Six suggestions for Imaginative Journeys (NSW 2008 HSC)

15 Nov

1. Orpheus Lost by Janette Turner Hospital (Australia May 2007; USA Canada October 2007): for good Advanced students. This is probably the best novel I have read in 2007.
2. The Russian Ark by Russian director Alexander Sokurov.

3. Amélie.

4. The Arabian Nights, an abridged retelling such as Andrew Lang’s will do. The whole idea of Scheherazade and her story-telling ties neatly with aspects both of Coleridge and The Tempest. I think so, anyway.

Some students will find themselves wondering too about ideas like Orientalism…

5. John Keats

On first looking into Chapman’s Homer

MUCH have I travell’d in the realms of gold,
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen;
Round many western islands have I been
Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.
Oft of one wide expanse had I been told 5
That deep-brow’d Homer ruled as his demesne:
Yet did I never breathe its pure serene
Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold:
Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken; 10
Or like stout Cortez, when with eagle eyes
He stared at the Pacific—and all his men
Look’d at each other with a wild surmise—
Silent, upon a peak in Darien.

6. Donnie Darko

Now look for more yourself. 🙂

Update 21 November

Visit these two posts on a blog called Deus Lo Vult. Thomas is a teacher in training and passionate about movies, especially (but not only) Amélie. Not many years ago he too sat for the HSC in 4-Unit English. Amélie and Amélie vs. Garden State.



6 responses to “Six suggestions for Imaginative Journeys (NSW 2008 HSC)

  1. Thomas

    November 21, 2007 at 11:16 pm

    Wow, thank-you Neil. To think that my own interests could be of interest and use to other people.

    I feel inspired to go and do more, especially considering you suggested Donnie Darko. There’s so much to unpack in that film …

  2. ninglun

    November 21, 2007 at 11:46 pm

    Have to see how many visits you get! This post has so far had just 49 52 individually, but the main Physical Journeys one has had 3,798 3808 since May 2007 and another Imaginative Journeys one 2,600 2604 since June.

    I wouldn’t have recommended your posts if I didn’t think people would find them useful and interesting.

  3. Thomas

    November 22, 2007 at 2:22 am

    I saw that through the just finished HSC season the views on all my film posts went up – but in particular those two you mentioned. I suspect that because I still write about films in terms of journeys that it’s a hot search word that pops up with my blog. I suppose that’s also evidence that the HSC ruins the experience of simply watching films – I’m always pulling them apart!

  4. ninglun

    November 22, 2007 at 6:28 am

    2008 is the last year for Journeys, by the way, but I guess you know that. I am honestly of two minds about it. On the one hand it is as good a prism as any other for working with a number of texts — I have no problem with thinking of film, websites, etc as “texts”. On the other hand (as indeed I said to a coachee yesterday — the one for whom this post went up initially) it is also a bit silly. In her case she wanted to think about perfectly interesting aspects of The Tempest of which I was forced to say: “That’s fine, but what exactly does that have to do with Imaginative Journeys?”

    …the HSC ruins the experience of simply watching films – I’m always pulling them apart!

    I get the impression you are getting more rather than less enjoyment from watching movies. There is no contradiction between an informed properly critical awareness of text, context and interpretation and the enjoyment of such texts; so far as you in fact appreciate the text even more. On the other hand, I quite happily switch off when reading some comparatively rubbishy thriller or crime fiction story when engaging in what one theorist has called “ludic reading.”

    Long before there was cyberspace, books led us to a magical nether-zone. “Books are all the dreams we would most like to have, and like dreams they have the power to change consciousness,” wrote Victor Nell in a 1988 tome called “Lost in a Book.” Nell coined a name for that trancelike state that heavy readers enter when consuming books for pleasure—”ludic reading” (from the Latin ludo, meaning “I play”).

    I read “Lost in a Book” in 1993 when I was involved in a Disadvantaged Schools Reading Research project and was quite taken with the idea, partly because it is an antidote to the kind of guilt bad English teaching might lead to!

    Even so, I would still argue that you have gained through the analytical skills you have developed.

  5. kate

    November 30, 2007 at 8:08 pm

    the info about amelie was great. i’m thinking of doing it as one of my additional texts for imaginative journeys. and i will agree with thomas, it’s one of the best movies ever made!!

  6. Caroline Fraser

    March 6, 2008 at 6:52 pm

    To all you industrious HSC students,
    I have just had my first book published. The title is ‘Jocelyn’s Journey’. I took the book to my local high school, Richmond High, and left it for the librarian to review. The librarian, Mrs. Fish,called me this morning and told me that my book fits the HSC theme of ‘Journeys’. She liked my writing style and has added my book to the recommended reading list for HSC students at Richmond High. If you would like to find out a bit more about my book and see if you, too, would like to add it to your reading list, you may look up my website, I built the site myself and am currently having trouble with the order form. If you would like to buy my book after viewing the site, please send me an email instead of trying to use the form. I am looking for a techno person to help me out in that department.
    Best wishes to you all in your studies. I was going to say, ‘good luck’ but as you all know, luck has nothing to do with success.
    Caroline Fraser


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