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Introduction to Literature: Texts and Traditions (1016HUM)
Semester 1 / 2016


Bondi Janette Turner Hospital , 1989 single work short story (taught in 1 units)
— Appears in: Southerly , September vol. 49 no. 3 1989; (p. 305-314) Isobars 1990; (p. 68-81) Collected Stories 1970-1995 1995; (p. 234-244) Contemporary Classics 65-95 : The Best Australian Short Fiction 1965-1995 1996; (p. 348-363)
You Gave Me Hyacinths Janette Turner Hospital , 1978 single work short story (taught in 1 units)
— Appears in: Malahat Review , April no. 46 1978; (p. 137-143) Dislocations 1987; (p. 23-31) Collected Stories 1970-1995 1995; (p. 15-22) Making Connections : Six Australian Short Story Writers 1997; (p. 122-129) Penguin Australian Summer Stories 2 2000; (p. 111-121)
y separately published work icon The Writing Life (Book 2) David Malouf , Sydney : Random House Australia , 2014 7949705 2014 selected work criticism (taught in 1 units)

'Who else, but a writer, is really able to interrogate the work of other writers?

'From Christina Stead, Les Murray and Patrick White to Proust, Shakespeare and Charlotte Bronte, David Malouf reads and examines the work of writers who have challenged, inspired and entertained us for generations. He also explores his own work and the life of the writer, where the ever-present danger is spending too much time talking about writing and not enough doing it.

'These alternative views of some of our best-loved writers and readers will send us scurrying back to read Jane Eyre, Kipling and of course, David Malouf.' (Publication summary)

y separately published work icon Fly Away Peter The Bread of Time to Come David Malouf , 1982 London : Chatto and Windus , 1982 Z22123 1982 single work novella war literature (taught in 14 units) 'For three very different people brought together by their love for birds, life on the Queensland coast in 1914 is the timeless and idyllic world of sandpipers, ibises and kingfishers. In another hemisphere civilization rushes headlong into a brutal conflict. Life there is lived from moment to moment. Inevitably, the two young men - sanctuary owner and employee - are drawn to the war, and into the mud and horror of the trenches of Armentieres. Alone on the beach, their friend Imogen, the middle-aged wildlife photographer, must acknowledge for all three of them that the past cannot be held.' (Source: Publisher's website)
y separately published work icon Island Home : A Landscape Memoir Tim Winton , Melbourne : Penguin , 2015 8850333 2015 single work autobiography (taught in 1 units)

''I grew up on the world's largest island.'

'This apparently simple fact is the starting point for Tim Winton's beautiful, evocative and sometimes provocative memoir of how this unique landscape has shaped him and his writing.

'For over thirty years, Winton has written novels in which the natural world is as much a living presence as any character. What is true of his work is also true of his life: from boyhood, his relationship with the world around him – rockpools, seacaves, scrub and swamp – was as vital as any other connection. Camping in hidden inlets of the south-east, walking in the high rocky desert fringe, diving at Ningaloo Reef, bobbing in the sea between sets, Winton has felt the place seep into him, with its rhythms, its dangers, its strange sustenance, and learned to see landscape as a living process.

'Island Home is the story of how that relationship with the Australian landscape came to be, and how it has determined his ideas, his writing and his life. It is also a passionate exhortation for all of us to feel the ground beneath our feet. Much more powerfully than a political idea, or an economy, Australia is a physical entity. Where we are defines who we are, in ways we too often forget to our detriment, and the country's.

'Wise, rhapsodic, exalted – Island Home is not just a brilliant, moving insight into the life and art of one of our finest writers, but a compelling investigation into the way our country makes us who we are.' (Publication summary)

y separately published work icon Careful, He Might Hear You Sumner Locke Elliott , London : Gollancz , 1963 Z256618 1963 single work novel (taught in 2 units)
— Appears in: Reader's Digest Condensed Books : Volume One, 1964, Winter Selections 1963;

'It’s the Great Depression. Six-year-old PS is an orphan. He lives in Sydney with his Aunt Lila. But all that is about to change. Now his Aunt Vanessa has decided to take proper care of him.

'Careful, He Might Hear You is one of the most extraordinary portraits of childhood in Australian fiction.' (Publication summary : Text Classics)

y separately published work icon Jungfrau Dymphna Cusack , Sydney : Bulletin , 1936 Z96921 1936 single work novel (taught in 1 units)
y separately published work icon Sydney Delia Falconer , Sydney : NewSouth Publishing , 2010 Z1729705 2010 single work prose (taught in 3 units) 'Sydney has always been the sexiest and most gaudy of our cities. In this book, the third in a series in which leading Australian authors write about their hometowns, novelist Delia Falconer conjures up its sandstone, humidity, and jacarandas. But she goes beyond these to find a far more complex city: beautiful, violent, half-wild, and at times deeply spiritual. It is a slightly unreal place, haunted by a past that it has never quite grasped, or come to terms with. Here, in her first non-fiction book, she proves herself an adept memoirist. She twines the stories of the people that have made Sydney the twenty-first century city it is today. Mad clergymen, amateur astronomers, Indigenous weather experts, crims and victims, photographers and artists: their stories are surprising, funny, and moving.' (From the publisher's website.)
The Surfer i "He thrust his joy against the weight of the sea,", Judith Wright , 1945 single work poetry (taught in 1 units)
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 21 March vol. 66 no. 3397 1945; (p. 4) The Moving Image : Poems 1946; (p. 30) The Boomerang Book of Australian Poetry 1956; (p. 31) Five Senses : Selected Poems 1963; (p. 16) Songs for All Seasons : 100 Poems for Young People 1967; (p. 38) Judith Wright : Collected Poems, 1942-1970 1971; (p. 21)
Transformative Moments : An Interview with Janette Turner Hospital Belinda McKay (interviewer), 2004 single work interview (taught in 1 units)
— Appears in: Queensland Review , December vol. 11 no. 2 2004; (p. 1-10)
'Janette Turner Hospital is the author of eight novels, four collections of short stories, a novella published only in French, and a crime thriller under the pseudonym Alex Juniper. Her work has been published in 20 countries, and in 12 languages other than English. She is the recipient of a number of overseas literary awards, and both Griffith University (in 1996) and the University of Queensland (in 2003) have conferred honorary doctorates upon her. In 2003 she won the Queensland Premier's Literary Award for Best Fiction Book for her most recent novel, Due Preparations for the Plague, and the Patrick White Award for Lifetime Literary Achievement.' (Extract)
y separately published work icon Breath Tim Winton , Camberwell : Hamish Hamilton , 2008 Z1457075 2008 single work novel (taught in 21 units) 'Breath is a story about the wildness of youth - the lust for excitement and terror, the determination to be extraordinary, the wounds that heal and those that don't - and about learning to live with its passing.'
Source: Publisher's website
y separately published work icon The Boat Nam Le , Camberwell : Hamish Hamilton , 2008 Z1495449 2008 selected work short story (taught in 42 units)

'In the magnificent opening story, "Love and Honor and Pity and Pride and Compassion and Sacrifice," a young writer is urged by his friends to mine his father's experiences in Vietnam - and what seems at first a satire on turning one's life into literary commerce becomes a transcendent exploration of homeland, and the ties between father and son. "Cartagena" provides a visceral glimpse of life in Colombia as it enters the mind of a fourteen-year-old hit man facing the ultimate test. In "Meeting Elise" an ageing New York painter mourns his body's decline as he prepares to meet his daughter on the eve of her Carnegie Hall debut. And with graceful symmetry, the final, title story returns to Vietnam, to a fishing trawler crowded with refugees where a young woman's bond with a mother and her small son forces both women to a shattering decision.' (From the author's website.)

y separately published work icon Five Bells Gail Jones , North Sydney : Vintage Australia , 2011 Z1735512 2011 single work novel (taught in 19 units)

'On a radiant day in Sydney, four adults converge on Circular Quay, site of the iconic Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Crowds of tourists mix with the locals, enjoying the glorious surroundings and the play of light on water.

'But each of the four carries a complicated history from elsewhere; each is haunted by past intimacies, secrets and guilt: Ellie is preoccupied by her sexual experiences as a girl, James by a tragedy for which he feels responsible, Catherine by the loss of her beloved brother in Dublin and Pei Xing by her imprisonment during China's Cultural Revolution.

'Told over the course of a single Saturday, Five Bells describes four lives which chime and resonate, sharing mysterious patterns and symbols. But it is a fifth person, a child, whose presence at the Quay haunts the day and who will overshadow everything that unfolds. By night-time, when Sydney is drenched in a rainstorm, each life has been transformed.' (From the publisher's website.)


This course introduces students to the study of literary texts, mainly chosen from the twentieth century to the present. It shows how genre and tradition influence creative literary production, focussing on poetry, narrative fiction and literary non-fiction. Students will become skilled readers, who have an understanding of the way texts work, and how social and cultural contexts shape responses to literature.

Supplementary Texts

William Faulkner - Banquet Speech

T. S. Eliot - The Wasteland