Summerative Entry ENGL 329

How can Visionary Imagination – as expressed in the creations of William Blake, Patrick White, Brett Whiteley and others -be a positive influence in the contemporary world?

I must admit, the Visionary Imagination was a challenging idea to tackle, as the unknown grandeur of the world was little more than a feeling to me. Hard to grasp. However, as I will show in some of the pieces I have done, I have developed an appreciation for finding this ‘divinity’ within my everyday and in the people around me. To help stem the tide of crushing social and economical dread of the 21st century, thanks to Patrick White, Brett Whiteley and, of course, William Blake.

In my first blog, I looked at the contemporary artist Patti Smith and tried to understand her interpretation of Blake’s work in her song My Blakean Year and how it had affect her. As a song writer, singer and poet in the New York scene, she seemed to struggle with her own purpose in life and took great solace in Blake’s words, especially his ideas on strife being a part of any person’s journey and is both a reward and a means to a reward itself. The perseverance and certainty her song expressed showed me that even in current society, a deep need is still felt for finding a purpose in life and to understand the world around us. Patti’s answer to this question, was Blake. Her life had found meaning and purpose under his guidance. Understanding that struggle is a part of life and it interwoven with Joy, as the poem she quotes form explains, would be beneficial for dealing with a world that is hidden from this higher understanding of oneself.

In my third blog, I tried to comprehend Brett Whiteley’s work Alchemy and see what he was trying to tell us about his view of the world. Arguably closer to my world view as an Australian artist, what had he seen that I might be closer to understanding this world of the unknown? His work was perplexing, shapes and forms unknown to me and seemingly making no sense. That may have been the point however, as I began to understand the need to see thing differently, as these new forms challenged my contemporary assumptions about the world. That these images were all coming together to create new meanings in the painting the more I focused on it. And how they all made up this huge, bold idea of a totally new landscape, a new world. That my limited view was not the be all and end all to perceiving the world around me. This ability to accept new things without out right dismissing them would help in a world that is often too fasted paced to ponder over anything remotely new.

In my fourth blog, I viewed the world through Patrick White’s eyes and looked at the people around me. To look beyond them as a body in a crowd and look for their true humanity inside. Patrick White saw the extraordinary in the mundane and show cased that throughout his work, focusing on the little oddities and eccentricities of people. I did the same with a woman and felt connected with her without talking to her. Like I got to know her by taking the time to pay attention to her. By slowing down and clearing my modern day perspective of, this is a just a person, I saw her as she was, as the person she was. This connection I developed would be invaluable for people who actually meet. In a world that is slowly becoming more disconnected through the internet and social media, reconnecting like this would be amazing.

White, Blake and Whiteley are looking to show humanity something fundamental in their work. To experience the world they live in, how they see it. And share that with us. See the beauty in the world around them, whether through God, nature or people. I think they really want to create a sense of hope within their contemporaries and by extension, us. That’s pretty positive, if you’re asking me.

 

 

 

Summative Entry “America is a nation of paradoxes.”

After studying the vast variety of literary voices within ENGL204, I have come to understand the history of the United States to a greater depth, both in a contextual and social sense. Seeing the issues that manifested throughout the decades of American literature, as well as the many different perspectives and critiques of this ever changing landscape, has shed light onto how the world has found itself in the current state today. It has also highlighted to me that America has been in a state of constant flux since it’s inception; going between praising the beauty of the American landscape and it’s ideals, to damning the systematic oppression of it’s people and obsession with consumption.

For my first Blog, I challenged myself to see nature through the eyes of Emerson and understand his pursuit of Transcendentalism. The concepts of nature being divine, humanity being able to interpret nature’s ‘true’ meaning with our ‘higher understanding’ and also being able to find our own freedom and our ‘true’ selves within nature was a difficult task. For my own piece, I focused on the flowing rhythm and more on the symbolic and ephemeral meanings of words to create a feeling of being enchanted by nature and finding a sense of peace within it. Upon completion of this piece, I caught a glimpse of the wonder of nature and realised Emerson was striving to find his individuality within society by distancing himself from it, to avoid any corrupting influence his ‘modern world’ was having on him. He didn’t want to be “enslaved by another man’s system”.

For my third Blog, I wrote to Baldwin about his piece, ‘Going to meet the man’. His deconstruction of the root cause of racist ideology and systemic perpetuation was as insightful as it was damning. It also began to highlight how America’s ideals and aspirations were not matching their freshly drawn up constitution, despite the strides made in the Emancipation Proclamation. It seemed the freedom Emerson was striving for America to have was not being shared to all.

 

For my fifth Blog I looked at T.S. Elliot’s Modernist approach and immediately understood his drive. Depicting American society in a state of collapse and it’s death being human separation and consumerism was immediately apparent. How society was being oppressed by big business and was meandering in hopelessness was also apparent. What wasn’t apparent to me at first, was his intense hope for change within this wasteland. To be ever present in this state, to find a better way through it. After realising this, I shaped my piece to centre around the iconic symbol of the Ouroboros snake, but emphasis it’s tainted nature to exemplify how modern society has been moved away from a prosperous purpose. But made sure to have in this piece, an underlying plan to try and free the snake from itself. T.S. Elliot within his own work, juxtaposes his despair and hope, mirroring America’s own nature in this period.

 

Emerson’s quest for self reliance and personal freedom is paradoxically offset by Baldwin’s damning a distinct lack of human freedoms. This paradox is further complicated by T.S Elliot’s dismal view of modern society, but fervent hope for change. ‘America is a nation of paradoxes’, this description couldn’t be more accurate, for the good and the bad that comes with it.

 

Peer Review 3

https://ferdinandesguerra.wordpress.com/2019/09/19/blog-post-3-the-visionary-imagination/comment-page-1/?unapproved=87&moderation-hash=47cd686e0ee72d2ec059e664129dd3f4#comment-87

Hey Ferdinand,

You nailed your deconstruction of the imagery of Job’s Nightmare plate well. You noticed the devil imagery to highlight the falsehood of this god and brought up the flames that as you stated typically are associated with the devil.

I would have liked to have heard more about your opinion on how this image and the text in tandem, created a 3 understanding of the plate, as it is typical of Blake to have a third story in his works.

Still though, great job!

ENGL 329 Blog 4

*Using something of Patrick White’s style of writing describe a totally ordinary person in such a way that you reveal their inner humanity, totally different from what their exterior appearance might suggest.

 

I sat waiting at the fountain by Wynyard station, letting the sun and I catch up. I was to meet a friend and she was due to arrive at any moment. While doing so, I watched the chaos of the bus terminals unfold before me. Many business suits and dresses marched out, each carrying a degree of airs and a mind full of work to do. There was one, who wasn’t marching. She strolled out of the bus last. Like she had managed to come to the city on a busy Tuesday morning quite by accident. She was dressed in a green bomber jacket, a black t-shirt underneath sported a tiny rainbow with a gleeful smile. It wasn’t until she got closer, that I realised the rainbow was flipping me off, with little nubby hands. This woman had a compact camera, dangling carefree around her neck, swaying as casually as she felt. Others stared at her, but she had no time for their judgemental gazes.

Image result for city finches sydney She was occupied with a small family of finches that had perched on a stone pylon near a bench. The way she crept up to the seat to talk with the finches, reminded me of a bird herself, leggy and lanky. Awkward, but calm in her steps. The finches didn’t seem to mind, her cyclops bird eye blinked away their images into it’s memory. Speaking the language of birds as she did. 

 

ENGL 204 Peer Review 4

Try to write an e.e.cummings poem using your own subject matter but sticking to his language and form.

Cameron, I really liked this entry. Using the gaps that E.E Cummings used to express these fleeting, segmented moments in life was great. As well as the use of the clock to create a constant ticking along side your gaps and to symbolise further that fleeting time we have in our lives. Really brought out both the fearful and sweet quality that life has, really enjoyed it.

ENGL 204 Blog 5

2/ Take a single line from any of the modernist poems in our reading and use this line to create your own modernist poem, using the techniques of imagism.

 

 

I see crowds of people, walking round in a ring. An Ouroboros Serpent tainted, consuming itself in boredom and paranoia. Gazing backward into infinity. Secular thinking, secular beliefs. Spinning on and on, a perpetual motion generator that’s been spinning for 70 years. Raising in pitch, lashing in tornado fury if one was to disturb the chain. Does it know it walks this way? Does it know it has a choice? Does it know, that if it were to pause, take the time to breathe, unhinge its jaw and stop? It could see it’s own reflection and see it’s dying skin, scarred and festering from stagnation? Shed the laws that bound it and leave the old rot? Or has that truth been lost to it? Or was it ever told? Marching for decades with no place to go. Continuing simply because they must. They must consume, they must produce, they must exist. The snake must survive in order to march at all. How will it march when all that remains is the skeleton of a withered memory of what it once was? And the poison that it killed itself with? How long before it bites its tail off in indignation of its repetition and turn away? Who is going to poke the snake?

 

 

 

ENGL204 Peer Review 3

 

https://aylinjulieanalin.wordpress.com/2019/09/13/american-writing-blog-3/comment-page-1/?unapproved=100&moderation-hash=d0f2b5434c239f430d95329accb638dc#comment-100

Hello Aylin,

The quote you’ve chosen from Baldwin really suits his underlying struggles and ideology with writing, the world and what he strives to achieve. Very nice choice.

I also like how you’ve framed the letter, you have made it far more personal then I managed to do for my own attempt at this question, so kudos are in order. Your expression of endearment to Baldwin’s words really shines through in this piece.

Nice Work!

ENGL 204 Blog 4

CREATIVE: Using any one of Faulkner’s 15-character voices as a guide, create a paragraph in the voice of a character totally different to yourself. Think about people you might have overheard on the train or bus, or someone you might have seen randomly on a street corner. Invent their life, their consciousness in a paragraph. Who knows it might become the start of a larger work!

We lost two people at the firm today. Pain the ass that. Case loads will be harder to deal with now. Jesus Christ, come to think of it, one of them was working on the Newman/Berri case with me. I wouldn’t be worried about a case normally, but this is high profile. If I score the win in court, not only will it bring the firm a lot of money, I’ll be able to secure more cases like this in the future. I’ll need to steal a drone from another case. But who do I poach? Erickson is one of the best choices, but William will never give him up. Stubborn to a fault that bastard, he’ll never buckle under pressure from me. Porter is another story. I can always wring him for whatever I need, but his drones are not even close to having the work ethic required for a case like this. That brings my options down to Miller and Gregory. Miller is working under Stevenson and he’s a partner, I don’t have the clout to pressure him. Gregory is working under Mercer and he’s…rumoured to have a mistress. Well, well, well, I might just have my in. I’ll ask Judy to snoop around for me and confirm it, just to be sure I have a winning hand when it comes to blackmailing him. Then Gregory will be in my employ and the case will continue unhindered. Mercer will have it out for me, but that’s not a problem. The fear of being ousted to his wife should be enough to keep him docile. Thank God I’m not married.

 

ENGL 329 Peer Review 2

https://marialocampo.wordpress.com/2019/09/15/the-visionary-imagination-blog-3/

 

Maria, loved how you were stunned by the art of Brett White and first, really comes through in the first paragraph how you took your time to digest it all.

I particularly enjoyed how you wrote from one side of the art work to the other, working from the chaos in the middle to the calm and golden tones of the end, the subtle faces and details you pointed out of faces and the grain of sand, really felt like you were drifting me along with you on the painting. Especially the emotive use of ‘calm’ for the tone of the painting at the end.

Nice work!

ENGL 329 Blog 3

You may also do the following: say, in word (critical or creative) in image (critical or creative), in video (critical or creative) what inspired you MOST today from all the myriad of impressions you received at either the Brett Whiteley Studio or the Prints and Drawing Room.

Brett Whitley’s piece Alchemy was a feast for the eyes, when it came to both sensory information and material to glean meaning. From this chaotic grandeur, one section of the painting really stimulated my imagination, the sea at the beginning. The ears, eyes and mouths all tangled up together, rising up from the ocean was at first, disturbing. But, taking a closer look, like Brett hints to do with the eyes magnifying the grain of sand, I saw a very Blakean idea of creation in these images. Thinking about how the ears, mouth and eyes are sensory organs, I instead saw Brett creating new, unconventional forms of sensations. The stomach they were attached to made me considered that these new sensations are food for your soul and would nourish your new perspective. I realised then that these forms were suppose to be shocking in order for the audience to consider them. That the whole painting was designed to shock you in a way. To change your perspective on the world around you. The more I looked at the piece, the more I began to understand how this was designed to be looked at for as long as it has been.