20th Century Summative Blog

Do the interests, concerns and experiences of writers in the 20th century assist the 21st-century human beings in their understanding of the purpose of existence?

It can be fairly easy for one to agree or disagree with writers in general. Each person is unique and that exclusive beings thoughts and feelings are different to the next. One idea topic that always ends up being A-line is the question of one’s existence. The way individuals perceive this motion can be expressed through physical, mental or emotional circumstances. However, there is something incredibly special about 20th Century writers and their pieces that grasp a 21st Century human beings attention and educates them about the purpose of existence.

The purpose of existence is questioned in Wilfred Owen’s poem “Anthem for Doomed Youth”. The focus in this poem is the aftermath of letting the ‘Youth’ participate in war when they are destined for fatality. Owen points out the dehumanisation of soldiers as they are treated as cattle, valid objects of dying. Owen pinpoints the exact moment the “rifle’ rapid rattle” forcing the readers to feel the depth of emotional pain which is the deafening sound of death. Readers can comprehend a story such as this one as it shows a genuine side of war that wasn’t authorised to be publicised back then and the increased worth human beings received now compared to older times.

Visual texts are one form of work, which appeals to the 21st-century human being. The “Three Bathers” painted by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner envision the scarce times in the 20th Century, which also was war. For some reason, I had a unique interpretation. I knew the back-story but something about the three, afraid, naked women spoke to me. The woman who is in the back is larger and seems more scared than the rest compared to the woman at the front. The weight scale difference I believe is due to the strong and the weak. Women today can relate to this same concept because this idea has grown into the 21st Century.

A writer who I believe has turned the English language on its head is George Orwell. His essay “Politics in the English Language” corrects in his opinion, what is being shown as the wrong way literature is being produced. It provokes writers of the present and past day and is still a timely piece for students of language. The “staleness of imagery” and “lack of precision” is his main advice that he brings to this essay. He deems that writers should be unique and not a carbon copy of what has been done before. Which is something 21st-century writers should take into consideration?

My favourite piece to read, listen to and connect with was Marlene Nourbese Philip poetic spin in “Discourse on the Logic of Language”. Her unique spin on language, adding 5 different typographic styles engages the audience in such ways of tone, structure and design when the words and horizontal, vertical and even in tiny paragraphs. Philip’s is determined to portray that language has become a “foreign anguish”. Many tongues speak many languages but English is her own foreign anguish. For many 21st writers, a difficulty may be language, race or nation that they are trying to connect with.

All in All, 20th Century writers have an immense impact on beings in the 21st Century through their own ideas. With just a few of the writers I became interested in such as Wilfred Owen, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, George Orwell and Marlene Nourbese Philip all envisage that the experiences in the 20th Century can be understood by 21st Century human beings.

“Anthem for Doomed Youth” https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/47393

“Three Bathers” http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/158.1984/

“Politics in the English Language” The Norton Anthology of English Literature: 20th Century (Beginning on Page 2610)

“Discourse on the Logic of Language” Youtube Video. Start: 1:08 https://youtu.be/424yF9eqBsE



#9 Nation, Race, and Language?

What comes to mind when I think of the three words Nation, Race, and Language? The first thing that comes to my mind is that I believe these three words are extremely overlooked in today’s day and age.

Why is this? Well, I’ve come to my own personal conclusion that many people don’t understand the severity of being forced away from one’s nation, race and or language.

What do I mean by this? Well, the world as we recognise it is big on trends. Anyone can agree to disagree with this but by trends, I’m referring to conformity. English is the third most highly spoken language in the world and as of 2014 over 300,000,000 people approx. participate in speaking English. (“Most Popular Languages In The World By Number Of Speakers” 2016)

Last week two poets stood out to me. They both in their own unique ways embraced their Nation, Race and language by not conforming to English linguistics but more so mocking what it has done and continue to do in the world.

Grace Nichols was born and raised in British Guiana. Two of her works that caught my attention was a four-lined poem titled “Epilogue” and a quite revealing piece titled “Wherever I hang”. Epilogue memorialises Africans and their people’s language at the time of slavery, which relocated them to the West Indies.“Wherever I hang” uses all the dialect forms from her language as she gently criticises the place where she was born, “I leave me people”. (Ramazani and Stallworthy 2012)

“Wherever I hang” uses all the dialect forms from her language as she gently criticises the place where she was born, “I leave me people, me land, me home for reasons, I not too sure”. She purposely shows an interpersonal view with the way she talks creating a sense of understanding from what has happened. However, simultaneously recognising the discomfort that many have had to go through. Her acceptance into conformity has gone as far to say “Wherever I hang my knickers, that’s my home”.

On the other end of the Spectrum, Marlene Nourbese Philip was born on the Island of Tobago. She was a highly educated woman and a writer of novels, essays and plays. Her literary artwork “Discourse on the Logic of Language” refreshes one’s pre-determined opinion on the language being a foreign anguish. The way Philip’s brings this statement through is by using 5 different typographic styles; such as her own voice, one spoken through mothers, a scientific view, an authoritative view through edicts and a questionnaire.

To view any of the texts mentioned above, please feel free to check out their links!

“Epilogue”: http://second-inversion.blogspot.com.au/2012/08/epilogue-by-grace-nichols-19831984.html

“Wherever I hang”: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00wzy9y

“Discourse on the Logic of Language” Youtube Video. Start: 1:08

Ramazani, Jahan and Jon Stallworthy. 2012. Volume F: The Twentieth Century And After. New York: Norton.

“Most Popular Languages In The World By Number Of Speakers”. 2016. Infoplease.Com. http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0775272.html.

# Peer Review 8

Dear Ronny,

Your entire set out of the website is really refreshing. The thing I like the most is you have a gap/divide between your weekly writings and your referencing and any images you add.
The blog you’ve presented is simple and concise and I indeed agree with some of the points you’ve addressed. The notion you put forward to Virginia Woolf about writing being the type that is “unconstrained by conventions of the past” truly encompasses the what she writes. The comparison between unique and “abstract manner” pieces to artwork really stuck with me because I also do consider all types of writing to be a form of artwork.
Your blog identifies the purpose of non-conventional writing. Keep up the good work 🙂



# Peer Review 7

Dear Serena,
I really appreciate someone who can take the time and effort out to detail and pull apart a thought-provoking essay such as this one. The way in which approached the letter through your structure and your clear and concise diction provided me with a sense of realisation why George Orwell stated the English language to be “ugly”. I also really enjoyed the connection you made to an excerpt from George Bush’s “War on Terror”. It depicted that good writing can be used with words used in “everyday life”.
Overall you’ve done a brilliant job but maybe a photograph might have given us readers a visual opening to the letter you have written for your blog.

– Annaliese.



# Peer Review 6

Hi Emily,
I love how simple and clear your blog this week is and simultaneously is summary and honesty is brilliant.
Your relation to the reader, the story and the author all connect really well. I also appreciate anyone who has the IT skills and knowledge to provide an addition video, it was awesome!
One thing you maybe could have added was an elaboration on how reading this text affected you.
Overall, you’ve done a great job, I’ll be looking out for your blogs more often! 🙂



# Peer Review 5

Hi Gabrielle,
This week your blog was extremely insightful as I too have discovered a new fondness to T.S Elliot’s work. I appreciate the fact that you identified what Modernism actually is and added your own interpretation of it. I feel that through Professor Barry Spur’s Lecture you learn’t why Elliot wrote how he wrote and the reasons he chose certain words to express what he was saying.
I think that if you gave a little bit more detail on ‘The Hollowmen’ it would of made your blog more complete!
Overall you’ve done a fantastic job!


# Peer Review 4

Hi Ngaire,
I found your blog this week to be very creative and expressive of your own understanding of the lifestyle of war. I picked up a Wilfred Owen reference within your writing, “Dignified custom of the passing bells passes away”, which I found to be very daring but I believe you pulled it off really well. The last four lines really struck me the most as the most truthful words were spoken of in the most simplest of words. The only thing I can say is that you could include a few more lines of sensory imagery. The reader can image your words but it would be more effective if they could be there and hear it as well.
Overall you’ve done a great job!
– Annaliese


#4 Art Gallery Visit

Friday afternoon my tutorial took place in a new arena, the Art Gallery of NSW. Within the gallery, it holds many unique and meaningful 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional pieces that entice the eye of the beholder.

A piece that struck a cord with me was Ernst Ludwig Kirchner’s painting the “Three Bathers” which was created in 1913. Kirchner was an essential part of the German history of expressionism. This can be vividly seen within this painting that can have many different individual interpretations that come along with them. The reason I chose this artwork to speak about today was because whilst analysing its visual features I felt vulnerable as well, just like the women in the painting. It almost felt as if the skinny woman was stronger and had more confidence opposed to the larger woman.


At first glance, I saw three naked women, huddled together, one behind the other, upon the great blue waves that surrounded them in the framework. The longer I look the more I could identify. The women weren’t huddling they in fact were hiding behind each other. The scarce positioning of their eyes reveals their worry and the dispossession of their own emotions captured in that exact moment. Their body language hunched over and hiding also led on to portray a scared unknowing of what lies in the future. Using this mechanism of hunching down their backs and hiding would protect them from the unknown. The larger body size of the women the more vulnerable they became. When I identified this I became entirely appreciative of the artwork because it resonated something inside of me and I too would hide if I were the third woman. Another idea arose as the skinnier lady was placed at the front expressing the motion that the skinner woman is more comfortable and stronger in the body she was given. I see this artwork as both a foreshadowing of dark times ahead i.e. the war but as well giving the viewers a cloudy visual about female nudity and how it affects the women themselves. Are those issues connected or just a very thought through painting.


#Peer Review 3

Hey Brittney,
In this week’s blog you expressed you’re trip to the art gallery and I thought it was brief but brilliant. I commend the fact that you decided to detail two artworks instead of just one, it was a good addition to your blog as it shows diversity in what you saw. One thing that i could critic on was that if you chose two pieces that you could of chose one which was 2D and another which was 3D such as a sculpture to show differing techniques.
Overall it was a great entry this week!!



#2 Peer Review

Hi Sibel,
I found you interpretation and extension of the ‘Heart of Darkness’ quote to be rather intriguing. I particularly liked the fact that you created a paragraph with short sentences to co-exist with the rapid scenery that was painted around your main character. Even though it gives no back story to the character it made me want to read on and to read more. In like manner, the connection between the image portraying slavery and the initial reaction of your protagonist gaining new information was something I extremely enjoyed. The final line, “My thoughts were heavy, I had never imagined that this would occur and now I carry a burden which I can longer ignore.” , was a brilliant addition to make the reader feel persuaded to want more.
All in all, you’ve done a really great job!

– Annaliese