own. They had little resources when it came to food and cooking, but they made the best of what they had access to, and now southern fried chicken and collard greens are sold world wide. The music of the Africans came with the people. The deep resonating voices of African singers, moved to the southern states of America, and the blues were created. Nobody sings the blues like an African American. Listen if you will, to Paul Robeson singing Old Man River, or Mahalia Jackson singing a spiritual song. Tell me you can’t hear the centuries of pain.

Thanks for your blog, it opened some wounds for me about the social injustices that minorities go through. We must acknowledge though the richness of culture what the African American people give to America.
Dave

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Peer Review, Elleni: Huck Finn

https://elleniboutsikakisblog.wordpress.com/category/creative-aw/

Don’t you just wish you could float away from a world full of troubles, a world full of its discriminations and prejudices. We can leave behind a capitalist society and be self-reliant as Emerson would have loved in his vision of a perfect world.
Jim and Huck would make a perfect pair, but I think the word you want here Elleni is two, not too.
Love the layout of your blog, very professional and stylish.

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Peer Review Jessie: Faulkner

https://wordsthought.wordpress.com/2017/10/15/growth/comment-page-1/#comment-61

While Faulkner implored us not to try to better others, therefore not copying their work, Leonardo DaVinci was once quoted as telling young apprentices to copy the masters until you feel our own style emerge. He learnt this in his own apprenticeship
“Under Verrocchio’s tutelage, da Vinci probably progressed from doing various menial tasks around the studio to mixing paints and preparing surfaces. He would have then graduated to the study and copying of his master’s works. Finally, he would have assisted Verrocchio, along with other apprentices, in producing the master’s artworks”. https://www.leonardodavinci.net/

I believe it is wise to look at what was done before, and now with our increased knowledge and techniques, we can improve on what has come before. We ourselves can get better by practice and we do not need co compare ourselves to others, we can compare ourself now to how we were before and see how we have improved.

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Peer Review Christabel: Feminist manifesto

https://christellabade.wordpress.com/category/american-literature/critical-blogs-american-literature/

The equality that Loy desired is not of equality in that everyone should embrace their male and female sides, but making it a level playing field.
Loy is saying that the value of a woman, back then, was her virginity when she got married. She said if this is taken off the table, if women destroyed their virginity, or the value in it, then they can be on a level playing field with man. Man will no longer look to women just to be the bearer of offspring, being pure and untouched by anyone before.
Loy goes on to say that women should not rely on man for sustainable life but to stand on her own two feet. She says that at present, women use their sex and a commodity within marriage ” Do this and I will put out for you tonight, cross me and I wont”. She declares that some women are also parasitic, relying on their husbands for their life and happiness.
A closer analysis of this work is probably needed to provide accurate commentary of it.

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Peer Review Natalie: Faulkner

https://natalie4820.wordpress.com/2017/10/12/try-to-be-better-than-yourself/

I agree that Faulkner was encouraging us to be the best that we can be. We better ourselves not by looking at our contemporaries and trying to better them, but look at the past, and leaders in the past. Look at the knowledge we now possess in comparison to the past, and make yourself better then what has come before. When thinking about self, look back to where you were…when you had little knowledge or little skill. Then look at where you are now and see the improvement, then strive toward tomorrow knowing that you can be better than you are today.

“one should focus on improving themselves and always striving to do better than they have achieved in the past.” I believe you meant to say better than YOU have achieved in the past.

“This statement is highly impressionable as it challenges responders to reject …” I am not sure what you are trying to say there, but the word impressionable would not be the correct word in this sentence.

Hope my criticism helps.
Dave

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