Online reading group and book discussion forum
  HOME ENTER FORUMS OUR BOOKS LINKS DONATE ADVERTISE CONTACT  
View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Fri Dec 06, 2019 4:47 pm





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 7 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average. 
Les Murray 
Author Message
User avatar
Official Newbie!


Joined: May 2019
Posts: 3
Location: Port Adelaide, South Australia
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 2 times in 2 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Australia (au)

Post Les Murray
I'm new here so I apologise if I'm raising a topic that's already been discussed. Les Murray, a distinguished Australian poet died recently. His work may be unknown to many readers in these forums. "Noonday Axeman" is a good example of his response to the history and geography of Australia. https://www.poetrylibrary.edu.au/poets/ ... an-0560005



The following user would like to thank Lilburne for this post:
Robert Tulip
Wed May 22, 2019 6:31 pm
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 5831
Location: Canberra
Thanks: 2289
Thanked: 2216 times in 1675 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Australia (au)

Post Re: Les Murray
Lilburne wrote:
I'm new here so I apologise if I'm raising a topic that's already been discussed. Les Murray, a distinguished Australian poet died recently. His work may be unknown to many readers in these forums. "Noonday Axeman" is a good example of his response to the history and geography of Australia. https://www.poetrylibrary.edu.au/poets/ ... an-0560005


Hello Lilburne, thanks and welcome. My dad was a Professor of Poetry at the University of Sydney and knew Les Murray well. I remember when Les visited our house for lunch and nearly broke a chair by sitting on it too quickly. I have an ambivalent attitude towards him. While this poem is superbly and plainly crafted, engaging and readable, it romanticises the Australian culture of land clearing that has been disastrous for ecology.


_________________
http://rtulip.net


Thu May 23, 2019 12:32 am
Profile Email WWW
User avatar
Official Newbie!


Joined: May 2019
Posts: 3
Location: Port Adelaide, South Australia
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 2 times in 2 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Australia (au)

Post Re: Les Murray
Thanks Robert. It's certainly true that Les Murray's reputation will always suffer from the fact that his opinions were often unfashionable. I think you're drawing rather a long bow in your specific comment, though. Are you saying that no trees should ever have been cut down?



The following user would like to thank Lilburne for this post:
Robert Tulip
Thu May 23, 2019 1:28 am
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 5831
Location: Canberra
Thanks: 2289
Thanked: 2216 times in 1675 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Australia (au)

Post Re: Les Murray
Lilburne wrote:
Are you saying that no trees should ever have been cut down?


The problem is to find some nuance in our perspective on colonial settlement. Murray presents a celebration of the British invasion of Australia, with his iconic image of the axe man, and his contrast between the noisy activity of the land clearer and the silence of the natural landscape.

His depiction of silence could be read as more an inability to hear than an actual silence. White settlers in Australia imposed their own dominant mindset and engaged in a destructive and contemptuous orgy of redemptive clearing, but Murray says nothing to criticise this history, instead claiming triumph.

A more nuanced view would recognise that white settlement connected Australia to the world, and the immense wealth this has produced, while also mourning an elegiac sense of indigenous loss, and admitting that much rich value has been and continues to be destroyed by the mindless and heedless ideology of material progress.

Murray's poem is a redneck poke in the eye to ecology. For him to suggest that such criticism treats him as subhuman is an emotional reaction against modern science.


_________________
http://rtulip.net


The following user would like to thank Robert Tulip for this post:
Harry Marks
Thu May 23, 2019 8:37 pm
Profile Email WWW
User avatar
Official Newbie!


Joined: May 2019
Posts: 3
Location: Port Adelaide, South Australia
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 2 times in 2 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Australia (au)

Post Re: Les Murray
I'm sorry, Robert but this strikes me as pretentious fashionable nonsense.



Thu May 23, 2019 9:29 pm
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 5831
Location: Canberra
Thanks: 2289
Thanked: 2216 times in 1675 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Australia (au)

Post Re: Les Murray
No, not pretentious, just scientifically informed. Ecology is the basis of the economy. Climate change is the primary security problem facing the world. Celebrating the pioneer frontier mentality is a throwback to an obsolete ideology. That mentality deserves some level of respect, for its values of individual achievement, adaptability, resilience, etc, but celebrating the mindless destruction of ancient ecosystems with Les Murray is not a way of thinking to encourage.


_________________
http://rtulip.net


The following user would like to thank Robert Tulip for this post:
Harry Marks
Fri May 24, 2019 2:19 am
Profile Email WWW
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Reading Addict


Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1369
Thanks: 1471
Thanked: 680 times in 551 posts
Gender: None specified

Post Re: Les Murray
Nothing like a bit of controversy to motivate a person to read. So I read the poem.

Robert, while I respect your reaction as one reasonable take on what the Axeman stands for, I found it rather a rejection of modern city life (or at least a dissent from it as frantic avoidance of the quiet) than a triumph over nature. It's mood is reflective, and it reminded me of Wendell Berry (though Les Murray seems less polemical, judging by this one poem.)

I don't think it's crazy to suggest that if we survive our fossil fuel orgy of burning, it will be with some adaptation to the tension here, between shaping our environment and learning to be in harmony with it.



Tue May 28, 2019 1:12 pm
Profile Email
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 7 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average. 



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:



Site Resources 
HELPFUL INFO:
Forum Rules & Tips
Frequently Asked Questions
BBCode Explained
Author Interview Transcripts
Be a Book Discussion Leader!

IDEAS FOR WHAT TO READ:
Bestsellers
Book Awards
• Book Reviews
• Online Books
• Team Picks
Newspaper Book Sections

WHERE TO BUY BOOKS:
• Great resource pages are coming!

BEHIND THE BOOKS:
• Great resource pages are coming!

PROMOTE YOUR BOOK!
Advertise on BookTalk.org
How To Promote Your Book





BookTalk.org is a thriving book discussion forum, online reading group or book club. We read and talk about both fiction and non-fiction books as a community. Our forums are open to anyone in the world. While discussing books is our passion we also have active forums for talking about poetry, short stories, writing and authors. Our general discussion forum section includes forums for discussing science, religion, philosophy, politics, history, current events, arts, entertainment and more. We hope you join us!


Navigation 
MAIN NAVIGATION

HOMEFORUMSOUR BOOKSAUTHOR INTERVIEWSADVERTISELINKSFAQDONATETERMS OF USEPRIVACY POLICYSITEMAP

OTHER PAGES WORTH EXPLORING
Banned Book ListOnline Reading GroupTop 10 Atheism Books

Copyright © BookTalk.org 2002-2019. All rights reserved.
Display Pagerank