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