Monday, November 28, 2005
Some thoughts on literature
I’ve been in the habit of going to Monash Uni library to do my marking. I can get heaps done there when I’m not distracted by housework and my computer (yes I know they have computers at the library but they are not so obviously in my way, tempting me). This afternoon when I was driving home I was listening to an interview on Radio National with Wayne Macauley author of Blueprints for a Barbed Wire Canoe. It has recently been put on the list of thirty recommended books available to be studied by Year 12 students in Victoria by the VCAA. This list has caused some controversy recently in certain sections of society as it contains (shock, horror) films, Paul Kelly’s song lyrics, a blog and even a CD, as well as novels, for example Camus, Green, Hardy, poetry, drama (Hamlet and King Oedipus and others) and short stories (Henry Lawson and others). I really enjoyed hearing the conversation between Wayne and Ramona Koval on writing, literature, the effects of a parent’s death at a young age, and more. I had decided to read as many of the texts on the list as I could and I will definitely be looking out for this debut novel of a new Melbourne writer. Recently I read another novel on the list, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, “an epic tale of fathers and sons, of friendship and betrayal, that takes us from the final days of Afghanistan’s monarchy to the atrocities of the present.” I found this book gripping and absolutely unputdownable. I read it in a day and was haunted by the writing. I am so glad that literature like this is on the list that our young people may get to interact with. I’m pleased that the list contains such a rich range of literature in its widest definition, texts that teach us what it is to be human.