Sunday, 4 December 2005

Australian Lit Meme

Found this meme today at a new-ish interesting looking blog, A Fugitive Phenomenon.

1) Which Australian poem are you most confident you could recite from memory?

Technically the answer should be either "The Man from Ironbark" or "My Country", since they were the ones I thought would be deepest etched into the memory. But I've been sitting heree mumbling for about fifteen minutes, and to my shame, got no further than the second verse of the first, and petered out well before the eventual end of the second. The authenticated and tested answer, therefore, is "Culture as Exhibit" (scroll down). I only know this because Dorian has a record of the Dave Dallwitz Jazz Band playing / singing the first stanzas. Music makes things easier to remember.

2) Which of the Seven Little Australians are you?

Judy, of course. With the caveat that I would not allow the author kill me off for running away from school.

3) Which is your favourite Patrick White novel?

The Vivisector. No, The Tree of Man.

4) Which is the best Patrick White novel?

Bit of a tendentious pair of questions, eh? Impossible to be certain, but I think without being asked in this way I'd probably still have said Voss.

5) Which Australian fictional/dramatic/poetic character do you fancy most?

Captain Midnite. Silly, emotional, rich, handsome, bold, innocent, and does his bushranging and prospecting with a talking Siamese cat.

6) And which do you identify with most?

Fanny in A House Is Built. No, Laura in The Getting of Wisdom.

7) If you had to read five Australian poems to a heterogeneous unknown audience, which five would you choose?

Gawrsh! Too much thinking required: Let's just say, I'd want to throw in Les Murray's "Recourse to the Wilderness" - one poem that's stuck with me very vividly from hearing it read well...

8) Which five Australian books would you take to a desert island?

Robbery Under Arms, The Philosopher's Dog, The Road From Coorain, Illywhacker, and can I count The Fortunes of Richard Mahony as one book?

9) If you were a guest at Don’s Party, would you be:

(a) naked in the pool
(b) upstairs having sex
(c) outside having sex
(d) sulking with a headache Ka-Ching!
(e) huddled round the TV
(f) crying
(g) more than one of the above (please specify)
(h) other (please specify)

10) Tim Winton or Christos Tsiolkas?

Er, can I say neither? OK, Tsolkias then. For all sorts of reasons some of which have very little to do with their writings.

11) Banjo Paterson or Henry Lawson?

Lawson, no question.

12) Henry Lawson or Barbara Baynton?

Still Lawson, on balance: Barbara Baynton at her best is about six million times better than Henry at his, but I think the span and depth of his career and interests ultimately puts him out in front. Just my opinion. And probably if she'd had half the opportunities a male writer would have, she'd have stood up better.

13) Was Helen Demidenko guilty, and if so of what?

Yes: of attempting to disingenously blend real world identity politics with internal fictional speaking positions and trying to exploit the resulting moral quagmire for her own gain. (see also Norma Khouri.) That said H.D. was apparently madder than a cut snake as well, and not to be held fully responsible.

14) What’s the worst thing you’ve ever seen at a writers’ festival?

I've never been to one.

There you go.

The meme came without tagging instructions so it's open for anyone to take or leave, just as you please - if you do take this one, though, drop me a comment so I can come stalk you on the internets compare notes.

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